Bolivia – a country in central South America, which has no outlet to the sea. Capital – Sucre, though most of the public institutions is in actual capital – the city of La Paz. Bolivia is bordered by many South American countries: Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, etc. The total population – 1.1 million people…
Andes occupy the entire western part of the country, stretching from north to south. The highest peak – Mount Ankohuma (6550 m). To the east lie the spacious Amazonian plains. The climate is sharply continental highlands, and in the plains – the transition from subtropical to tropical. From October to March rainy season.
Officially recognized languages in Bolivia much. It is, first of all, the Spanish and Guaraní, Quechua and others. Currency – Bs. This picturesque name of the country was in honor of the Venezuelan revolutionary S. Bolivar. It is with the help of a number of countries in South America freed themselves from Spanish colonization. He was the first president of the newly formed Bolivia.
At this point, the state structure of the country – a presidential republic. The bulk of the local population are ethnic peoples: Quechua (30%), Aymara (25%), Métis (25%) and the rest of the Europeans. More than 95% – Catholics. In terms of territory recovered nine departments, each of which consists of the provinces.
Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni – the biggest salt marsh, not only in Bolivia, but throughout the world. It covers an area of ??10.5 square kilometers at an altitude of four thousand meters. This is actually a dried salt lake in the vicinity of the town of Uyuni. In addition to the 2-8 meter layer of salt in the lake contains rich deposits of gypsum and lithium. The latter is widely used in the battery industry.
During the rains, the surface of the lake resembles a mirrored floor. In the Salar de Uyuni, you have to go to the sunglasses. After the rain water accumulated in the salt crust breaks out, forming a cone-shaped salt hills. This spectacle is compared with alien landscapes. Types of Salar de Uyuni enthrall everyone who comes here.
This place is often called the “salt mountain” or “sea salt”. And then, and another description is true. All that is under your feet – pure salt. Her so much that local residents have recently begun to build hotels of salt, for the guests.
Geographically, the Sala de Uyuni is located in the south-west of the country on the Altiplano plain. Travelers who come to explore the area, there are three or four days. Because one day the whole area is not circumvented. Many rent a jeep to cut through the desert and it is a good solution. Species that are opened in the usual tour, dazzling. It makes sense to get to the Isla de Pescadores ( «fisherman’s island”), where there are millennial cacti in 8 meters high.
Other attractions include saline “Forest of Stones”, consisting of giant sculptures, on which bothered to nature itself, and the so-called “Cemetery of steam engines”, where you can see the cars written off once follow the route from Antofagasta (Chile) – Bolivia. Due to the dry local climate slowly rusting locomotives and represent a strange sight. The government plans to soon restore them and discover an open air museum.
From La Paz to Uyuni can be reached by plane or by bus. Some tourists get off the bus to Oruro and then transplanted to the train. In Uyuni has a small airport for flights from Sucre and La Paz. The journey by bus takes at least 10 hours.
Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world, located in the Andes on the border with Bolivia, Peru. Located at an altitude of 3800 meters and impresses with its scale. The total area of the lake – more than 8,000 square kilometers. Surprisingly, there are found many species of ocean fish, though it is not a lake. It found invertebrates fish and even sharks, which allows to classify Titicaca to the most unusual water bodies.
In the vicinity of Lake Titicaca are many ancient sites and ruins, but the center of the region is the city of Puno, where trains and buses arriving from Lima and Cusco. By bus from Lima to go more than 40 hours, so the tourists prefer to fly to Cusco airport, and from there by train to go to Puno. This trip takes 10-11 hours. Many people remember the name Titicaca from the curriculum, but not everyone knows what it means. The root of “Titi” is translated from the Quechua language means “cougar”, and it has always been a sacred animal among the local tribes. The word “Kaka”, in turn, is translated as “rock.”
Here are some of the physical parameters of the lake: a maximum depth of approximately 280 meters, the water temperature is almost unchanged – about 10-12 ° C, the ratio of length to width – 230х97. Thus, it is seen that the dimensions and lakes impressive figures. According to the type of mineralization, it is insipid; salinity – only 1%. At any time of the year it looks serene, although in this area frequent wind. The vast blue expanse of the lake is more like the sea surface. Conventionally Titicaca has two parts connected by a narrow strip of water, part of the Strait of Tikin.
Thanks to regular water transport from Copacabana (Bolivia) you can admire the Andes directly from the lake. It is an unforgettable picture. At the same time in the lake a lot of islands. So, on the reed islands of live whole settlements tribes Quechua and Aymara. One of the largest islands of Lake Titicaca is considered the Sun Island, where more than 180 ancient ruins were discovered. One of the hilly island during the Spanish colonization was used as a prison. The locals live by their own customs. They seemed untouched by civilization. They continue to live without electricity, without cars and other modern amenities.
Madidi National Park
Madidi National Park – one of the largest protected areas in Bolivia and in the world; It characterized by a rich biodiversity, as it covers several climatic zones. According to various estimates in a park of about 5000 species of plants, 1,000 species of animals and 1150 different birds. The total area of ??the park is more than 18 km.
The beauty, diversity of landscapes and open spaces of the park amaze every visitor. Here and rainforests, and savannas, and glaciers covered Andean peaks, and dry mountain forests. The closest to the town park – the city Rurrenbake. It is located just a few kilometers from there and the tourists begin their research path. The fact that walking in the park last at least 2-3 days. Stop for the night can be in eco-settlements.
The city Rurrenbake get on a plane or bus from La Paz, which is approximately 410 km. In the jungle a lot of interesting for seasoned travelers as well as for beginners. This humid equatorial forest, where you can see jaguars, arrange a photo-hunt tapirs, and various monkeys, catching piranhas, etc.
In the plains of travel, mainly to see the giant anteater. The park is located in the upper basin of the largest rivers in the world, the Amazon. The main rivers are Tuychi, Madidi, Kendeke.
A wide range of ecological zones turned the park into an interesting attraction for specialists in various fields. Ornithologists certainly interested in birds endemic to the region. In the park you can watch the Andean cock rock or crested eagle. reptile lovers will be surprised by such a variety of snakes, lizards and crocodiles. On the territory there are tropical Madidi monkey, for example, black-brown capuchins and various representatives of the cat family (pumas, jaguars, ocelots, and others.)
Even cavers will find something for everyone, as the park is rich in deep gorges. Fishing enthusiasts can hunt for piranha, which is found in abundance in local waters. Well, to the rare representatives of fauna include the pink dolphin and sea fox. It is also worth noting the variety of butterflies. According to some scholars, their park not less than 10 thousand species. Visit Madidi only in a special suit with lamp and marching kit.
The ruins of Tiwanaku
The ruins of Tiwanaku – megalithic complex in Bolivia, located 21 km from Lake Titicaca at an altitude of nearly 4 thousand meters.. It is considered the most significant city. In the language of Aboriginal name means “dead city”, formerly known as the “center of the world” (Taypikala) and “eternal city” (Vinaymarka). In the heyday, he was not less than 2.6 km? and was the center of the eponymous civilization. Today, the city ruins occupy a greater area.
The question of how the inhabitants of South America were able to erect such unwieldy complex of blocks weighing 200 tons, is still open. After all, the nearest quarry is located about 6 km from the city. One of the blocks even weighs more than 400 tons.
The most impressive surviving structure in the complex is considered Akapana temple. It is a kind of pyramid of artificial hill height of almost 17 meters. At the bottom it has dimensions 210h210 meters. Scientists believe that this temple was the center of worship before the founding of the city, ie, to 200 AD The very culture originated as far back as 2000-1500 BC
One of the most important structures in Tiwanaku – the temple of Kalasasaya, which means “Gate of the Sun”. This dark gray rock monolith in the 3 meters high. Apart from the gate in the composition are about 20 objects. The temple was used as a point of observation of the stars. Like any ancient city, there is a underground temple or the so-called “sarcophagus Palace.” Externally, it is a deep ditch, whose walls are made of stone blocks and covered with three-dimensional image of the human head. The temple survived the giant stone idols.
Geographically, the archaeological complex is located approximately 70 km from the capital. Many buses go in his direction.
Carnival of Oruro
Carnival of Oruro – Bolivia’s cultural heritage with ancient roots. Moreover, it is the oldest carnival in Latin America. It is associated with the holiday “ito” Uru indigenous people and was known in pre-Columbian times. Oruro is held in the same mining town and lasts for ten days and nights. Today, it attracts people from all over the continent and tourists from foreign countries.
The mining town of Oruro is located at an incredible altitude of more than 3700 meters above sea level, and is considered the capital of the Bolivian folklore. The vast majority of the inhabitants – the indigenous Indians. Some scientists believe that the Oruro festival more than 2000 years. It ranked among the most colorful and original carnivals of the world. Sometimes the holiday is called “diablada” because of the terrible evil spirits masks. This tradition goes back to the ceremony “ito”.
With the arrival of the Spaniards in the carnival there were elements of the Christian shrines. For example, instead of the pagan mother goddess Pachamama, now central to the carnival is given the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Performances run from early morning until 3-4 o’clock in the morning. It is the culmination of two theatrical productions. In the first play on Conquista, and the second – the battle between good and evil. In this setting, the archangel Michael picks up over the devil.
One of the main directions of the carnival is the execution of 48 different folk dances, which involved more than 30 000 dancers and musicians. Meanwhile, the number of holiday visitors in Oruro can sometimes exceed 400 thousand. By the way, a statue of the Virgin Mary, which can be seen in this nondescript town, is the highest religious statue in the world.
Firstly, it is situated at an altitude of 3,800 meters; Secondly, the height of the sculpture is 45 meters, making it even higher than the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio. To get to Oruro by bus from La Paz (225 km) or Potosi (315 km). Train unites the city with Cochabamba (215 km) and some other cities of Bolivia. Carnival begins 10 days before Lent. All the participants necessarily dressed in bright and catchy themed costumes.
Yungas Death Road
Yungas Road of death – the most dangerous road in Bolivia and around the world. Every year it kills more than 100-200 people. “Road of Death” connects La Paz with the Yungas province. In fact, it is a steep and dangerous descent to 3600 m altitude. Many before you drive through it, read a prayer, but it does not stop the extreme.
This dangerous narrow portion is located in the Andean highlands. Stretching 70 kilometers it is from the top down (from 3600 m to 330 m in height), teeming with sharp turns. The road itself is a dirty and slippery clay. On the one hand the driver meets the mountain wall, and on the other – the sheer cliff. Driving along this road, you can see traces of previous accidents or accidents.
Despite this, it continues to go on clogged crammed buses and loaded trucks. Unfortunately, this is the only highway linking La Paz with the city of Coroico. Accidents are more frequent with increasing fog and during the rainy season, when the road blurs or worse occur landslides. Only in 1994 it was recorded 25 tore off a cliff vehicles.
In fact, the number of accidents on this road, rolls over, and not even all of them are recorded. For example, a travel company claims that in the year 18 cyclists were killed, and it has not yet been documented. Many tourists coming to Bolivia, want to get an adrenaline rush and apply to the local agency for tours on bikes.
Daring to take this step, keep in mind that there is no turning back. If we went up to the track, it is necessary to pass in its entirety. It is through the Yungas road cyclists of death has become a popular tourist attraction. The cost of the tour on bicycles include souvenirs, equipment, food and beverages.