One of the two landlocked countries in South America (the other one being its neighbor, Paraguay), Bolivia takes the spotlight with its multiculturalism, colorful atmosphere and sometimes bizarre characteristics. For example, while the Bolivian constitution specifically sets the nation’s capital in Sucre, the government decided to set up shop in the high altitude town of La Paz. Similarly, Bolivia is the only country in the world that has both a navy and no access to the ocean (apparently the navy is kept playing around Lake Titicaca only to annoy Bolivia’s Western neighbor, Chile). What is certain is that you’ll have loads of fun in this country.
For starters, the place we are about to discover is probably the country situated at the highest altitude in the world. This will take a toll on you – best do some breathing exercises or consult your local MD regarding the effects of oxygen deprivation before you decide to visit. The obvious starting place for a tour of Bolivia is the de facto capital, La Paz. The city is situated at over 3500 meters altitude and its name actually means “peace”. The scenery is spectacular here, La Paz being basically surrounded by the high peaks of the Andes – the best way to experience the view is to take the cable-car to the so-called “Killi-Killi” belvedere point. The Plaza Murrillo is the main political and economic center of the capital, with both the government and parliament buildings being situated here.
Just outside the capital, the highest altitude lake in the world, Titicaca, is probably the main tourist attraction of the country. The scenery is magnificent, with the snowy peaks of the mountains reflecting on the lake’s surface. Willow boats made by the local indigenous people provide small trips around Titicaca. The Isla Del Sol, one of the most sacred places of the ancient Inca Empire, is situated in the middle of the water surface. Plenty to do and to see around this place.
Similarly, southern Bolivia catches people’s attention with some of the weirdest places on Earth. The Uyuni salt plain, for example, is the largest of its kind in the world (lots of superlatives in this country). The scenery is very Martian there, with the white, flat land reflecting the scenery around. The local fauna, with the most-of-the-time friendly llamas, sometimes pays visits to this incredible place.
The Red Lagoon, situated nearby, is home to the largest population of Andean Flamingoes in South America and the best place to end your trip in Bolivia. Sadly, not many people know what incredible sights this country hides – if you’re ever around South America, Bolivia is a definite must see.