Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. By volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America (Lake Maracaibo has a larger surface area, but it is often disregarded as it is directly connected to the sea).
The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheicAltiplano basin high in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department. The lake is composed of two nearly separate sub-basins that are connected by the Strait of Tiquina which is 800 m (2,620 ft) across at the narrowest point. The larger sub-basin, Lago Grande (also called Lago Chucuito) has a mean depth of 135 m (443 ft) and a maximum depth of 284 m (932 ft). The smaller sub-basin, Wiñaymarka (also called Lago Pequeño, "little lake") has a mean depth of 9 m (30 ft) and a maximum depth of 40 m (131 ft). The overall average depth of the lake is 107 m (351 ft).
Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in the Potosí and Orurodepartments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above the mean sea level. The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine, which is exceptionally rich in lithium. It contains 50 to 70% of the world's lithium reserves, which is in the process of being extracted. The large area, clear skies and exceptional surface flatness make the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of the Earth observation satellites. The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.
Quechua is a Native South Americanlanguage family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably some 6 to 8 million speakers (estimates vary widely). Some speakers of Quechua also call it 'runa simi' (or regional variants thereof), literally 'people speech', although 'runa' here has the more specific sense of indigenous Andean people.
Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Spanish: la ˈpas; English: Our Lady of Peace; Aymara: Chuquiago Marka or Chuqiyapu) is the administrative capital of Bolivia, as well as the departmental capital of La Paz Department, and the second largest city (in population) only after Santa Cruz de la Sierra. It is located in the western part of the country in the department of the same name It is located at an elevation of 3,660 meters (11,942 ft.) above sea level, making it the world's highest "de facto" capital city, or administrative capital.
The official capital of Bolivia is Sucre and it is the seat of Justice, La Paz has more government departments, hence the "de facto" qualifier. The city sits in a "bowl" surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano.
[[File:|100px|left]] Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andesmountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban population of 608,276 (2008) and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people. The name derives from a compound of the Quechua words qucha, meaning "lake", and pampa, "open plain". Residents of the city and surrounding areas are commonly referred to as Cochabambinos. Cochabamba is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" and "The Garden City" due to its spring-like temperatures year round. It is also known as "La Llajta", "town" in Quechua.
Bolivia has a national police force called the Cuerpo de Policía Nacional (English: National Police Corps) made of 31,000 officers that is responsible for internal security and maintaining law and order. Unlike in most Latin American countries, the Bolivian police force always has been responsible to the national government rather than to state or local officials. The 1950 Organic Law of Police and Carabiniers officially separated the police from the military. Frequently, however, the national police call upon the military for assistance in quelling riots and civil protests.
The countrywide emergency number for the police, including highway patrol is 110.
San Pedro prison or El penal de San Pedro is the largest prison in La Paz, Bolivia renowned for being a society within itself. Significantly different from most correctional facilities, inmates at San Pedro have jobs inside the community, buy or rent their accommodation, and often live with their families. The sale of cocaine base to visiting tourists gives those inside a significant income and an unusual amount of freedom within the prison walls. Elected leaders enforce the laws of the community, with stabbings being commonplace. The prison is home to approximately 1,500 inmates, with additional guests staying in the prison hotel.
The book Marching Powder, written by Rusty Young and published in 2003, describes the experiences of the British inmate Thomas McFadden who became known for offering prison tours to tourists.
The interior region bordering Spanish and Portuguese territories in South America was largely unexplored at the end of the 17th century. Dispatched by the Spanish Crown, Jesuits explored and founded eleven settlements over 70 years in the Chiquitos region of Spanish America. They built churches in a unique and distinct style that combined elements of Indian and European architecture. The indigenous inhabitants of the missions were taught European music as a means of conversion. The missions were self-sufficient, with thriving economies, and virtually autonomous from the Spanish crown.