Country Information Bolivien Trips

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If you are planning a trip to Bolivia you should be prepared to fly high: you will find the worldwide highest seat of government in La Paz; the Titicaca Lake which is the highest navigable lake as well as the highest salt lake in the world, Salar de Uyuni.

You can explore 6000m high peaks of the Andes covered with snow, the Altiplano highlands and tropical rainforests coupled with a diverse array of flora and fauna.

Over 40 national parks will lead your way through tropical and cloud forests, vast plains and highlands covered with snow where you can observe alpacas, chinchillas, lamas, parrots as well as jaguars, caimans and tapirs.

Culture lovers will also get their money worth: picturesque areas in colonial style, broad cultural offers like museums, galleries and theaters as well as the vitality and joie de vivre of the people are the highlights of the cities La Paz and Sucre.

In Potosí you will explore traces of the silver and tin booms that the city experienced in the 17th century. It turned the city into one of the largest, like Paris and Rome today.

You can also learn about the history of the indigenous people by visiting the traditional market in Tarabuco, the ruins of Tiahuanaco or by taking a look at the cave paintings of Incamachay.

 

1. La Paz

 

La Paz, where the seat of government is situated, is the largest city of the country and also the economic and cultural center. The capital of Bolivia is Sucre which is about 500km away from La Paz. You will notice the city’s particularity right after you arrive at the highest airport in the world (4000m).

The city is embedded in the valley of Río Chokeyapu. Small streets and alleys wind their way up to the hillsides creating differences in altitude of up to 1000m.

The Old Town around Plaza Murillo attracts lots of people with its impressive architecture of the buildings in colonial style. You can obtain traditional artworks of the natives on the famous Witches’ Market.

La Paz is not far from a great number of attractions like the Valley of the Moon with its bizarre rock formations, the picturesque city Coroico which you can reach over the Camino de la Muerte (road of death) or one of the high mountain peaks around the city.

 

2. Titicaca Lake

 

The Titicaca Lake is the highest navigable lake for commercial shipping worldwide. At the same time, it is the second largest lake of South America with 3800m of altitude which is about fifteen times bigger than Bodensee (Lake Constance).

You can find several traces of the native people on the islands of the lake, for instance on the Isla de Sol with the Inca Temple where ceremonies took place, the famous Inca Stairs or the Inca Fountain. The Urus have been keeping their tradition of their ancestors for centuries on floating islands of the lake. In the past, they settled on these islands in order to protect themselves against aggressive enemies like the Incas but even today they keep their tradition and refuse to move to the mainland.

Besides cultural attractions, you can admire fascinating animals like ibises, cormorans, herons and lots of other bird species. Even guinea pigs that are usually kept as pets as well as chinchillas, vicunas and pumas can be observed around the lake.

 

3. Salar de Uyuni

 

On the highlands of Altiplano you will discover a fascinating place: Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt lake in the world. The feeling that one gets just when looking at the clear blue sky and the white salty soil which resembles mosaic, cannot be put into words. The salt lake reminds of a frozen, beautifully grained lake which seems to extend endlessly. It contrasts with the sky which appears to be deep blue due to the altitude of over 3600m. The patterns on the lake’s surface change constantly because of the big differences in temperature ranging from pleasant day temperatures to bitterly cold night temperatures.

A similar phenomenon can be observed at the Lake Colorado, a small lake close to Salar de Uyuni. Depending on the time you visit the lake it glows in red, violet or purple tones. Geysiere, another lake near Salar de Uyuni, also offers you impressive spectacles like hot water up to 80°C shooting up several meters. You can start your day with a bath in the warm natural thermal pools thanks to the geysers in the mornings and discover the impressive flora and fauna of the region.

 

4. Potosí

 

When you are in Potosí you will be fascinated by all the splendid colonial constructions. They played once a very important role: in the 17th century Potosí was one of the greatest city worldwide, like Paris and Rome today, due to silver and tin that miners and lots of other people brought into the city. Even today Potosí is a mining city.

Historical constructions from the 17th century like Santa Teresa Monastery, the cathedral, Casa de la Moneda (mint) and old industrial constructions belong to the best preserved sites worldwide and are part of the UNESCO world heritage. You should not miss out on a visit to the miner market Mercado de los Mineros where you can buy extremely high percentage alcohol besides explosives. You can also visit one of the silver mines which are not far off.

 

5. Sucre

 

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia. It stands out for its historical center and the great number of white buildings which the city got its name from – Ciudad Blanca. For lots of people, this is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. All those historical buildings, places, churches and museums are waiting to be explored. In one of the small cafés or bars you can enjoy selected coffees while talking to native people. Not far from Sucre, you can even see traces of dinosaurs among others.

 

 

Location:

 

The presidential Republic of Bolivia is located in the west of South America, but not at the coast. It borders Argentina and Paraguay in the south and Brazil in the northeast. The western neighboring states are Peru and Chile.

 

 

 

Capital:

 

Officially still Sucre with a population of 200 000, but it changed to La Paz with a population of 1.4 million, being the seat of government.

 

 

 

National language:

 

Spanish, Quechua und Aymará

 

 

 

Important cities:

 

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cochabamba, Oruro, Potosí, Tarija

 

 

 

Climate:

 

The climate is very diverse due to its two big mountain chains of the Andes that are over 6500m high and extend across the country.

 

There is a chilly and dry climate with temperatures of 20C° in the central highlands, the Altiplano where 80% of the population live, while the hot tropical region is in the lowlands in the north.

 

The most recommendable travel period is the Bolivian winter from May to October, the period from June to the beginning of September is “fiesta time” in Bolivia.

 

 

 

Entry requirements for German citizens:

 

German citizens do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days as tourists. The entry permit for 90 days will be stamped in your passport after your arrival at the international airports Santa Cruz, La Paz and Cochabamba. When entering using the land route you will possibly be handed out a residence permit for only 30 days that can possibly be extended two times for another 30 days. These extensions are arranged very individually!

 

The passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months when entering.

 

 

 

Vaccinations/Health:

 

Compulsory vaccinations: Yellow Fever

 

Recommended vaccinations: standard vaccinations, hepatitis A, hepatitis B only for stays longer than 4 weeks, rabies and typhus.

 

Malaria: There is a risk of malaria only in certain regions: Rural areas lower than 2500m, the border regions to Brazil in the north, the Beni and Pando departments and the lower areas of La Paz Cochabamba and Tarija.

 

We recommend general protective measures and that you take medication for a malaria treatment with you.

 

 

 

IT’S YOUR TRIP does not assume any liability for the up-to-dateness and completeness of the climate information, as well as the health and entry requirements stated above.

 

Final binding information about entry requirements can only be obtained at the embassies and consulates of the respective countries, just as any information about health requirements can be obtained at the local public health departments.

 

Related links can be found under Useful Wepages at this page.

 

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