Before you visit Bolivia, whether as part of one of our Bolivia Tours or on your own, it may help to learn a little about its history. Bolivia is a country organized into nine departments. Its constitutional capital is Sucre, while La Paz is the seat of the executive, legislative, and electoral bodies. It is also the political, cultural, and financial epicenter of the country. The largest Bolivian city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, considered the economic engine of the country.
The official time in Bolivia is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4). Bolivia does not follow daylight savings time to save energy. Therefore, there is no summer and winter schedule. The time is the same all year round and does not vary from one geographic region to another. This is ideal when out on our larger Bolivia Expedition as you won’t have to adjust for different time zones throughout your tour.
Due to the country’s diverse range of landscapes, Bolivia has various types of climates and terrain for visitors to experience. With arid highlands, lakeside villages, and gentle lakeside sub-climates, Bolivia has one of the richest, most varied weather conditions of any country in the world. You can expect warm temperatures, cool temperatures, rain, and drought. In the lowlands (Cobija, Santa Cruz, etc), you’ll find the temperatures hot and humid; in the highlands (Lake Titicaca, La Paz, etc), you’ll find the weather to be cooler and less humid; in the Amazonian lowlands (Chulumani, Coroico, etc), you will find that the weather is warm but that there are plenty of cold breezes to cool you down a little.
Given its proximity to the equator, Bolivia has just two seasons: the dry season, which can be considered its winter (runs from May to October), and the rainy season, which can be considered Bolivia’s summer (runs from November to March).
Full Name: Plurinational State of Bolivia
Capital City: Sucre, La Paz
Time Zone: GMT/UTC -4
Electricity: 220-230V 50Hz
Country Dialing Code: +0591
Population: 12,050,872 (2022 estimate)
Population growth rate: 1,4% (2022 estimate)
Religions: 90% Roman Catholic, 10% Other
Area Total: 1,099,580 km2
Borders: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru
Government type: Republic
President: Luis Arce Catacora (since November 8, 2020)
Independence Day: August 6, 1825
Bolivia is considered to be right in the center of South America. It stretches between Cordillera de Los Andes and the Cuenca Amazónica with three main regions: the Andean Area, the Subandina Area, and the Oriental Zone
The Andean area covers 28% of the national territory, with an estimated area of 307,000 km2. It is located between 3,000 and 4,000 meters above sea level, between the western and eastern mountain ranges. Some of the highest peaks in the Americas can be found here, such as Nevado Sajama, which has an altitude of 6,542 msnm. In this region, you’ll find the world-famous Titicaca Lake, with an area of 8,100 square feet, at an altitude of 3,810 meters, which makes it the highest navigable lake in the world. In the Andean region, you’ll also find the salt desert of Uyuni, which has an area of 10,582 square kilometers. The climate throughout the region is usually cold and sometimes temperate (0ºC to 18ºC).
This region is located between the altiplano and the eastern plains, covering 13% of the territory. It includes valleys located between 1,500 and 2,500 meters above sea level. It is characterized by its agricultural activity and its climate that fluctuates from temperate to warm (15ºC to 25ºC).
The Oriental Plain covers 59% of the territory and is located north of the Eastern (or Royal) mountain range and includes plains and extensive forests. This region is rich in flora and fauna. It is located between 200 and 400 meters above sea level. The Oriental Plain of Bolivia has an average temperature between 22ºC and 25ºC.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about Bolivia before you visit. You might also like to check out our Interesting Places in Bolivia resource and our Bolivia accommodation guide. Start planning your ultimate expedition in Bolivia with a little help from us!
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