Bolivia Geography and Climate

Bolivia is located almost in the center of South America. Once it was part of the great Inca Empire. Numerous ruins of ancient cities of the pre-Columbian era have survived to this day in Bolivia. The Incas adapted to live in a harsh high-mountain climate, and now the majority of the country’s population lives on the Altiplano plateau, and the actual capital of the country, La Paz, which is the highest capital in the world, is also located here. Of the “most-most” places in Bolivia, National Parks also stand out, the biodiversity of which is considered one of the richest in the world, the highest ski resort on the planet – Chacaltaya – and the largest dry salt lake in the world, Salar de Uyuni.

The most favorable time to visit the country is from the end of June to the beginning of September, when the probability of rain is the least.

The official language of Bolivia is Spanish, but most of the local Indians speak Aymara, Quechua and Guarani.

Geography in Bolivia

According to top-engineering-schools, Bolivia is located almost in the center of South America. The area of ​​the country is 1,098,581 sq. km. It borders Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, and Chile and Peru to the west. Bolivia has no access to the ocean.

The Andes mountains stretch in the western part of the country. The mountainous territory is divided into three regions: the Western Cordillera, the Cordillera Real and the high Altiplano plateau, which separates these ranges. In the region of the Western Cordillera there are volcanoes, both extinct and active, among which is the highest point in the country – the extinct Sajama volcano (6542 m). The Andes drop sharply to a region of desert plains called the Oriente, dropping 4,350 m over just 80 km. The Eastern Plains occupy most of the country’s territory.

The main rivers of the country are the Beni in the northern part of the Cordillera Real, the Desaguadero in the Altiplano and the Mamore, with numerous tributaries in the eastern plains. Bolivia

also has lakes Titicaca, Poopo and Coipas. Lake Titicaca is located on the border of Bolivia and Peru. It was formed in a tectonic basin. This is the largest alpine navigable lake in the world, it is located at an altitude of 3812 m, its area is 8446 sq. km. Most of Lake Titicaca belongs to Peru, the smaller part belongs to Bolivia.

Salt Lake Poopo lies at an altitude of 3690 m. To the west of Poopo is a salty and periodically drying lake Koipasa. South of Koipas are salt marshes, among which is the largest on the planet – Uyuni.

Climate in Bolivia

The climate in Bolivia is tropical and subequatorial in the plains and sharply continental in the mountainous regions. The most severe climate is observed on the Altiplano plateau, because this plateau is fenced off on all sides by high mountain ranges. Within the Altiplano in the main cities, during the period from October to February, daytime temperatures reach 18..20 degrees Celsius, and nighttime temperatures reach 10..12 degrees Celsius. In winter (May-August), during the day the air warms up to +15..+17 degrees, at night the air temperature drops to +2…+4 degrees, and in areas that are located above 4000 m, frosts are not uncommon. The climate is hotter in the eastern plains. Here in the summer daytime air temperatures reach 32…34 degrees Celsius, night – 23..25 degrees Celsius. In winter, in the east of the country, it is around +20..+22 degrees during the day, and +15..+17 degrees at night.

The amount of precipitation in Bolivia increases from the southwest to the northeast. So in the western and southwestern parts of the Altiplano, up to 150 mm of precipitation falls annually, and in its eastern and northern parts – up to 600 mm. On the eastern slopes of the Cordillera Real, up to 1500 mm of precipitation falls, and in Oriente – up to 2000 mm of precipitation. The maximum precipitation in Bolivia falls on the warm season from December to February.

Best time to visit:
The most favorable time to visit the country is from the end of June to the beginning of September, when there is the least chance of rain.

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni is the largest dry salt lake in the world. It is located in the southern part of Bolivia on a high plateau at an altitude of 3600 m. Its total area is about 12 thousand square meters. km. In the center of the lake, the thickness of the salt cover reaches 10 m. During the dry season, the lake is a whole salt desert. Salt reserves here are about 10 billion tons. During the rainy season, the lake fills with a small layer of water, which does not interfere with traveling around the Salar de Uyuni by jeep. Trekking in the Salar de Uyuni is one of the most popular excursions in Bolivia. This area is rich in natural attractions. Large colonies of viscacha (local chinchilla) live on the island of Isla de Pescados, at the foot of Mount Tunal you can see colonies of pink and red-brown flamingos, Lake Colorado is a paradise for ornithologists, rare James flamingos are studied here, in the valley of geysers of Sol de Makana has volcanic craters in which lava boils, and local geysers throw out a column of water from 80 to 100 m high, on the shores of Lake Salar de Chaliviri there are thermal springs where tourists can swim. Numerous hotels built entirely of salt are also very interesting.

Bolivia Geography