Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon Bolivar, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825. Much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s. However, leaders have faced difficult problems. For example deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.
The current President is Evo Morales who won majority in a 2005 election and inaugurated at the historical Tiwanaku archaeological site. Morales and his party, the Movement for Socialism, were re-elected in 2009, with another majority. There are often large protests in Bolivia considering issues like environmental protection, logging, hydrocarbon extraction, mining, and so on. These protests often cause the shutdown of streets in La Paz and creation of blockades along major inter-city travel routes. If travelling between cities by bus it can be common to be stalled by several hours due to these protests.
Bolivia’s climate varies drastically with altitude and from one climatic zone to another. It ranges from humid and tropical to cold and semiarid. In most parts of the country winters are dry and summers are somewhat wet. Despite its tropical latitude, the altitude of cities like La Paz keeps things cool. Warm clothing is advised year-round. The summer months in Bolivia are November through March. The weather is typically warmer and wetter during these months. April through October, the winter months, are typically colder and drier.
Time & Date: GMT -4
The boliviano is the currency of Bolivia. It is divided into 100 cents or centavos in Spanish. Boliviano was also the name of the currency of Bolivia between 1864 and 1963.
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.
Citizens (ordinary passport holders) of specific countries and territories are eligible to visit Bolivia for tourism or business purposes without having to obtain a visa.
There are 3 groups of countries, countries whose citizens do not require a visa (Group 1), countries whose citizens must obtain a visa prior to entry for free, or upon arrival for a fee (Group 2), and countries whose citizens must obtain visa in advance with special authorization (Group 3).
El Alto International Airport
Alcantari International Airport
Puerto Suárez International Airport
Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
Population: 10.89 million
Official languages: Castilian (Spanish) and, Aymara, Araona, Baure, , Canichana (extinct), Cavineño, Cayubaba (extinct), Chácobo, Chimán, Ese Ejja, Guaraní, Guarasu’we (extinct), Guarayu, Itonama, Leco, Machajuyai-Kallawaya, Machineri, Maropa, Mojeño-Ignaciano, Mojeño-Trinitario, Moré, Mosetén, Movima, Pacawara, Puquina (extinct 18th century), Quechua, Sirionó, Tacana, Tapieté, Toromona, Uru-Chipaya (not a single language; only Chipaya is still spoken), Weenhayek, Yaminawa, Yuki, Yuracaré and Zamuco.