An encounter with nature
An encounter with culture
Bolivia, officially called Plurinational State of Bolivia is a country located in central-western South America, has a population of about 10.1 million. Bounded on the north and east by Brazil, south to Paraguay and Argentina, and west with Chile and Peru, has no outlet to the sea. Its surface is the sixth largest in Latin America and comprises different geographical areas as Andes, Altiplano, Amazon, Moxos and Chaco, thus being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.
Politically, Bolivia is constituted as a plurinational state, decentralized with autonomies. It is divided into nine departments and maintains a territorial claim to Chile for sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. Sucre is the capital and seat of judiciary, while La Paz is the seat of the executive, legislative and electoral bodies.
In its territory there is ancient civilizations like Tiwanaku, Hydraulic Culture of Hills and moxeña culture developed. First the Incas and later the Spanish conquerors dominated the territory until the country became independent in 1825. that is why it developed a crossbreeding traditions of pre-Columbian cultures with Spanish culture, is a rich multiethnic, multicultural country in the mixture and syncretism customs and traditions received from indigenous peoples and the Spanish conquistadors.
Bolivia is in the central area of South America, between 57º 26′ and 69º 38′ of longitude west of the Greenwich meridian and 9º 38′ and 22 ° 53′ south latitude thus encompasses more than 13º geographical . Their 1,098,581 km² surface extending from the central Andes, passing by the Chaco to the Amazon. The geographical center of the country is in the area of Puerto Estrella over the Rio Grande in the province of Ñuflo de Chaves, located in the department of Santa Cruz,
The country’s geographical location allows you to understand a variety of landforms and climates. There is a wide biodiversity (considered among the largest in the world) and distintasecorregiones and ecological subunits as the Altiplano, the Amazon plains, dry valleys, the Yungas and Chiquitano ranges that are framed in different altitudinal variations ranging from 6542 m Nevado Sajama to 70 m near the Paraguay river. Despite the variety of geographical contrasts, Bolivia lacks costs in the ocean (acquired condition after the Pacific War).
Bolivia can be divided into three physiographic regions:
1. Andean Region in southwest
It covers 28% of the country with an area of 307,603 square kilometers. This area is more than 3000 m, located between the two Andean branches: the Cordilleras Occidental yOriental or Real, which have some of the highest peaks of America as the Nevado Sajama with 6542 meters and the Illimani with 6462 meters. Here is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable world located 3810 meters above sea level, with an area of 8,100 square kilometers and shared with Peru. It is also found in the highlands the Uyuni salt flat, which is the salt reservoir and the reservoir of the world’s largest litiomás.
2. Sub-Andean region in south-central
intermediate region between the highlands and the eastern plains covering 13% of the territory (142,815 square kilometers) and comprises the valleys and the Yungas (2500 meters asl). It is characterized by its agricultural activity and its mild to warm weather (15 to 25 ° C). This region comprises the Bolivian valleys and Los Yungas.
3. Plains region in northeast
It covers 59% of the national surface with an area of 648,163 sq km and is located north of the Cordillera Oriental or Real, stretching from the foot of the Andes to the Paraguay River. It is a land of plains and plateaux, covered by vast forests rich in flora and fauna. The region is characterized by being at a lower altitude of 400 meters above sea level, have extensive rivers and mayorbiodiversidad the country. Has an average annual temperature of 22 to 25 ° C.
Bolivia has three basins that collect the waters that flow into the slopes of the Atlantic (exorréica), the Altiplano (endorreica) and, to a lesser extent in the Pacific as in the case of Silala river, whose waters is in dispute with Chile.
Or North Amazon Basin
724 000 km² / 66% of the territory. The rivers in this basin usually tend to have abundant and meandering flow, which usually form multiple lakes and lagoons like Murillo lagoon, located in the department of Pando. The main Bolivian tributary is the Mamore river with a length of 2000 km, which runs north to the confluence of the Beni River 1113 km long second in fluvial importance of the country with which it forms the Madeira River or Madeira the main tributary of the Amazon river. From east to west it is made up of other major rivers as the Mother of God, Orthon, Abuná, Yata and Iténez or Guaporé. Meanwhile, lakes and lagoons are most important Rogaguado and Rogagua. The annual rainfall in this part of the territory is 1814 mm / year.
Cuenca del Plata or South
229 500 km² / 21% of the territory. Tributaries are generally less plentiful than the Amazon. mainly it composed of Paraguay, Pilcomayo and Bermejo rivers. The most important gaps are: Uberaba and Mandioré located in the region of the Bolivian Pantanal. The annual rainfall in this part of the territory is 854 mm / year.
Lacustrine Basin or Central
145 081 km² / 13% of the territory. The Altiplano has large amounts of rivers, lakes, ponds and springs that do not run into any ocean for being enclosed by the Andes mountain range that delimits the region. The most important river is the Desaguadero with its 436 km in length is the longest of the highland rivers, starts at Lake Titicaca, the highest in the world (3810 m), and runs in a southeasterly direction at Lake Poopo (3686 m). Formed by the Titicaca and Poopó lakes, and the Desaguadero River and great salt flats like Coipasa and Uyuni. For its attraction, they are important gaps Green, White and Colorada located south of Potosi. In this basin there are large salt lakes like the Salar de Uyuni (12 000 km²) which is eldesierto salt and tank world’s largest lithium or Salar de Coipasa (2218 square kilometers). The annual rainfall in this part of the territory is 421 mm / year.
Bolivia’s climate varies greatly between ecoregions of the eastern tropical conditions in a polar climate in the western Andean plains. Summers are warm, humid in the east and dry in the West with rain that change the temperature, humidity, wind, atmospheric pressure, and evaporation, resulting in different climates. When the weather phenomenon occurs and erratically cyclical called The Niño43 44 generates large changes in climate. Winters in the West are quite cold and snow present in proximity to the mountains, while the lowlands tend to have windy days. Autumn is dry in non-tropical regions. Climatic variations by region occur as follows:
tropical humid climate with average temperature of 30 ° C. Winds from the Amazon jungle ocasionas significant rainfall. From May, dry winds produce minimal rainfall so the days are clear. Inroads in winter strong southerly winds, called surazos, which can bring cool temperatures for several days.
arid-polar climate swept by strong, cold winds. The average temperature is between 15 to 20 ° C. At night the temperatures drop drastically and are located just above 0 ° C, while at midday the weather is dry and the intensity of solar radiation is higher. Frosts occur almost every month and snow is frequent.
“Valles” and “Yungas”
The weather is warm. Wet northeastern winds are pushed into the mountains, making this area is humid and rainy. Temperatures drop with increasing height, however snowfall is possible at elevations ranging 2000 m.
semitropical, semiarid climate. There is rain and moisture during January and the other months are dry with hot days and cool nights. The maximum temperature recorded in Bolivia was 47 ° C and occurred in this area. The surazos also affect this region.
Bolivia is considered a mega-diverse country, 45 as it is among the countries with the largest variety of living things, ecosystems and genetic differences within each species that allow the combination of multiple forms of life.
Its altitudinal gradient, between 90 and 6542 meters, allows for this wide biodiversity. Its territory includes 4 types of biomes, 32 ecoregions and 199 ecosystems. laamazonía ecosystems, yungas) stand out, Chiquitanía, the Chaco and the Andean forests. In this mega-diverse geographical space cohabiting different nature reserves and national parks: Noel Kempff Mercado, Madidi, Tunari, Eduardo Abaroa, Kaa-Iya, among others.
The biodiversity of species is divided into:
By having more than 20 000 species with seeds, which are estimated at more than 1200 species of ferns, more than 1500 species of liverworts and mosses, and at least eight hundred species of fungi. In addition, more than 3000 species of medicinal plants are known, so that Bolivia is considered as the place of origin of species such as locotos, chillies, peppers, peanuts, beans or Phaseolus vulgaris, manioc and various depalmeras varieties. On the other hand, in the land over 4000 potato varieties are produced in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes.
Among the ten most diverse countries with more than 2900 species, distributed in 398 mammal species, more than 1,400 birds (70% of birds known in the world, 6th country with the highest number of especies46), 204 amphibians, 277 reptiles and 635 freshwater fish, since the country has no outlet to the sea. We have also identified more than 3,000 species of butterflies, so that the country ranks fourth in the world. There are also more than 50 domestic deanimales species.
Although the Bolivian territory only has about 3.5% of the world’s forests, biodiversity country represents between 30 and 40% of the world total. A high percentage of species of flora and fauna are endemic since only live in the defined area. The highest concentration of endemic plants are found in the Andes. More specifically in the Yungas and the Andean dry valleys.