Bolivia has a rich and diverse culture in the heart of Latin America. It’s dynamic history, unique landmarks, and culture make the country stand out. Aside from all these, so many facts about Bolivia will fascinate you and blow your mind.
Bolivia is famous in South America for its beauty and legendary salt flats. The exotic wildlife, crooked prisons, and indigenous wrestling are some of the exciting things to explore in Bolivia.
Here are 25 interesting and fun Bolivia facts to know.
Common Facts About Bolivia – Demographic and The People
Bolivia has more than 30 languages.
Like other South American countries, Spanish is the most widely-spoken language, but there are over 30 languages other widely spoken in Bolivia. Quechua and Aymara are two other prominent languages in Bolivia.
In the Andes region, the two most common languages are Spanish and Quechua. However, you will find that Aymara is the most prominent in the Altiplano and around Lake Titicaca.
Bolivia has two Capitals.
One of the Bolivia facts most people don’t know is that La Paz is actually not the official capital of Bolivia but the administrative capital city. It is a popular and famous city as La Paz is home to the country’s seat of government and finance center.
However, Sucre serves as Bolivia’s official capital because it is where the Supreme Court of Justice is located.
The World Largest Navigable Lake is located in Bolivia.
Lake Titicaca, which stands at 12,382 feet above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. It is also the deepest and largest in South America by volume. You can find Lake Titicaca in the Andes and it is a popular trip for many tourists.
The highest population of Bolivia is indigenous people.
One of the Bolivian facts that might be obvious when you visit is that almost 55% of Bolivia’s Population is indigenous. This makes it the country with the highest population of indigenous people in Latin America.
It is a country steeped in history and the best place to visit if you are interested in knowing more about local culture, traditions, and history.
Bolivia has precious gems.
Bolivia is one of the few places where you can get Ametrine. The Ametrine is also known as Golden Amethyst, Trystine, or Boliviante. The precious stone is created with a combination of citrine and amethyst.
Ametrine is usually hexagonal, and it is yellow and purple. No two crystals are the same because of the natural combination of the gems.
One-Third of Bolivia are in the Andes Mountains
One of the important facts about Bolivia you should know is that most of the largest cities in Bolivia are situated in the Andes Mountains. This isn’t a surprise as the country is known as a highland. Make sure you factor in time for acclimatization if you are coming in from somewhere low.
Historical Facts About Bolivia
Bolivia is named after Simon Bolivar, a prominent political leader.
Simon Bolivar led the Wars of Independence across South America, where he liberated five countries from Spanish rule. He liberated five countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
One of the historical facts about Bolivia is that the country was named after Simon Bolivar to honor him for his role in its liberation. He was also the first official president of Bolivia
Bolivia was known as Upper Peru before.
Bolivia was called Upper Peru during the Spanish reign and became independent on the 6th of August after fighting for liberation for many years.
The Pollera Skirt worn by Bolivian women was a symbol of their repression.
One of the historical facts about Bolivia that you must know is that the traditional outfits of a Bolivian woman, which includes a long-pleated skirt, represent their repression under the Colonial authorities.
The skirt, which represents pride now, was forced upon them by the Spanish Colonial authorities.
Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire.
Bolivia was formerly the center of the ancient “Tiwanaku” empire. The country was part of the Inca empire from the 15th century till the early 16th century.
Cultural Facts About Bolivia
Carnaval de Oruro is a popular festival in Bolivia.
There are so many cultural facts about Bolivia. A well-known one is the Carnaval de Oruro, an indigenous festival that started way back in the 18th century. Recently the festival has been incorporated with the catholic rituals in service to the Virgin of Candelaria.
This fascinating celebration includes waking the sleeping residents and getting everyone into party mode. The festival features beautiful costumes, folk dances, and lots of partying and lively music.
The Quechua people have the largest population.
Bolivia has about 36 indigenous cultures; of all, the Quechua people have the highest population. The Quechuan people are inhabitants of the mountainous Andes and are primarily farmers.
The Bolivia flag colors has meaning.
One of the facts about Bolivia to know is that the flag is symbolic of its history. The color red on the flag symbolizes bloodshed during the fight for freedom. Yellow represents the country’s wealth and mineral deposits, while green means the amazing agriculture and landscape of the country.
Family is essential to Bolivia’s culture.
Another Bolivia fact is that it is traditional for many generations of families to live together in a single household. Men are the primary breadwinners, while women focus on the family and household chores.
Interesting Facts About Bolivia For Kids
Bolivia is extremely biodiverse.
40% of all the animal and plant life on earth is found in Bolivia. Numerous ecosystems thrive in Bolivia due to the climate and location in the tropics.
Bolivia is home to Madidi National Park, which contains 90 species of bat, 50 species of snake, 300 fish, and 12,000 plants. More than 17th percent of Bolivia’s land is designated as a protected area.
Bolivia is the highest South America country.
One of the facts about Bolivia you should know is that it’s the highest country and the most isolated country in South America. Moreover, Bolivia is also one of the only two interlocked countries in South America. The other being Paraguay.
There are butterfly sanctuaries in Bolivia.
If you are in for some adventure, you will love this Bolivia fact. Bolivia features one of the largest butterfly sanctuaries in the world. The butterfly paradise is huge, going for around 24 hectares and you can visit any day of the year. This beautiful sanctuary is home to more than 1000 species of butterflies.
The Bolivia Amazon has pink dolphins.
The Amazon basin in Bolivia is home to the Bolivian river dolphin. They were first discovered in 1832 and 2012. These dolphins are renowned for their pink color and even become pinker when excited.
Scientifically called the Inia Geoffrensis, these pink creatures are among the top five most intelligent freshwater species with a brain capacity 40% larger than the human brain.
Fun Facts About Bolivia For Travelers
Bolivia boast of the World’s Largest Salt Flats.
The largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, is one of Bolivia’s most popular destinations and among the world’s most fascinating places. It is about 10,582 km2, making it the world’s largest.
When the salt flat is covered with a thin layer of water, it becomes reflective making it the world’s largest natural mirror. This is where you get the iconic photos of the sky on land effect – beautiful cloudy skies reflected off the water’s surface.
You can only watch Cholita Wrestling in Bolivia.
One of the fun facts about Bolivia you will enjoy if you are an explorer is watching indigenous ladies wrestle. The sport is believed to provide victims of domestic violence community and relieve stress.
The match usually starts with a male attacking a female, and the Cholita always triumphs at the end, generally body-slamming her attacker. The Cholitas wear their hair in braids while rocking an iconic, puffy skirt. Catching the Cholitas Wrestle performance is a popular activity when you visit Bolivia.
Bolivia has the most dangerous road in the World.
If you are in for some adventure, you can cycle down the North Yungas Road, which connects La Paz Coroico. The road earned the nickname Death Road, and it has been estimated to kill 300 people in a year.
Treacherous mountain conditions, poor visibility, inadequate infrastructure, and absence of guardrails make the journey on this road deadly. However, this is now a popular guided bike tour.
Guinea pig is a delicacy in Bolivia.
One of the interesting facts about Bolivia is that the guinea pig, also known as Cuy, is eaten as traditional meat. It is a significant part of Bolivia’s diet, especially in the Andes highlands. Guinea pig is served fried, roasted, or broiled.
San Pedro Prison used to be a well-known landmark in Bolivia.
The El Penal de San Pedro (Saint Peter’s Prison) in La Paz is known for its walled society. The prison is home to 1,500 inmates, allowing them to live with their families.
Tourists were once allowed in the prison until the doors shut due to violence committed by inmates against visitors.
Other Interesting Facts About Bolivia
There is a salt palace in Bolivia.
This fun fact about Bolivia may come off as shocking, but there is an actual salt hotel that offers luxurious accommodations with salt in every element of the hotel. Unsurprisingly, it is known as the Palacio de Sal (Palace of Salt) and you will find it on the famous Salar de Uyuni’s coastlines.
The hotel features salt sculptures crafted by native artists as well as salt ceilings, walls, and furnishings.
Zebras help people cross in Bolivia.
One of the astounding facts about Bolivia is that there are zebras that help people, especially children, cross the road carefully in La Paz, and also teach them road safety. Well actually, these are people dressed as zebras. These are affectionately known as La Paz Cebritas and they began as more of a community project to help improve road safety and conditions.
Discovering More Interesting And Fun Facts About Bolivia
There are just some of the top fun facts about Bolivia. Whether you’re interested in the pink dolphins that live in the Amazon basin or the world’s largest salt flats, Bolivia is a fascinating country with plenty of interesting things to explore.
There are still so many facts to discover about Bolivia’s enchanting landscapes, traditions, and dynamic culture. The best way to discover them is by visiting yourself. Start planning your trip to the country to experience all these Bolivia facts and more firsthand.
Bolivia Facts Summary
- Bolivia has more than 30 languages.
- Bolivia has two Capitals.
- The World Largest Navigable Lake is located in Bolivia.
- The highest population of Bolivia is indigenous people.
- Bolivia has precious gems.
- One-Third of Bolivia are in the Andes Mountains
- Bolivia is named after Simon Bolivar, a prominent political leader.
- Bolivia was known as Upper Peru before.
- The Pollera Skirt worn by Bolivian women was a symbol of their repression.
- Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire.
- Carnaval de Oruro is a popular festival in Bolivia.
- The Quechua people have the largest population.
- The Bolivia flag colors has meaning.
- Family is essential to Bolivia’s culture.
- Bolivia is the highest South America country.
- Bolivia is extremely biodiverse.
- Guinea pig is a delicacy in Bolivia.
- There are butterfly sanctuaries in Bolivia.
- The Bolivia Amazon has pink dolphins.
- Bolivia boast of the World’s Largest Salt Flats.
- You can only watch Cholita Wrestling in Bolivia.
- Bolivia has the most dangerous road in the World.
- San Pedro Prison used to be a well-known landmark in Bolivia.
- There is a salt palace in Bolivia.
- Zebras help people cross in Bolivia.