Bolivia Travel Guide

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bolivia altiplano

If you’re traveling to South America, one of the most beautiful and impressive countries that you should visit is Bolivia, being a more than interesting destination through its amazing icebound peaks, dashing landscapes, vast rainforests and savannahs, not to mention its dramatic cultural diversity. This gorgeous place is amazing not only for its geographical beauty, but also for being the most indigenous country on the continent, as almost two thirds of its population belong to Native American ancestry. A democratic republic, Bolivia is situated in South America, has the official capital at Sucre (while La Paz is the administrative and governmental capital) and is bordered by Peru to the northwest, Brazil to the northeast, Paraguay and Argentina to the south and Chile to the southwest. It has a population of 10.4 million people and spreads on a 1,098,580 square km surface. The primary language spoken in Bolivia is Spanish (being a Spanish colony for three centuries) which is also known as Castellano, but Quechua and Aymara are also official languages. More than 30 other languages are spoken in different areas of the country and also worth noting is that, in rural areas, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that Spanish isn’t spoken.

sucre

What to see, what to do in Bolivia

Once you’re here, you should start with visiting La Paz, a city known for being a cultural cradle, holding a population of 835,000 which combine indigenous and European cultures. The main tourist attractions here are the city’s churches, museums, colonial palaces and, why not, the street life, which is full of energy.
Some other cities worth visiting are Sucre, which is also called “the white city” for its white buildings and holds some majestic monasteries, churches and mansions. Visit the ancient Tiahuanaco for its temples and museum, Potosí for its mines and churches, Santa Cruz for admiring its surrounding natural beauties or Cochabamba for its friendly inhabitants and vibrant markets.

Tiahuanaco

The Amazon jungle trips are also a treat for the adventurous ones who desire to explore its wilderness. The large and impressive Lake Titicaca is also a must-see, along with Laguna Colorada, a salt lake which amazes with the red colors of its water, Laguna Verde, another salt lake with green waters and an amazing scenery.

View from Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

View from Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

If you’re not a couch potato, you may also be interested in trekking through the Inca trails, climbing or biking through Cordillera Real, the latter being tempting for those of you who like to boost their adrenaline, as here is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, suggestively called the “Death road” by tourists.

cordillera

Food and Drinks in Bolivia

Probably one of the most important things that I like to be informed about when traveling is food. Bolivia’s cuisine is pretty varied across its regions and you’ll surely settle with a lot of its local specialties. If you usually enjoy meat and potatoes, you’ll probably feel right at home here. Carbohydrates are present everywhere, especially in the Aymara cuisine, which consists in potatoes, rice and quinoa with meat. Regarding the latter, beef is the most common around here, followed by mutton, llama, chicken and pork. In rural areas, you’ll be able to eat rabbits and guinea pigs – I guess that not everybody takes these cute fellows as pets.
Some popular Bolivian dishes are Pique a lo macho – grilled, spicy meat with onions, tomatoes and potatoes, Choripan – sausage sandwich with sauce and onion, Cunape – cheese roll, Saltenas – pastries with vegetables, meat, sauce and olives, Picante de pollo – fried chicken and potatoes with rice, salad and hot peppers and much more.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’re covered, but won’t be having a lot of choices in local areas; still, rest assured, as there are plenty of places to get proper vegetarian food at the restaurants or market places from the big cities.
Among popular drinks, you’ll come across Mate, a tea made from coca leaves, Licuado – milk or water mixed with the fruits of your choice and sugar, Api – a corn based drink, Singani – grape liquor used in cocktails. Oh, and of course, beer. Beer is very popular around here and there is a whole variety of this drink, counting Paceña, which is made in La Paz, Potosina – Potosi, Ducal – Santa Cruz, Taquina – Cochabamba and more.

cuisine

International calling to Bolivia

You will save money on International calls to Bolivia with 011Now. This service can be used from any phone. There is a smartphone app for Android phones and iPhones.

Visa Requirements

To visit Bolivia, you’ll definitely require a valid passport and depending upon your country of origin, even a Visa. But rest assured, Visa’s are relatively easy to get, hence you should contact your local embassy, just to make sure. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re from Australia, Great Britain, Canada and most EU countries (except for Malta, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus), a Visa is not required for touristic purposes.

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