Bolivia Tours

Why visit? An off the beaten track destination all of its own, with an enticing culture, head-spinning heights and rustic charm, Bolivia sure knows how to impress the adventurous explorer. 
Australians usually start their Bolivia tour in La Paz, the country’s administrative capital. There are only few cities in the world enjoying as spectacular a setting as La Paz, sitting in a valley atop the Bolivian plateau in the Andes Mountains.
No visit to Bolivia would be complete without seeing the astonishing Salar Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, with its endlessly sparkling horizon creating a fascinating visual spectacle. 
Just like Bolivia boasts some of nature’s most incredible wonders, it is also a playground for wildlife lovers – whether it’s cuddling llamas in the Andes or swimming with the dolphins in the Amazon, a Bolivia tour can introduce you to a variety of unforgettable wildlife experiences. 
Another favourite for many travellers on their Bolivia tour is Lake Titicaca where a scenic cruise to Sun Island, Moon Island and Copacabana is a spectacular way to take in the idyllic scenery this area is made of and its ancient ruins. 
How to get there? The most direct route is flying via LATAM or QANTAS to Santiago and then connecting to La Paz. Please be aware, however, that there are only four flights a week between Santiago and La Paz. There are daily flights from Lima to La Paz and if combing Bolivia with Peru it is easier to access Bolivia from Peru.
More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Bolivia and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.
Still wondering? Contact us:  You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you. 

#Livefortoday and book your Bolivia tour with us today. Chimu Adventures is Australia’s leading Latin America and Polar specialist and can put together an itinerary to suit you.

The Bolivian high country is another world all together. The rarified air makes everything crystal clear. Volcanoes,rock formations ,flamingoes and salt flats made it an amazing experience. You feel the 4900m but it is worthwhile. The personal escorted tour was the way to go - Geoff

Read Reviews (Avg 5 ★)

Featured Bolivia Trips & Deals

POPULAR  From 3,080

Travel to Bolivia's main highlights including La Paz, Lake Titicaca and the Uyuni Salt Flats.

POPULAR  From 1,885

A spectacular 8-day journey of South America’s high mountain region, from Bolivia to Peru. See vibrant locals, amazing scenery and remnants of the Inca culture.

BUDGET  From 1,310

Bolivia's two biggest attractions in one tour. Travel between La Paz and Uyuni on bus or train.

Bolivia Tours

6 NIGHTS From 6,050

Learn more about this unique experience in a luxury camper on the salt flats of Uyuni. Spend a night under the star filled skies in splendid isolation.

9 NIGHTS From 10,270

To deeply explore Uyuni, we created this tailor-made journey. Between Chile & Bolivia. Sleep in remote camps, hike remote routes, get off the beaten track.

12 NIGHTS From 5,399

Let us take you off the beaten track in Bolivia, which hosts some of South America's most stunning vistas - from mountains to salt flats.

2 NIGHTS From 980

Visit Sun Island and the famous lakeside town of Copacabana. Explore the Bolivian side of the world's highest navigable lake, book now.

3 NIGHTS From 1,410

Explore the Andean landscapes & the Bolivian Amazon on this 4 day Choro Trek. It'll certainly leave a lasting impression and is an unmissable trek!

3 NIGHTS From 530

A quick snapshot of this city including the witches markets the valley of the moon.

2 NIGHTS From 740

Fly into the Bolivia Amazon - one of the most untamed sections of the Amazon and full of adventure.

19 NIGHTS From 8,955

Visit Salta in Argentina & Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia - the real heart of South America & some of the most spectacular scenery in this great continent.

5 NIGHTS From 1,350

Join us on this amazing 6 days & 5 nights circuit discovering the gems of Bolivia with multiple city stopovers and a trip to the Salt Flats.

Articles On Bolivia

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Bolivia Reviews

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bolivian Altoplano and Salt Flats The Bolivian high country is another world all together. The rarified air makes everything crystal clear. Volcanoes,rock formations ,flamingoes and salt flats made it an amazing experience. You feel the 4900m but it is worthwhile. The personal escorted tour was the way to go.
Date published: 2015-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Country- see it before it is spoilt This is a developing country. The countryside is wonderful. We particularly enjoyed out trip on the salt flats and our journey through the desert to the border of Chile. Love the outpost border crossing. Our driver and guide were most attentive and really know their home territory. Accommodation was much better than expected.
Date published: 2016-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible salt flats! Bolivia absolutely exceeded our expectations. Just incredible. Initially we planned on just passing through and glad we listened to Craig and booked the whole experience! Amazing value, mind blowing scenery and memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks Chimu!.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great taster for Bolivia! 4 days around La Paz and the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, squeezed into a longer trip to Peru, was just right. We saw so much!
Date published: 2015-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely incredible journey Awesome trip with great organisation and continuity.
Date published: 2017-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Something Special! Our time in Bolivia, which included a short stay in La Paz and then onto the salt flats and then the Chilean border was really special and made us wonder what other remarkable experiences does Bolivia have to offer. Our guide and driver from Uyuni to the border did a great job showing us how special their country is.
Date published: 2018-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GLAD WE WENT Once you acclimatise to the altitude and settle into a routine, Bolivia is a level of wow that no photos can do justice to. At every turn there is another photo opportunity and each moment is full of history , just an amazingly diverse country.
Date published: 2019-01-21
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Country Information

When to go to Bolivia
  • The Moxo Civilisation of Eastern Bolivia existed around the same time as Tiwanaku. Their society was considered just as advanced. Their irrigation, cultivation and flood control systems rivaled those of Egypt.
  • The Spaniards did not take a big interest in Alto Peru (today’s Bolivia) - until silver was discovered in the mountains near Potosi in 1945. These mines ended up producing massive wealth for the Spanish Empire.
  • Bolivia's population has tripled in the last 50 years. It was estimated at 10.9 million in 2014.
  • Over 40% of Bolivia’s population is less than 15 years old.
  • Bolivia has the highest percentage of indigenous people in South America. They account for about two-thirds of Bolivia's population. There are more than 3 dozen native groups, the largest of which is the Quechuas (descendents of the Incas) at around 2.5 million.
  • Bolivia's constitution designates Spanish and all indigenous languages as official; 36 indigenous languages are specified, including some that are extinct.
  • Bolivia (under the current government led by Evo Morales) has close ties with communist Cuba and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
  • La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, while Sucre is the constitutional capital.
  • La Paz is the highest of the world's capital cities, at 3,636 metres above sea level. The adjacent city of El Alto is over 4,000 metres and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the hemisphere.
  • Almost 7% of Bolivia's population lives abroad, primarily in Argentina, Brazil, Spain and the United States.
  • Bolivia has 2 national flowers: the kantuta (native to western Bolivia) and the patuju (native to the eastern tropics). Both are red-yellow-green in color, like the Bolivian flag.
  • Bolivia's flag has three horizontal bands of red, yellow and green. Red stands for the blood and bravery of the national heroes, yellow for the nation's mineral resources and green for the fertility of the land.
  • Some of Bolivia’s major pre-Columbian ruins include Tiwanaku, Samaipata, Incallajta, and Iskanwaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and have seen little archaeological exploration.
  • Bolivia has a rich folklore. The "devil dances" at the annual Carnival of Oruro is considered one of the great folkloric events of South America, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco.
  • Favourite Bolivian culinary delicacies include guinea pig (cuy) and deep-fried pork (chicharron). Andean camelids (such as llama and alpaca) are also commonly consumed in the highlands.
  • In Bolivia, maize is used to make Chicha (beer) and Api; a hot, morning beverage.
  • In the Bolivian Amazon rice, cassava, peanuts, bananas, legumes, and maize constitute the cornerstone of the daily diet - supplemented by fish, poultry, and beef.
  • Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni contains the largest deposit of salt on the planet. During seasonal floods, it reflects the skies from its perfectly flat surface. This makes it one of the best places in the world to help calibrate satellites. It also contains an estimated 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserves.
  • Bolivia shares Lake Titicaca with neighbouring Peru. Approximately 40% of the lake is on the Bolivian side.
  • Bolivia's North Yungus Road - better known as 'The Death Road' - is considered by many the most dangerous road in the world. It attracts in excess of 25,000 mountain bike riders annually!
  • Bolivia contains 40% of all animal and plant life in the world. The Amazon Basin and Pantanal Wetlands are some of the most biologically abundant ecosystems in the world.
  • Bolivia produces around 70% of the world’s Brazil nuts. Perhaps they should in fact be called Bolivia nuts!
  • The world's largest butterfly sanctuary is located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Bolivia has the 4th most species of butterflies in the world.
  • Bolivians don’t have the same concept of personal space as in most Western countries. Typically Bolivians will stand very close to you, lean towards you, touch your arm and even push you along in crowds!
Weather in Bolivia

Human settlements are believed to have lived in what is now Bolivia as long as 10,000 years ago. In about 100 A.D. a major civilisation developed in the Tiahuanaco region, near Lake Titicaca. The Tiwanako Indians developed advanced architectural and agricultural techniques before disappearing sometime in the 13th Century. The Moxos in the eastern lowlands and the Mollos in the north also developed advanced societies around this same time. By the late 14th Century, the Aymara (a warlike tribe), controlled much of Bolivia.

In the mid 15th Century the Incas entered the Bolivian highlands and added Bolivia to their empire. The Incas controlled the area until the Spanish arrived in the early 16th Century and defeated the Incas. During most of the colonial period, Bolivia was called "Upper Peru" or "Charcas" and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima. This was to become one of the wealthiest corners of the Spanish empire. In 1545, vast silver deposits were discovered at Potosi. As a result, Potosi became the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. In 1548, the town of La Paz was established on the trade route between the silver mines and Lima. Bolivia’s predominantly indigenous population was forced into slavery, forced to work under terrible conditions in the mines.

In 1776, the Spanish Empire east of the Andes (which included Bolivia) was removed from the control of Lima. This control was transferred to Buenos Aires; capital of the new viceroyalty of La Plata. As with other neighbouring countries, Spanish authority weakened quickly during the Napoleonic wars and sentiment against colonial rule grew. Bolivian independence was first proclaimed in 1809, but was not fully achieved until 16 years later. The Republic of Bolivia (named for the famous liberator; Simon Bolivar), was finally established on August 6, 1825. Bolivar himself drafted the first constitution.

Independence did not, however, bring stability. For nearly 60 years, coups and short-lived constitutions dominated Bolivian politics. Between the time of independence and the year 1952 there were 179 uprisings against the government. An increase in the world price of silver brought Bolivia some degree of prosperity and stability in the late 1800s, but Bolivia lost an enormous amount of national territory:

During the early part of the 20th century, tin replaced silver as the country's most important source of wealth. A succession of governments controlled by the economic and social elites followed laissez-faire capitalist policies through the first third of the century. Meanwhile, Bolivia’s indigenous people continued being forced to work under primitive conditions in the mines and on large estates. They were denied access to education, economic opportunity and political participation. Soon after the Chaco War, the first political party to have indigenous interests on its agenda was founded. In 1941 Victor Paz Estenssoro formed the left-wing ‘’Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario’’ (MNR). Unrest continued and Estenssoro was forced into exile in 1949, but returned to power in 1952, introducing sweeping reforms. Agricultural estates were distributed among peasants and indigenous people were finally given the rights to vote. The signing of the 1953 agrarian reform law (2 August), is today proudly known as the Day of the Indian (Dia del Indio).

The MNR stayed in power for 12 year. In 1964, however, the military took the reins. An oppressive military leadership was introduced and the living conditions of Bolivia’s peasants worsened. In 1965, a guerrilla movement led by Ernesto (Che) Guevara, mounted from Cuba, began a revolutionary war in Bolivia. At this time the Bolivian army was heavily supported by the United States. With the help of U.S. military advisers, the Bolivian army crushed the guerrilla movement, capturing and killing Guevara in 1967. Several military coups followed before civilian rule returned in 1982.

    - During the War of the Pacific (1879-83), when Bolivia lost its outlet to the Pacific Ocean and adjoining nitrate-rich fields to Chile.
    - During a dispute with Brazil (1903), when part of Bolivia's rubber-rich Acre Province was ceded to Brazil.
    - During the Chaco War (1932–35), when Bolivia lost to Paraguay and gave up its claim to a significant amount of the Gran Chaco - incorrectly thought at the time to be rich in oil.
Bolivia Culture & Customs

Completely landlocked, Bolivia is bordered by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru. Bolivia has four main geographic regions: the Andean Highlands, the Yungas, the Valles and the Oriente.

The Andean Highlands cover most of western Bolivia. The cold and barren ‘’Altiplano’’ (high plateau) lies between two mountain ranges; Cordillera Oriental and Cordillera Occidental; at an average altitude of 4,000 metres above sea level. More than half of Bolivia's population lives here, many of them in La Paz and El Alto. In the north of this plateau (on the Bolivia / Peru border) sits the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of 3,800 metres. Lake Titicaca is drained to the south by the Desaguadero River, which empties into the shallow, salty Lake Poopo. Further south are arid salt flats (the remnants of ancient lakes).

The Cordillera Occidental is a chain of dormant volcanoes and volcanic vents emitting sulfurous gases. Bolivia's highest peak, the snowcapped Nevado Sajama (6,542 m), is located here. Bolivia’s most majestic mountains are in the northern part of the Cordillera Oriental; an impressive snow-capped series of granite mountains. Illimani and Illampu, both more than 6,400 m, with glaciers on their upper slopes, overlook the city of La Paz. La Paz is protected from cold winds by its position in a gorge formed by the headwaters of the La Paz River.

The Yungas make up a small region northeast of the Highlands with steep hills, narrow gorges and subtropical hillside forests. This region offers some of the most spectacular scenery in Bolivia. Rainfall is heavy. Lush vegetation clings to the sides of river valleys. This land is among the most fertile in Bolivia, but poor transport has hindered its agricultural development. Very few people live here.

The Valles lie in south-central Bolivia with gently sloping hills, wide valleys, open grasslands and several farms. Rivers draining to the east have cut long valleys; these valleys and the basins between the ranges are favourable areas for crops and settlement. The valley floors range from 1,800 to 3,000 metres above sea level. This lower elevation means milder temperatures than those of the Altiplano. The three important valleys of this region are: Cochabamba, Sucre and Tarija.

The Oriente is a vast, lowland plain spreading across northern and eastern Bolivia, constituting approximately two-thirds of Bolivia’s land-mass. It is sparsely populated, made up of swamp (part of the Pantanal is located in Bolivia), grasslands, plains, tropical and sub-tropical forest. Santa Cruz, the largest city in the lowlands, is located here, as are most of Bolivia's petroleum and natural gas reserves. Wide, slow moving rivers flow through this region; many of which form part of the Amazon River system. The southeastern part of the lowlands is part of the Gran Chaco. Virtually rainless for 9 months of the year, this area floods in the other 3 months. This extreme variation in rainfall supports only thorny, scrub vegetation.

Because of the wide range in altitude, Bolivia has plants representative of every climatic zone, from arctic growth high in the sierra to tropical forests in the Amazon basin. In the Altiplano grows a coarse grass called ‘’ichu’’, used for pasture, thatching, and weaving. A reed called ‘’totora’’, which grows around Lake Titicaca, is used for making small boats (balsas). The low, bush-like ‘’tola’’ and the moss-like ‘’yareta’’ are used for fuel.

In the tropical forest grows the quinine-producing quina tree, along with the Para rubber tree. There are more than 2,000 species of hardwoods. Aromatic shrubs are common, as are vanilla, sarsaparilla and saffron plants. Native plants include palms, sweet potatoes, manioc, peanuts and a huge variety of fruits. Tannin-producing quebracho trees can be found in the Chaco.

Some of the native fauna in Bolivia includes:

-  llamas, alpacas, guanacos and several varieties of guinea pigs in the Highlands, 
- puma, coati, tapir, armadillo, sloth, peccary and several kinds of monkeys in the Amazon.
Birdlife is rich and varied throughout the country, as are reptiles and insects (particularly in the lowlands).
Bolivia’s natural resources include: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold and timber.

Bolivia History

Bolivia's ethnic distribution is estimated to be 55% indigenous, 15% European and 30% mixed or mestizo (self-identified). The largest of the approximately three-dozen indigenous groups are the Quechua, Aymara, Chiquitano and Guarani. There are also small German, former Yugoslav, Asian, Middle Eastern and other minorities, many descending from families that have lived in Bolivia for several generations.

Bolivia has several sub-cultures within its borders, but by far the most prevalent of all its sub-cultures is the indigenous highland culture. Highland areas of Bolivia include La Paz, Lake Titicaca, Oruro, Uyuni and Potosi. This culture corresponds to traditions that existed before the Spanish conquest.

Providing a stark contrast to the indigenous highland culture is the ‘’Europeanised’’ culture of Santa Cruz Province (the commercial and industrial hub of Bolivia’s east). This culture has been more influenced by the cultural heritage of the conquering Spaniards. Due to its booming oil industry, Santa Cruz Province enjoys a higher standard of living than the rest of Bolivia. Historically ‘’Cruzenos’’ have always considered them-selves as different and separate to the rest of Bolivia and their attempts to gain greater autonomy have been an on-going issue for the nation.

Unequal access to political, economic and socio-cultural resources is a direct outcome of the Spanish conquest and there is a pronounced hierarchal system in Bolivia. Class, culture and race (physical characteristics) solidify the social hierarchy. At the bottom of the hierarchy are peasants, unskilled workers and those in the informal economic sector. Most are referred to as "indio" and have little or no Spanish, little education and a low income. The second class are labeled mestizos, cholos or non-indigenous. They are physically similar-looking to indios, but more assimilated to Hispanic cultural norms, better dressed and more likely to have a command (though perhaps not fluent) of Spanish and a more formal education. At the height of the social hierarchy is a small, affluent elite class referred to as "decent people" (gente decente) by indios. Members of this elite class are more likely to be fair or white-skinned, be fluent and monolingual Spanish-speaking, adopt "Western" clothing, live in major cities, occupy high positions in government, finance or business and not identify with the Andean heritage so much.

Clothing is an important marker of cultural distinctiveness and class position. A woman who braids her hair and wears long pleated skirts is classed as indio or chola and is presumed not to be at the top of the social hierarchy, just as is a man who wears rubber sandals and a knitted wool hat.

There have been events in Bolivia’s history which have helped to forge national pride and identity. The first involves memories associated with disastrous wars and the loss of significant amounts of national territory. Schoolchildren are taught about the War of the Pacific in which Chile overwhelmed Bolivia and Peru and seized Bolivia's coastal territories. Nationalism is therefore intertwined with ongoing efforts to reclaim access to the Pacific. The War of the Chaco, in which Bolivia lost vast territories and oil deposits to Paraguay, was also critical for national consciousness-raising and the 1952 populist revolution. Other historical commemorations, such as Independence Day and the widely celebrated date of the signing of the agrarian reform law, also serve as catalysts for collective memories.

The majority of Bolivians are extremely proud of their indigenous roots. National folkloric music festivals serve to unify Bolivians. These festivals are generally attended by all classes of society. They are multilayered, symbolic events accentuating all things Bolivian.

The great majority of Bolivians are Roman Catholic, although Protestant denominations are expanding rapidly. Many indigenous communities interweave pre-Hispanic Andean and Christian symbols in their religious practices. Complementary deities and supernatural beings coexist. A distinguishing feature of Andean popular religion is the importance of rituals through ties with supernatural deities. Such rituals sometimes entail the sacrifice of llamas, heavy drinking and ritualised coca-chewing. Social life is punctuated by many rituals that coincide with major agricultural seasons and are linked to the celebration of Christian deities, especially the Virgin Mary. The Carnival of Oruro is a crucial ritual event that blends cultural and religious elements in its folk music and ‘’devil dances’’ and the celebration of the Virgin of Copacabana, whose image was sculpted in 1583, is another particularly important ritual event. Many communities have their own ritual celebrations and holy places, almost all associated with the appearance of a Christian saint or the Virgin Mary or the presence of mountain deities. Traditional medical practices also often revolve around rituals and ritual practitioners (curers and herbalists). Divination, rituals and ritual sacrifices are important in treating illness, as is the use of coca leaves, alcoholic beverages, and guinea pigs.

The cultural development of what is present-day Bolivia has been heavily influenced by its indigenous and Spanish roots. Bolivia is known for its world-class textile production (with ancient techniques and designs), particularly in the regions of La Paz and Sucre. The Spanish brought their own tradition of religious art which, in the hands of local indigenous and mestizo builders and artisans, developed into a rich and distinctive style of architecture, painting and sculpture known as "Mestizo Baroque." Bolivia also has a distinguished tradition in literature, especially known for its short stories – many of which have been passed down orally.

Bolivia Geography

Bolivia is a resource-rich country with strong growth, attributed to captive markets for natural gas exports. However Bolivia remains one of the least developed countries in Latin America. Almost two-thirds of its people, many of whom are subsistence farmers, live in poverty. Many argue that this shouldn’t be the case. Bolivia is self-sufficient in almost all food staples. The Altiplano farmers grow potatoes, wheat and quinoa. The Yungas and the Valles regions produce bananas, beans, cacao, coca, coffee and corn. In the Oriente, farmers raise cattle and grow rice and sugar cane.

Bolivia is also self-sufficient in oil and natural gas, exporting significant quantities of both - mostly to Chile, Argentina and Brazil. However with the exception of cocaine, mining is still the biggest generator of foreign exchange. First it was silver, then tin, zinc and other minerals. Other exports include textiles, wood products, soybeans & soy products, coffee and other raw agricultural products.

A major blow to the Bolivian economy came with a drastic fall in the price of tin during the early 1980s. As a result, the government implemented a far-reaching program of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform. Private investment was encouraged during this time. This stimulated growth into the 1990s.

The first part of the 21st Century was known for its violent protests against plans - subsequently abandoned - to export Bolivia's newly discovered natural gas reserves. In 2005, the government passed a controversial hydrocarbons law that imposed significantly higher royalties and required foreign firms then operating under risk-sharing contracts to surrender all production to the state energy company in exchange for a predetermined service fee.

The global recession slowed growth, but Bolivia recorded the highest growth rate in South America during 2009. High commodity prices since 2010 sustained rapid growth and trade surpluses. However, a lack of foreign investment in the key sectors of mining and hydrocarbons, along with conflict among social groups, posed continual challenges for the economy.

The good news is that economic growth has remained above 5% in recent years and moderate poverty has fallen significantly. Gross domestic product has tripled to some $28bn since Evo Morales first took office in 2006. Poor Bolivians have benefitted most from this economic growth, through an increase in household income. All this is due to the government’s prudent but also redistributive economic policies, and in part to the high commodity prices of recent years (of natural gas and minerals). Even so, compared to the rest of South America, poverty and income inequality is high and Bolivia’s economic growth is vulnerable to changes in international commodity prices. Also, private-sector investment has remained low, reflecting the government’s strategy to deploy public-sector investment.

Tourism & Sustainability

Bolivia is a constitutional republic (note - the new constitution defines Bolivia as a "Social Unitarian State"), with an elected president and national congress. Democratic civilian rule was established in 1982.

The president and vice president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a 5-year term and are eligible for re-election once. Formal political power is fragmented among numerous political parties spanning the ideological spectrum. The president has always had the power to appoint the governors of the departments, but recent (mid-1990s) laws were intended to decentralise state administration. Bolivia's 9 departments received greater autonomy under these laws, although several departments - especially Santa Cruz and Tarija - are seeking increased autonomy.

The 1967 constitution, which has been amended many times, provides for balanced executive, legislative, and judicial powers. The executive and legislative branches of government are located in La Paz: the de facto administrative capital and seat of government. The national judiciary is centred in Sucre: the legal capital. Voting is universal and compulsory at the age of 18 years.

Bolivia’s leaders have for many years been confronted with the issues of poverty, social unrest and illegal drug production (with huge pressure from the United States to stop this illegal drug production).

General Hugo Banzer, an ex-dictator turned democrat, became Bolivia’s president for the second time in 1997. Banzer succeeded in wiping out large amounts of illicit coca production and drug trafficking, which pleased the United States. However, this eradication of coca plunged many Bolivian farmers into further poverty.

In 2002, President Sanchez de Lozada pledged to continue economic reforms and to create jobs. In 2003, he resigned, after months of rioting and strikes over a gas-exporting project that the majority of Bolivians believed would benefit foreign companies more than Bolivians. His vice president, Carlos Mesa, replaced him. Despite continued unrest, Mesa managed to satisfy the strong anti-privatisation sentiment among Bolivians without shutting the door on some limited form of privatisation in the future. But rising fuel prices in 2005 led to massive protests by impoverished farmers and miners, and Mesa ended up resigning the same year.

In December 2005, Bolivians elected Evo Morales (from the Movement Toward Socialism party) as president. During his campaign, Morales, a coca union leader of indigenous descent, vowed to nationalize hydrocarbons and alleviate poverty and discrimination toward indigenous people. Morales has always been highly critical of the "neo-liberal" economic policies that were implemented in Bolivia in past years. His reforms included a major modification of the Constitution, the strengthening of the role of the state in the economy and the application of a variety of social programs.

Strong citizen support for President Morales (particularly from the indigenous, who make up the greater part of Bolivia’s population) led to his re-election in 2009. Morales continues to promote greater state control of natural resource industries, particularly hydrocarbons and mining. These policies have pleased supporters, but have complicated Bolivia's relations with some of its neighboring countries, foreign investors and members of the international community. Morales continues to enjoy broad-based support for the October 2014 elections.

Bolivia Food & Drink
  • Víctor Paz Estenssoro - Founder of the MNR, Former President, Architect of National Revolution
  • Juan Bustillos, Roberto Mamani, Guzman de Rojas, Arturo Borda, Maria Luisa Pacheco, Marina Nunez del Prad, Lorgio Vaca, Israel Beltran – Artists
  • Rene Moreno - Historian, Sociologist, and Literary Critic
  • Franz Tamayo – Poet and Philosopher
  • Alcides Arguedas, Edmundo Paz Soldan, Beatrice Brusic, Ben Mikaelson - Writers
  • Jaime Laredo - World-famous Violinist
  • Bernardo Guarachi - Mountain Climber (first Indigenous Latin American to climb Mount Everest)
  • Paulo Víctor Aguilera - BMX Racer (World Champion 5 times)
  • Chavo Salvatierra - Motorcycle Racer
  • Marco Antonio Etcheverry, Erwin Sanchez, Julio Cesar Baldivieso - Soccer Players
  • Eduardo "Happy" Peredo - Racecar Driver
  • Willy Kenning, Pablo Manzoni - Photographers
  • Reynaldo Pacheco, Raquel Welch, Jorge Ortiz, David Mondacca, Carla Ortiz - Actors
  • Gladys Moreno, Zulma Yugar - Singers
  • Simeon Roncal - Composer
  • Jessica Jordan - Model

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