Bolivia

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Additional Information
Capital Sucre
Currency
Timezone America/Bogota
Total States 9
Airport City Apolo Airport , Ascension Airport, Bermejo Airport, Camiri Airport, Capitan G Q Guardia Airport
Ruling Type Government
Offical Languages Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní, Uru
National Animal LLAMA
Food Salteña, Silpancho, Pique macho
Seasons Autumn  : Mar - Jun
Summer : Dec - Mar
Winter     : Jun - Sep
Sprint      : Sep - Dec


Destination



1 ) El Alto
Popular - Cold Climate     Location - El Alto, -La Paz, -Bolivia

El Alto is the second-largest city in Bolivia, located adjacent to La Paz in Pedro Domingo Murillo Province on the Altiplano highlands. El Alto is today one of Bolivia's fastest-growing urban centers, with a population of 974,754 in 2011. El Alto is the highest major metropolis in the world, with an average elevation of 4,150 m (13,615 ft).[The El Alto-La Paz metropolitan area, formed by the cities of El Alto, La Paz, and Viacha, constitutes the most populous urban area of Bolivia, with a population of 2.3 million inhabitants (greater than the metropolitan area of the country's largest city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra).

The dry and inclement plain above La Paz was uninhabited until 1903 when the newly built railways from Lake Titicaca and Arica reached the rim of the canyon, where the La Paz terminus, railyards and depots were built along with a settlement of railway workers (a spur line down into the canyon opened in 1905). In 1925, the airfield was built as base for the new air force, which attracted additional settlement. In 1939, El Alto's first elementary school opened. El Alto started to grow tremendously in the 1950s when the settlement was connected to La Paz's water supply (before this, all water had to be transported from La Paz in tanker vehicles) and building land in the canyon became more and more scarce and expensive. In an administrative reform in March 1985, the district of El Alto and surroundings was politically separated from the City of La Paz (this date is officially referred to and celebrated as the city's "founding day"). In 1987, El Alto was formally incorporated as a city. In 1994, the city became the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Alto.


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2 ) La Paz
Popular - Night Life     Location - La Paz, -La Paz, -Bolivia

La Paz,  is the seat of government and the de facto national capital of the Plurinational State of Bolivia (the constitutional capital of Bolivia is Sucre). With an estimated 789,541 residents as of 2015, La Paz is the third-most populous city in Bolivia (after Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto). Its metropolitan area, which is formed by La Paz, El Alto and Viacha, makes up the most populous urban area in Bolivia, with a population of 2.3 million. It is also the capital of the La Paz Department.

The city, located in west-central Bolivia 68 km (42 mi) southeast of Lake Titicaca, is set in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River. It is located in a bowl-like depression surrounded by the high mountains of the Altiplano. Overlooking the city is the towering, triple-peaked Illimani. Its peaks are always snow covered and can be seen from many parts of the city. At an elevation of roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. Due to its altitude, La Paz has an unusual subtropical highland climate, with rainy summers and dry winters.

La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548 by the Spanish conquistador Captain Alonso de Mendoza at the site of the Inca settlement of Laja as a connecting point between the commercial routes that led from Potosí and Oruro to Lima; the full name of the city was originally Nuestra Señora de La Paz (meaning Our Lady of Peace) in commemoration of the restoration of peace following the insurrection of Gonzalo Pizarro and fellow conquistadors against the first viceroy of Peru. The city was later moved to its present location in the valley of Chuquiago Marka. La Paz was under Spanish colonial rule as part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, before Bolivia gained independence. Since its founding, the city was the site of numerous revolts. In 1781, the indigenous leader and independence activist Túpac Katari laid siege to the city for a total of six months, but was finally defeated. On July 16, 1809 the Bolivian patriot Pedro Domingo Murillo ignited a revolution for independence, marking the beginning of the Spanish American Wars of Independence, which gained the freedom of South American states in 1821


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3 ) Santa Cruz De La Sierra
Popular - Museum & Galleries     Location - Santa Cruz De La Sierra, -Santa Cruz, -Bolivia

Santa Cruz de la Sierra   commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the largest city in Bolivia and the capital of the Santa Cruz department. Situated on the Pirai River in the eastern Tropical Lowlands of Bolivia, the city of Santa Cruz and its metropolitan area are home to over 70% of the population of the department and it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world  The city was first founded in 1561 by Spanish explorer Ñuflo de Chavez about 200 km (124 mi) east of its current location, and was moved several times until it was finally established on the Pirai River in the late 16th century. For much of its history, Santa Cruz was mostly a small outpost town, and even after Bolivia gained its independence in 1825 there was little attention from the authorities or the population in general to settle the region. It was not until after the middle of the 20th century with profound agrarian and land reforms that the city began to grow at a very fast pace.

The city is Bolivia's most populous, produces nearly 35% of Bolivia's gross domestic product, and receives over 40% of all foreign direct investment in the country. This has helped make Santa Cruz the most important business center in Bolivia and the preferred destination of migrants from all over the country.

Like much of the history of the people of the region, the history of the area before the arrival of European explorers is not well documented, mostly because of the somewhat nomadic nature and the absence of a written language in the culture of the local tribes. However, recent data suggests that the current location of the city of Santa Cruz was inhabited by an Arawak tribe that later came to be known by the Spanish as Chané. Remains of ceramics and weapons have been found in the area, leading researchers to believe they had established settlements in the area. Among the few known facts of these tribes, according to accounts of the first Spanish explorers that came into contact with the Chané, are that they had a formal leader, a cacique, called Grigota for several years but his reign came to an end after one of the several Guarani (Chirigano) incursions in the area.


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4 ) Potosi
Popular - Capital City     Location - Potosi, -Potosi, -Bolivia

Potosí is the capital city and a municipality of the Department of Potosí in Bolivia. It is one of the highest cities in the world at a nominal 4,090 metres (13,420 ft). For centuries, it was the location of the Spanish colonial mint.

Potosí lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí —sometimes referred to as the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain")— a mountain popularly conceived of as being "made of" silver  ore that dominates the city. The Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosí's historical importance since it was the major supply of silver for Spanish Empire until Guanajuato in Mexico surpassed it in the 18th century.

The silver was taken by llama and mule train to the Pacific coast, shipped north to Panama City, and carried by mule train across the isthmus of Panama to Nombre de Dios or Portobelo, whence it was taken to Spain on the Spanish treasure fleets. Some of the silver also made its way east to Buenos Aires, via the Rio de la Plata.

Cerro de Potosí's peak is 4,824 metres (15,827 ft) above sea level.

 


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5 ) Sucre
Popular - Beach     Location - Sucre, -Chuquisaca, -Bolivia

Sucre  is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, the capital of the Chuquisaca Department and the 6th most populated city in Bolivia. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2,810 meters (9,214 feet). This relatively high altitude gives the city an oceanic climate with cool temperates year-round.

Its pre-Columbian name was Chuquisaca, During the Spanish Empire it was called La Plata.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the city of Chuquisaca had its own autonomy with respect to the Inca Empire (the Charcas were the only people that did not pay the ransom for the Inca captive).

On November 30, 1538, Sucre was founded under the name Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo (City of Silver of New Toledo) by Pedro Anzures, Marqués de Campo Redondo. In 1559, the Spanish King Philip II established the Audiencia de Charcas in La Plata with authority over an area which covers what is now Paraguay, southeastern Peru, Northern Chile and Argentina, and much of Bolivia. The Audiencia de Charcas was a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1776, when it was transferred to the newly created Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. In 1601 the Recoleta Monastery was founded by the Franciscans and in 1609 an archbishopric was founded in the city. In 1624 St Francis Xavier University of Chuquisaca was founded.


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6 ) Cochabamba
Popular - Garden City     Location - Cochabamba, -Cochabamba, -Bolivia

Cochabamba (Aymara: Quchapampa; Quechua: Quchapanpa) is a city and municipality in central Bolivia in a valley in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and the fourth largest city in Bolivia, with a population of 630,587 according to the 2012 Bolivian census. ts name is from a compound of the Quechua words qucha "lake" and pampa, "open plain."[Residents of the city and the surrounding areas are commonly referred to as cochalas or, more formally, cochabambinos.

It is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" or "The Garden City" because of its spring-like temperatures all year round. It is also known as "La Llajta," which means "town" in Quechua.

The Cochabamba valley has been inhabited for thousands of years due to its fertile productive soils and mild climate. Archaeological evidence suggests that the initial inhabitants were of indigenous ethnic groups: Tiwanaku, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Inca inhabited the valley at times before the Spanish arrived.

The area got its name, from Quechua Kochaj-pampa, as part of the Inca civilization. The area was conquered by Topa Inca Yupanqui (ruled 1471-1493). His son Huayna Capac turned Cochabamba into a large production enclave or state farm to serve the Incas. Possibly depopulated during the conquest, Huayna Capac imported 14,000 people, called mitimas, to work the land. The principal crop was maize which could not be grown in much of the high and cold heartland of the Inca Empire. The maize was stored in 2,400 storehouses (qollqas) in the hills overlooking the valley or transported by llama caravan to storage sites in Paria, Cusco, of other Inca administrative centers. Most of the maize was probably used to sustain the Inca army during its campaigns.


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7 ) Oruro
Popular - Culture     Location - Oruro, -Oruro, -Bolivia

Oruro (Hispanicized spelling) or Uru Uru is a city in Bolivia with a population of 264,683 (2012 calculation), about halfway between La Paz and Sucre in the Altiplano, approximately 3,709 meters (12,169 ft) above sea level.

It is Bolivia's fifth-largest city by population, after Santa Cruz de la Sierra, El Alto, La Paz, and Cochabamba. It is the capital of the department of Oruro and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oruro. Oruro has been subject to cycles of boom and bust owing to its dependence on the mining industry, notably tin, tungsten (wolfram), silver and copper.

The city was founded on November 1, 1606, by Don Manuel Castro de Padilla. as a silver-mining center in the Urus region. At the time it was named Real Villa de San Felipe de Austria, after the Spanish monarch Philip III. It thrived for a while, but it was eventually abandoned as the silver mines became exhausted.

Oruro was reestablished by European Bolivians in the late nineteenth century as a tin mining center.  It was named after the native tribe Uru-Uru. For a time, the La Salvadora tin mine was the most important source of tin in the world. Gradually, as this resource became less plentiful, Oruro again went into a decline. Its economy is still based on the mining industry.


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8 ) Tarija
Popular - Wines     Location - Tarija, -Tarija, -Bolivia

Tarija or San Bernardo de la Frontera de Tarixa is a city in southern Bolivia. Founded in 1574, Tarija is the largest city & capital and municipality within the Tarija Department, with an airport (Capitán Oriel Lea Plaza Airport, (TJA)) offering regular service to primary Bolivian cities, as well as a regional bus terminal with domestic and international connections. Its climate is semi-arid (BSh) with generally mild temperatures in contrast to the harsh cold of the Altiplano (i.e., La Paz) and the year-round humid heat of the Amazon Basin (i.e., Santa Cruz de la Sierra). Tarija has a population of 234,442.The name of Tarija is said to come from Francisco de Tarija or Tarifa. However, researched information disproves that probability.  Members of the first group of Spaniards to enter the valley where present-day Tarija is situated, stated that the name of Tarija was already in use. This group did not include anyone by the name of Francisco de Tarija. Similar-sounding toponyms exist for surrounding places, such as Tariquia and Taxara. In 1826 the citizens of Tarija voted to become part of Bolivia. In 1807, Tarija had become separated from Upper Peru to become part of the jurisdiction of Salta (part of Argentina), but because of its close ties to what became Bolivia, it returned to its original jurisdiction.In 1899, Argentina renounced its claims in exchange for the Puna de Atacama.

The valley that Tarija is situated in was first occupied by Western Hemispheric indigenous groups, such as the Churumatas and the Tomatas. Subsequently, the Inca Empire – administered by the Quechua civilization – conquered the land and dispersed the Churumatas and other local groups over wide territories of the Andes. Mitimaes is the Quechuan name that the Incas used for the resisting ethnic groups they uprooted and then dispersed geographically. When the Spanish first arrived to the valley of Tarija they encountered several stone roads, most likely the remnants of pre-Incaic cultures, such as that of the Churumatas. However, during that period, the presence of indigenous peoples remained sparse within the valley. Several of the pre-Incaic roads and trials have been preserved, and currently function as a walking trail for Tarijeños.[citation needed]


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9 ) Sacaba
Popular - Garden City     Location - Sacaba, -Cochabamba, -Bolivia

Sacaba is a capital city and a municipality in the Bolivian province of Chapare. The city, located 13 kilometers eastward from Cochabamba, is the second largest city in the Cochabamba Department after Cochabamba city. Post-colonial architecture may be seen in the inner part of Sacaba; however, some has been destroyed due to lack of municipal care.

Sacaba was the site of anti-coca eradication riots in 2002, which caused the removal of Evo Morales, leader of the cocalero movement and the MAS, from his seat in the Bolivian congress. Morales opposed the closing of a coca market in Sacaba, and ensuing protests involved the death of several people on both sides. Morales is currently the president of Bolivia.

At the time of census 2001 Sacaba had 92,581 residents. . Due to the lack of space in Cochabamba city's boundaries, several new urbanization complexes have been built within the 13 kilometers that separate Sacaba from Cochabamba city. Many of these residential complexes have been constructed for employees from enterprises based in the city

The weather in Sacaba is temperate, with a climate similar to Cochabamba city. During winter, temperatures range from 1 °C to 24 °C and rainfall is rare. During summer time, temperatures range from 10 °C to 19 °C with heavy precipitation.


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10 ) Rurrenabaque
Popular - National Park     Location - Rurrenabaque, -El Beni, -Bolivia

Rurrenabaque is a small town in the North of Bolivia on the Beni River. It is the capital of Rurrenabaque Municipality. In recent years it has become popular with international tourism as it is an easy gateway for visits to Madidi National Park (within the Bolivian rainforest), as well as the surrounding pampas. Locals commonly refer to the town by its shortened nickname, "Rurre."

Rurrenabaque is located in José Ballivián Province in Beni Department, Bolivia. Rurrenabaque Municipality, the fourth (municipal section) of José Ballivián Province, had 19,195 inhabitants, of which 13,446 lived in urban Rurrenabaque itself in 2012.

Rurrenabaque is reached by bus, 410 km (250 mi) from La Paz (18 hours), by hired taxi (12 hours) or by airplane (45 minutes-1 hour). Three airlines have flights to Rurrenabaque: Amaszonas, Aerocon and TAM - Transporte Aéreo Militar.

The buses from La Paz pass through Coroico, 70 km (43 mi) from La Paz. A new road on this route opened at the end of 2006, decreasing most motorized traffic on the older, more dangerous 'Death Road,' now highly popular for mountain bike tours. The 'Death Road' is also called the Yungas Road.

Rurrenabaque Airport was paved in 2010. Low clouds over nearby mountains can hinder planes' visibility and can prevent planes from landing.


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11 ) Montero
Popular - Hills     Location - Montero, -Santa Cruz, -Bolivia

Montero is a city & a municipality in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, about 50 km north of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Population 109,503 (2012). Montero has experienced growth in recent decades, becoming an important city in this region.

Montero has an elevation of 300 meters above sea level and an average temperature of 23 °C. The city is predominantly agricultural, producing soybeans, cotton, corn.

Montero is a city found in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It is located -17.34 latitude and -63.25 longitude and it is situated at elevation 300 meters above sea level.

Montero has a population of 88,616 making it the 2nd biggest city in Santa Cruz. It operates on the BOST time zone, which means that it follows the same time zone as Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


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12 ) Cobija
Popular - Historical     Location - Cobija, -Pando, -Bolivia

The Bolivian city of Cobija is located about 600 km (373 mi.) north of La Paz in the Amazon Basin on the border with Brazil. Cobija lies on the banks of the Rio Acre across from the Brazilian city of Brasiléia. Cobija lies at an elevation of ca. 280 m (920 ft.) above sea level and has a tropical and rainy climate.

Cobija has approximately 56,000 inhabitants, is the seat of a university and capital of the Bolivian Pando Department. Cobija has two airports and is connected by one road to El Choro in the Beni Department, which is not always passable during the rainy season. When the rain allows it, Cobija is connected to the rest of Bolivia also via road. Cobija is connected to Brazil by two bridges.

Cobija was founded in 1906 by Colonel Enrique Cornejo, originally under the name of Bahía and received its current name in 1908 in commemoration of the former Bolivian seaport Cobija on the Pacific, which has been a part of Chile since the War of the Pacific. In the early 1900s, Cobija experienced a boom as an India rubber industry center. When the industry collapsed, a major source of income being lost, Cobija became impoverished and its population fell. Nowadays, Cobija is developing again and its population is increasing. Currently, the region's primary industry is Bolivia nuts, although tourism and commerce are growing. There is a Free economic zone in the city, the largest in Bolivia.

The city of Cobija sits on a sharp curve of the Acre river. Located at an altitude of 280 metres (920 ft) above sea level and in the north-western jungle region – in Brazilian border – Cobija is considered the rainiest region in Bolivia. It is also a warm spot (exception made for a couple of weeks a year, when a fresh wind from the south blows), with day temperatures above 26 °C (79 °F) most of the time. Cobija has two seasons: The rain season (when is possible to enjoy powerful rainfalls and the vegetation is at its best) and the dry season (when roads are good and excursions deep into the Jungle are made possible, to "lago Bay" for instance). Usually locals use the hottest hours of the day to stay at home, have lunch and a good siesta. But the most active ones enjoy also outdoor activities. The average annual precipitation averages between 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 in) depending upon the seasonal flooding intensity. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, Cobija is not the wettest area in Bolivia, as the average annual precipitation in the Chapare lowlands of Cochabamba can receive more than 5,500 millimetres (220 in) of rain per year in some areas.


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Activity

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Festival

1 ) Alasitas

Festival Month - January

Alasitas is Bolivia’s festival of small-wishes and is annually held in different towns at different times (La Paz = January 24). The festival has grown into a mixture of Catholicism with age-old Andes traditions.


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2 ) Semana Santa – Fiesta

Festival Month - March

Easter, or Semana Santa (Holy Week) as Bolivians call it, is celebrated throughout the country with elaborate festivals and processions.


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3 ) The Procession of el Gran Poder

Festival Month - May

El Gran Poder is one of the big ones that unfortunately we missed. I could return to Bolivia to visit it one day because I have heard many great stories about it.


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