Bolivia Travel Guide
Encased within four of South America's countries, landlocked Bolivia is bordered by Peru to the northwest, Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, and Chile to the west. Once one of the region's wealthiest states - due to it's abundance of mineral riches - Bolivia is now the poorest. The most notable topographical feature of Bolivia is the great Altiplano. The Altiplano is a mostly barren high plateau approximately 4000m (13,000ft) above sea level situated between two Andean mountain ranges. Inhabited for millennia, the Altiplano supports 70% of the population, which is no mean feat considering it only represents 10% of the country's area. Bolivia's other two major geographical areas consist of a fertile valley situated 1800m (5900ft) to 2700m (8850ft) above sea level and the lowland tropics, which make up 70% of the land and extend down to the frontiers with Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Hot and humid, Bolivia's climate is tropical with a high rainfall.
Bolivia's capital city and the seat of national government is La Paz. La Paz also boasts to being the world's highest capital city, situated at 3632m (11,910ft) above sea level. With it's own micro-climate, La Paz has plenty to see and do, with an abundance of museums and interesting places to visit including the Presidential Palace, the intricate 19th century cathedral and a scattering of beautiful churches. Lake Titicaca and the Yungas Valleys, the Chacaltaya ski resort and the extraordinary rock formations of the Moon Valley are a short trip away from this major Bolivian city. Other places of interest include Cochabamba, also known as the garden city, rich in local crafts, tradition and folklore and Santa Cruz, Bolivia's fastest growing city with it's strong colonial atmosphere and ethnic diversity. The nearby rainforests offer plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and swimming and there are plenty of cultural pursuits too. Known as the imperial city, Potosí, situated at the foot of Rich Mountain used to be the most important and populous city on the continent during early colonial times. Nowadays, it stands as Bolivia's greatest memorial to it's complex and fascinating past. From the states of Beni and Pando, deep in the Bolivian Jungle to the beautiful flowers, fine wines and peace and quiet of Tarija, Bolivia is varied, complex and enjoys a rich and fascinating history.
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