51 Interesting Facts About Bolivia

Last updated on March 17th, 2020

42. Families are closely knit in Bolivia. In rural regions, multiple generations live in a single house together. The family plays a significant role in social life and structure. Men are predominantly the breadwinners, while women look after the household work.

43. A husband’s first surname is added to his wife’s name after the marriage with the connector “de”. So if Jennifer Maria Lopez marries Manuel Sebastien Costa, she would be called Jennifer Maria de Costa.

44. Bolivians enjoy visiting one another. Both arranged and unannounced visits are common. Bolivians exchange gifts at several different occasions.[30]

45. Bolivian families typically have one large and two small meals per day. Upon entering a room where people are eating, Bolivians often say Buen provecho (similar to Bon appétit).[30]

Traditional Bolivian Sopa de Mani
Traditional Bolivian Sopa de Mani (peanut soup) made of meat, pasta, vegetables and ground peanut.

46. The Bolivian diet constitutes of common staples including rice, potatoes, milk products, soups, and fruits. Hundreds of varieties of potatoes are prepared in Bolivia in different ways.[30]

47. Chicken is the most common meat in Bolivia.[30]

48. Some phrases that you may find useful when traveling to Bolivia –

Hello – Hola; Please – Por favor; Thank you – Gracias; Goodbye – Adiós; Yes – Si; No – No.

49. When a passenger boards a bus, it is customary to greet other passengers with “buen dia” or “buenas tardes”.

50. Bolivians eat coca to combat the effects of altitude. As a result of the habit, you can see a bulge in their cheeks.

51. With hundreds of radio stations, radio is important, especially in rural parts of the country.

Bolivia – country at a glance

Independence6 August 1825 (from Spain)
Capital CitySucre and La Paz
Largest CitySanta Cruz de la Sierra
Total area1,098,581 sq km
land: 1,083,301 sq km
water: 15,280 sq km
Population11,758,869 (July 2021 est.)
Literacy ratetotal population: 92.5%
Official LanguageSpanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani,
and 33 other native languages (total 37 official languages)
BordersArgentina 942 km, Brazil 3403 km, Chile 942 km, Paraguay 753 km, Peru 1212 km
Suffrage18 years of age, universal and compulsory
CurrencyBoliviano (BOB)
ReligionCatholic Christians
Life expectancy at birth70.7 years (2021)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
HolidaysNew Year’s Day,
Carnaval (Saturday before Ash Wednesday),
Día del Mar, or Sea Day (23 March, when Bolivians remember the war with Chile in which Bolivia lost ocean access),
Holy Week before Easter,
Father’s Day (19 Mar.), Labor Day (1 May), Mother’s Day (27 May),
Independence Day (6 Aug.),
All Saints’ Day (1 November, a day for the family to clean and
decorate ancestral graves and enjoy a picnic),
and Christmas.
Climatevaries with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid
Terrainrugged Andes Mountains with a highland plateau (Altiplano), hills, lowland plains of the Amazon Basin
Mean elevation1,192 m
Lowest pointRio Paraguay 90 m
Highest pointNevado Sajama 6,542 m
Natural resourcestin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower
Agricultural land34.3%
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentLuis Arce
Vice PresidentDavid Choquehuanca
Birth rate20.36 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate6.26 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratio0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
National anthem"Cancion Patriotica" (Patriotic Song)
National symbolllama, Andean condor
National colorsred, yellow, green
Industriesmining, smelting, petroleum, food and beverages, tobacco, handicrafts, clothing, jewelry
Exports$9.632 billion (2019 est.)
natural gas, mineral ores, gold, soybeans and soy products, tin
Imports$10.142 billion (2019 est.)
machinery, petroleum products, vehicles, iron and steel, plastics
GDP - per capita (PPP)$8,724 (2019 est.)
Internet country code.bo
Time ZoneBOT (UTC−4)
Calling Code+591
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedSeptember 7, 2021