General Information

Bolivian Flag

Bolivia has a population of 9,827,522 inhabitants, from wich 60% are under 25 years old.

The capital of Bolivia is Sucre city (621,383 habitants) and the government site is La Paz (2,715,016 habitants) which is the highest capital city of the world.

Politically, the country is divided into 9 regions: Beni (430,049 inhabitants), Cochabamba (1,747,906 inhabitants), Chuquisaca, La Paz, Oruro (444,093 inhabitants), Pando (75,335 inhabitants), Potosi (780,392 inhabitants), Tarija (496,988 inhabitants) and Santa Cruz (2,546,881 inhabitants); 112 provinces, 314 sectors, and 1,384 districts.

The official time in Bolivia is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4). Bolivia does not follow daylight savings time in order to save energy, therefore, there is no summer and winter schedule. The time is the same year round and does not vary from one geographic region to another.

Bolivia has various types of climates and more than 13 different types of geography - making it one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.

The official language in Bolivia is Spanish, but Aymara, Quechua and Guarani are also spoken. In addition to this, there are different linguistic groups throughout the various regions of Bolivia. The aborigines that inhabit Bolivian territory have different physical characteristics and other defining traits such as language structure that have traditionally classified them into three groups: Andino, Tupi Guarani, and Araguaco or Arawacan.

Although the official religion is Roman Catholic, and the majority of the population claims to be Catholic, freedom of religion is accepted in Bolivia. Ties with the Catholic Church have remained strong through agreements and pacts between Bolivia and the Vatican.

The Independence Day of Bolivia is August 6 of 1825.

Geography

Bolivia Geography Map

Bolivia has a territory of 1,098,581 Km2.

Bolivia's geography has as components El Altiplano (the high plains) with mountain ranges between 3000 and 6000 meters above sea level, valleys between 1500 and 3000 meters above sea level and tropical areas at around 200 meters above sea level. Two thirds of the Bolivian territory are tropical areas and more than three quarters are fertile lands for agriculture.

Holidays

Although there are other holidays, the official holidays, when banks and offices are closed, are:

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • Varies (February-March) - Carnival
  • Varies (March-April) - Semana Santa (Holy Week)
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • June 14 - Corpus Christi
  • August 6 - Father's Day
  • October 12 - Columbus Day
  • November 2 - Todos los Santos (All Saint's Day)
  • December 25 - Christmas

Currency

The Bolivian currency is the Boliviano, and its symbol is Bs. Bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 bolivianos; in coins of 1, 2 and 5 bolivianos, and in 10, 20, and 50 bolivian cents.

There are banks and exchange booths within the airport where you can exchange your currency for bolivianos.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are found in Bolivia's main cities.

The most widely accepted credit cards in Bolivia are American Express, Visa, and Master Card.

Foreign currencies, in cash and travelers checks, can be exchanged in banks, "casas de cambio" (exchange booths or stores) and hotels.

The majority of transactions that take place are with American dollars and Euros, although in some places transactions are also done with less common foreign currency.

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