Country - Bolivia

Bolivia

Bolivia Country Information

Bolivia is a country in the continent of South America. The capital city is La Paz and the main official language is Spanish and several other native languages out of which most commonly spoken are Guarani, Aymara and Quechua. The financial hub of the country and the largest city is Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Bolivia is a developing economy with a human development index at a medium range of 0.675. Its exports are mainly dominated by natural gas and zinc. In the recent decades, the drastic collapse in the price of tin also affected the economy of Bolivia since the country had been a large source of the ore, cassiterite. Bolivia survived, by macro-economic measures, the harshest devastation due to monstrous inflation since 1970s till the middle of 1990s. Presently, Bolivia is relying on natural gas, soya beans and soy products, crude petroleum, zinc ore and tin. In spite of re-emergence of world tin market, the low cost alluvial tin produced by south east African countries has made the competition even stiffer for Bolivia.

The country is reported to possess the largest mineral deposits of lithium which is in high demand for manufacture of lithium batteries. Bolivia is contemplating to give restricted permission for mining lithium ore keeping in view the attendant topographical damage to the flat landscapes that form an integral part of international tourism.

Bolivia is a landlocked country with no seashore or coastline. The north and a major part of eastern border are shared by Brazil. The western frontiers are bordered by Peru and Chile and the southern border is shared by Argentina and Paraguay. The rivers and lakes within the country make for the missing seaside life for people, in addition to catering to the agricultural purposes.

La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, is one of the geographically highest places in the world which is normally the starting point for exploring other tourist destinations in the country. The El Alto International Airport of La Paz is at a height of 4 kilo metres from the sea level. Bolivia, being a land of undulating terrains, is different from other tourist-oriented nations. The country is good for adventurous sports like trekking, hiking, water-rafting. A trip by cruise in the Lake Titicaca is a chance to view rare sight of the floating islands of Uros. Copacabana is the most visited town by the Lake Titicaca on account of the large 16th century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady Copacabana.

Bolivia has the most admirable reputation of being probably the unique nation which has officially given equal rights to wild life as humans. The legislation has been named as “the Law of the Rights of the Mother Earth”. The people’s determination to protect the ecosystem and wild life is worth a big shower of accolades. The noble motive of the government has yielded good results in nurturing more than three thousand medicinal plants and an incredible 4000 varieties of potatoes. Pink-tinged flamingos swooping down and strolling fearlessly in the shallow blue lake waters is an eye pleasing sight.

Bad lands of Tupiza can draw you into hallucination being on a different plane altogether. Valle de los Machos at Tupiza is plenty of vertical pillar like natural rock-group formations and the thorny shrubs of cactus related plants in desert fields. The valley of the moon is not really a valley but a labyrinth of canyons replete with long vertical spires of clay and sandstone. More surprisingly, a man-built bridge walk among the spires gives it a modern touch in a seemingly alien world. The public transportation system by cable cars in La Paz is meant for both locals as well as international tourists at incredibly cheaper rates.

The most astonishing sight can be found at Sucre where the foot prints of dinosaurs that roamed millions of years ago; your surprise will be doubled when you get to see their tread-marks on acclivities. The sudden question that shoots up from the mind is how the dinosaurs could climb up the hill. In fact, they didn’t. The readjustment of tectonic plates over a period of many epochs is the reason for the enigmatic scene.

There is a small peaceful hamlet of Samaipata which can be reached after a three hour drive from Santa Cruz. The Amboro National Park is situated between the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. The place near the park is famous for big bushes of giant fern plants which reach strange heights of 13 feet blocking your sky view when you stand near them. You can only see the backdrop of azure sky through the gaps left by the dense fronds of tall ferns.

Bolivia is not a place without a UNESCO heritage site. The ancient pyramid at Tiwanaku bears an attractive feature in that the impressive gateway with its geometrical dimensions among the disorderly curved rocks. The gate of the sun, as more specifically called, is said to be not in its original place but it still catches the sight of curious visitor by virtue of the epoch-old style of construction. The remains of civilization that withstood the wrath of time manage to grab the attention of tourists even today.

A trip to Bolivia is considered incomplete without visiting salt flats, a special feature exclusive to the country.  The name salt flats may initially sound lifeless and boring, but when you begin to roam in open-top jeeps to wander the plains of salt flats you get to notice the real wonders of nature. Salt flats attain the form of a clean giant mirror after a rain-wash. The rock tree is a nature-made construction of a vertical stone (like an inverted cone) with a flat roof standing alone in the wide openness of the vast land. There are a few pairs of railway tracks and train wagons abandoned for decades amid the desert land which remind us the scenes of cowboy Hollywood movies. The hot water geysers spew out spiralling thick giant puffs of steam seeming to compete with smokes of small volcanoes. The Uyuni Salt flat is regarded as one of the tourist gems of the Andes. An age-old rock edifice standing in solitude in the vast open desert is used as a Dakar Rally signpost for motorbikes, cars, buggies, quads and trucks throng to participate in high octane speed races.

After a first comprehensive trip to Bolivia, you return with a feeling that Bolivia is one of the most underrated international tourist destinations in the world.