Bolivia Facts

Interesting Bolivia Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Bolivia facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Bolivia for Kids

Bolivia flag
  • Population: roughly 11.6 million people live in Bolivia (2020)
  • Capital: Bolivia has two capitals, La Paz and Sucre. La Paz is the administrative capital with the seat of government and Sucre is the capital as described in the Bolivian constitution. La Paz has a population of about 1.8 million people. Sucre has about 300000 inhabitants.
  • Name: Plurinational State of Bolivia; in short: Bolivia
  • Government: Democracy; Presidential Republic
Bolivia Coat of ArmsCoat of Arms
  • Official Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani. 
  • Literacy: 95% of all over 15 years can read and write
  • Religion: mainly Christians (Roman Catholics 77%)
  • Currency: 1 Bolivian 'boliviano' = 100 centavos/cents
  • National Anthem: "Bolivianos, el Hado Propicio" (in English: "Bolivians, a most favorable destiny")
  • National Symbols: Llama, Andean Condor
  • National Colours: Red, yellow, green
  • National Day: 6 August (Independence Day)
  • History:  Before the Spanish started colonising the region, the area around today's Bolivia belonged to the Inca Empire. The conquistadores from Spain took control of the region in the 16th century. Bolivia gained independence (from Spain) in 1825. 

 Bolivia Map | Where is Bolivia?

Bolivia is a country on the South American continent.

Bolivia Map

Bolivia is located to the southwest of Brazil and shares borders not only with Brazil, but also with Argentina, Paraguay, Chile and Peru. The longest border is shared with Brazil though.

Bolivia is less than three times the size of the state of Montana/USA. A flight to La Paz takes about 17 hours from London, and about 12.5 hours from New York. 

Bolivia Facts | Bolivia Geography

Bolivia is a landlocked country. This means the country does not share any border with an ocean.

Bolivia, however, claims part of Lake Titicaca, which is the world's highest navigable lake at 3805 m/ 12483 ft. There are regular border disputes over access to Lake Titicaca with Peru, which also claims territory.

Bolivia Lake Titicaca with Isla del SolLake Titicaca and Isla del Sol

The country has many different landscapes. There are the highlands with rough and icy mountainous areas and even volcanoes and then there are dense rainforests in the Amazon basin.

Thus the climate is also very diverse. Western Bolivia is generally colder due its high altitude - similar to the Andes highlands. The mean elevation is 1192 m/ 3910 ft.

The highest point in Bolivia is the Nevado Sajama with 6542 m/ 21463 ft. 

Yungas Valley in eastern Bolivia

The eastern side of Bolivia is warmer, and it can get very hot in the plains and humid in the rainforest region of the Amazon basin.

The biggest cities in Bolivia are Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Cochabamba and the (administrative) capital city La Paz.

La Paz - one of the two capital cities of Bolivia

Did you know that La Paz is the highest city in the world at 3650 m/ 11975 ft?

There are several active volcanos in the Andes Mountains on the border with Chile. The last volcanic eruption was in 1995 at the Irruputuncu volcano.

Bolivia Facts | Attractions

  • La Paz: Bolivia's largest city has a scenic location in the Andes mountains and offers many attractions such as the Old Town and Murillo Square. Make sure to take a ride on the world's highest urban cable car that connects La Paz with El Alto or visit the famous Witches' Market.
Place Murillo in La Paz
  • Sucre: The beautiful historic city is the official national capital. Here the independence from Spain was proclaimed. 
  • Salar de Uyuni: The world's highest flat salt pan is located at 3656 m/ 11995 ft.
Pink flamingoes in Bolivia's Salar de UyuniPink flamingoes in Bolivia
  • Santa Cruz: The most important business centre in the country and second largest city of Bolivia has many cultural attractions such as churches, museums and art galleries. 
  • Lake Titicaca: Visit the 'Isla del Sol' ('Sun Island' in English) for exploring ruins, amazing views and great hikes. Isla del Sol is the biggest island in the lake.
  • Amboro National Park: This national park in central Bolivia is famous for its wildlife. 
Bolivia Amboro National ParkBolivia Amboro National Park

Bolivia Facts | Bolivian People

Most of the Bolivians (70%) live in urban areas. Bolivia is home to the largest indigenous population in Latin America followed by Guatemala and Peru.

There are also 36 indigenous languages recognised in Bolivia but the four languages Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Guarani are the most used official languages.

Bolivian watching over a herd of alpacas

Bolivia has the highest inequality of all Latin American countries. There are some very rich people while the majority of the country is extremely poor. The educational standards are said to be very low especially in rural areas.

Half of all Bolivians are very poor. Most of the Bolivians are 'mestizo' which means they are of mixed race with indigenous white ancestors. 

Bolivian woman with baby

Some Bolivians have moved to Argentina and Brazil, some even as far away as to the USA and Spain. In recent years many people flee poverty to seek better chances in life.

Many Bolivians work either in the service sector of the cities, in the mines or in the agricultural sector. Bolivia produces many agricultural products, such as soybeans, quinoa, Brazil nuts, sugarcane, coffee and corn. 

There is compulsory military service for all Bolivian citizens. Boys and girls have to join the military for a one-year-training when they turn 18 years of age. But some boys join the army already when they are only 14 years old.

The sports that are the most popular in Bolivia are soccer (called fútbol), tennis, swimming, horse riding and cycling. Soccer is the most popular sports activity.

Bolivia Facts | Animals in Bolivia

The national animals of Bolivia are the Andean condor and the llama.

Llamas grow up to 1.8 m/ 5.8 ft tall. They weigh up to 200 kg/ 440 lbs and grow around 20 years old. Llamas live in herds and have a dense wooly coat. Below see a llama on the Altiplano, the Bolivian highlands. 

Llama in the Bolivian Highlands

Sometimes people mistake alpacas for llamas. This is how you can distinguish between a llama and an alpaca:

Llamas are much bigger and heavier than alpacas. They have long curved ears which are often referred to as banana-shaped and they have a straight back. Llamas are often kept as guard animals and for packing and carrying loads.

A llama has a very coarse outer coat but the wool is not as fine and silky as the alpaca's wool. Alpacas have more hair in the face and on the top of the head. Below see an alpaca with baby.

Alpaca with baby - see the tuffs of hair on their heads and the short ears, typical for alpacas!

In Bolivia, there are jaguars, pumas, capybaras, chinchillas and the Andean flamingoes. Did you know that the Andean flamingo is one of the rarest flamingo species in the world?

Andean Flamingo in Bolivia

Bolivia Facts | Bolivian Food

Typical Bolivian food consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, meat such as beef, pork and chicken is also part of the traditional dishes. 

Bolivian woman selling fruit at the marketAt a Bolivian market

These are some typical Bolivian snacks and dishes:

  • Choclocorn on the cob
  • Sopa de Mani: soup made with creamed peanuts, vegetables and pasta
  • Saltenas: traditional Bolivian savoury pastries usually filled with meaty stew but often also containing eggs, olives or even raisins
Bolivian saltenas are a popular snack
  • Asadofood prepared on a grill or over open fire as part of a barbecue (BBQ) as is popular in Argentina
  • Fried Fish: Especially fried trout and kingfish is popular in the region around Lake Titicaca.
Fried trout dish in Bolivia
  • Fried Yuca: typical side dish similar to potato chips, but made with fried cassava (yucca or yuca) sticks.

Resources for Bolivia Facts

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Bolivia." CIA WorldFactBook. Last updated 28 April 2020. Last accessed 12 May 2020
  • Charis Barks. "10.000 Facts about Beautiful Bolivia." Boliviabella. First accessed on 18 September 2017. Last accessed 12 May 2020
  • "Mi Teleferico: La Paz’s Cable Car System." LaPazLife. Last accessed 12 May 2020
  • "Explore Bolivia - Destinations." Bolivian Life. Last accessed 12 May 2020
  • Don Quijote. " Bolivian Culture." Ideal Education Groupe. First accessed on 18 September 2017. Last accessed 12 May 2020
  • Maria Amparo Cruz-Saco. "Indigenous communities and social inclusion in Latin America." United Nations. 16 May 2018. Last accessed 12 May 2020.
  • The Children’s Visual World Atlas (2004). "Bolivia." Sydney: Fog City Press
  • Earth Condensed (2010). "The World Atlas." Elanora Heights: Millennium House

Image Credits on Bolivia Facts page: Shutterstock.com and own images.

Many Thanks to a wonderful Grade 4 student from the Montessori Education Centre in Alexandria/USA for his input on this Bolivia Facts page! Your help is much appreciated!

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