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Geography in Bolivia

Landlocked and large (the size of the states of California and Texas combined, or twice the size of Spain), Bolivia takes up 1,098,581 square kilometers of South America, and is bordered by Peru to the northwest, Brazil to the northeast, and Paraguay, Argentina and Chile in the south. The lack of coast is a bitter reality to Bolivians, as Chile only recently finalized their domination over the shoreline in the Atacama province. Since that territory loss in 1930, it has been a constant concern to reclaim what was once their source of trade and commerce. Even today, President Evo Morales quests to regain at least a portion of the Pacific coastline. 

Bolivia boasts both the highest average altitude and the highest navigable lake in the world. It is a country full of dramatic extremes, from the tall Andes mountain range (with two cordilleras, “Oriental” along the Peruvian and Chilean borders and “Occidental” running down from Peru to Argentina) to the flat and vast Altiplano. It’s highest peak is Volcán Sajama (21,4663 ft / 6,542 m) and its most notable asset is the commanding Lake Titicaca on the northern border. Lake Titicaca has an average depth of 705 feet (215 m), and up to 1,214 feet (370 m) at its deepest point. 

Bolivia is divided naturally by geographical regions, the mountains and Altiplano in the west, the semitropical Yungas and valleys in the east, and the tropical lowlands and plains in the east. The mountains and Altiplano are a high altitude, hard temperature landscape.  

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Northwest Bolivia: When to Go, When to Go and When to Go.

By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
18 Jun 2009

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