A gloriously multi hued volcano at the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia - In A Nutshell

Author: Sue Rogers
Date: 19th January 2019

What is the Capital of Bolivia?

  • The official capital is Sucre, the government is based in La Paz and the largest city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Who Colonised Bolivia?

  • The country was once the centre of the ancient Tiwanaku Empire and from the fifteenth to the early sixteenth century it was ruled by the Incas. After the arrival of Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors, Bolivia was subsumed within the Viceroyalty of Peru. Spain built its empire in great part upon the silver that was extracted from Bolivia's mines. The republic was finally established in 1825, after many years of war, named for Venezuelan Simón Bolívar, El Libertador. More war followed, with Bolivia losing control of several parts of its territory, including the seizure of its piece of Pacific coastline, by Chile in 1879.

Is Bolivia a Poor Country?

  • Though historically rich in mineral and energy resources, Bolivia is the poorest of South America's countries. Almost 40 percent of Bolivians live in extreme poverty.

Is Bolivia Safe to Visit?

  • There are the usual warnings about petty crime, travelling at night and avoiding con men, especially in La Paz. Intriguingly, the FCO also says this: 'Avoid prison tours. They are illegal and unsafe. There are no guarantees for your safety inside prison premises.'

What To See in Bolivia?

  • Landlocked Bolivia is the highest, poorest and most isolated country in South America. It is also the most surprising.
  • La Paz is a reinvented city
  • The people are friendly and the scenery on the route from the Atacama, across the Altiplano and up to Uyuni is absolutely astonishing. Surreal painted mountains, vivid lakes, colourful bubbling geysers, a rock city in the desert. Not to be missed.

What Language is Spoken in Bolivia?

  • Bolivia has has over 30 official languages.
  • The most prominent indigenous languages include Quechua and Aymara, while Spanish is the most widely-spoken language in the country.

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