34 Interesting Facts About Bolivia

Last updated on September 25th, 2017

Bolivia, officially known as the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South AmericaWith these 34 interesting facts about Bolivia, let’s learn about its culture, history, economy, people, industries, tourism, tradition, religion and more.

#1. Bolivia is a landlocked South American country.

Facts about famous tourist attractions in Bolivia

#2. The world’s largest butterfly sanctuary, which spans 24 hectares, is in Bolivia. It is located 20 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz, and is open 365 days a year.

A variety of amenities are available inside the sanctuary for the visiting guests. There are restaurants, bars, tent-camping facilities, bungalows, a resort hotel, picnic and barbeque areas, a huge are’s playground, biolabs and much more. You can spend weeks — not just days — inside the sanctuary without running out of things to see.

#3 The North Yungas Road, which is also known as the Road of Fate or Death Road, is in Bolivia. It is 56 kilometers long, and as per an estimate, nearly 200-300 people died from falling off the road every year until recent improvements were made to the road to avoid casualties. The road also has cross markings on the places where vehicles have fallen in the past to alert passing drivers.

#4. Bolivia has the world’s largest salt flat, which covers 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi) of area and is 3,656 meters above sea level. It contains 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves.

Note that the altimeters of Earth observation satellites are calibrated on the salt desert due to its large area, clear skies, and exceptional flatness.

Salt flat in Bolivia.
Interesting facts about Bolivia: Salt flat. Image source: http://petapixel.com/

#5. Madidi National Park, with an area of 18,958 square kilometers, is part of one of the largest protected areas in the world. Scientists have identified more than 1,000 varieties of butterflies living in the park.

#6. Tiwanaku, located in Bolivia, is among South America’s most intriguing archeological sites.

#7. Bolivia also has Lake Titicaca, which is the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,507 feet above sea level. It has a surface area of 8,300 square kilometers. It is shared between Bolivia and Peru.

#8. San Pedro prison in Bolivia is another tourist attraction. Unlike other prisons around the world, this special prison permits its inmates to live with their families, work, earn and even buy or rent their accommodations.

View of San Pedro prison, Bolivia.
Interesting Facts About Bolivia: View of San Pedro prison. Image credit: http://www.lapazlife.com/

#9. A hotel in Bolivia­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­–The Hotel Luna Salad–is built entirely from salt blocks including the interior and the furniture.

#10. For those who have a special interest in dinosaurs, it will be interesting to know that there are 5055 footprints from at least 8 different species of dinosaurs in Bolivia on Cal Orko, an imposing limestone slab 1.5 km long and more than 100 meters high. The marks are 68 million years old. And they are on a vertical wall.

Amazed? Want to know how was it possible for the dinosaurs to walk on a vertical wall?

Learn that tectonic plate activity pushed the flat ground at such an incredible angle that it became a famous tourist spot for visitors from all over the world. Mother Nature has her own ways of preserving and revealing things…

Facts about Bolivia’s history

#11. During the 18th century, Bolivia was known as Upper Peru. It got its name from Simon Bolivar, the military and political leader.

#12. Bolivia became independent on August 6, 1825 (from Spain).

#13. An estimated eight million Andean Indians died because of the mining of Cerro Rico (Rich Hill). The mine is 4,860 meters above sea level. Each day, approximately 3,000 tons of minerals are brought out of it by around 15,000 miners. The mine has provided these resources for the past 460 years.

#14. Bolivia is home to the highest administrative capital city in the world, La Paz. It is roughly 11,975 ft above sea level. It has one airport, and has a population of 1.816 million. However, the official capital city of Bolivia is Sucre. Thus, it is one of the few countries in the world with more than one capital cities.

List of countries with multiple capital cities

Name of countryName of its capitals
BeninCotonou and Porto-Novo
BoliviaLa Paz and Sucre
ChileSantiago and Valparaiso
GeorgiaKutaisi and Tbilisi
HondurasComayaguela and Tegucigalpa
Ivory CoastAbidjan and Yamoussoukro
MalaysiaKuala Lumpur and Putrajaya
MontenegroCetinje and Podgorica
NetherlandsAmsterdam and The Hague
South AfricaBloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria
South KoreaSejong City and Seoul
Sri LankaColombo and Kotte
SwazilandLobamba and Mbabane
TanzaniaDar es Salaam and Dodoma
Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic RepublicLaayoune and Tifariti

#15. Bolivians become eligible to vote at the age of 18 if they are married, and at 21 if they are single.

Map of Bolivia

#16. Interestingly, there are 37 official languages in Bolivia.

#17. Bolivia contributes 70% of all Brazil nuts produced worldwide.

#18. Bolivia gets over 8000 mm of rain, on average, per year, which makes it one of the wettest countries in the world.

#19. The dolphins in the Amazon in Bolivia are pink.

#20. More than 40% of all animal and plant life on planet Earth is found in Bolivia in its tropical rainforests and Pantanal Wetlands.

Flag of Bolivia

Flag of Bolivia
Flag of Bolivia. Image credit – CIA

#21. Guinea pig is a delicacy in Bolivia. It is usually served whole, with the legs and head pointing up.

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