Bolivia is a beautiful, geographically diverse, multiethnic, and democratic country in the heart of South America. It is surrounded by Brazil to the northeast, Peru to the northwest, Chile to the southwest, Argentina and Paraguay to the south. It shares with Peru control of Lake Titicaca (Lago Titicaca), the world’s highest navigable lake (elevation 3,805m).
Sometimes refers as the Tibet of the Americas. Bolivia is one of the most “remote” countries in the western hemisphere. Except for the navigable Paraguay River stretching to the distant Atlantic, Bolivia and Paraguay are the only two landlocked nations in the Americas. It is also the most indigenous country in the Americas, with 60% of its population being of pure Native American ancestry.
Bolivia, named after independence fighter Simon Bolivar, broke away from Spanish rule in 1825. Much of its subsequent history has consisted of a series of nearly 200 coups and counter-coups. Comparatively democratic civilian rule was established in the 1980s. However, leaders have faced difficult problems. For example deep-seated poverty, social unrest, and drug production. Current goals include attracting foreign investment, strengthening the educational system, and waging an anti-corruption campaign.
The current President is Evo Morales who won majority in a 2005 election and inaugurated at the historical Tiwanaku archaeological site. Morales and his party, the Movement for Socialism, were re-elected in 2009, with another majority. There are often large protests in Bolivia considering issues like environmental protection, logging, hydrocarbon extraction, mining, and so on. These protests often cause the shutdown of streets in La Paz and creation of blockades along major inter-city travel routes. If travelling between cities by bus it can be common to be stalled by several hours due to these protests.
Bolivia’s climate varies drastically with altitude and from one climatic zone to another. It ranges from humid and tropical to cold and semiarid. In most parts of the country winters are dry and summers are somewhat wet. Despite its tropical latitude, the altitude of cities like La Paz keeps things cool. Warm clothing is advised year-round. The summer months in Bolivia are November through March. The weather is typically warmer and wetter during these months. April through October, the winter months, are typically colder and drier.