Tourism in Bolivia

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Lake Titicaca from the Bolivian shore

Bolivia has many natural and artificial tourist attractions, and has experienced growth in the tourism industry since 1990 in spite of deterrents to tourism such as political instability.


Bolivia has multiple natural and man-made tourist attractions. The Andes, which cross Bolivia, are the highest mountain range outside Asia, and the longest exposed mountain range in the world. Bolivia's seat of government, La Paz, is the highest seat of government city in the world at 3,660 metres (12,010 ft). Lake Titicaca is one of the world's highest commercially navigable lakes, and home to the Uros, a pre-Incan people who live on artificial floating islands on the lake. The Inca civilization and other pre-Columnbian civilizations left ruins that still exist into the 21st century, including the Temple of Kalasasaya. Yungas Road, one of the most dangerous roads in the world, attracts thousands of cyclists and thrill seekers every year.[1] The city of Potosí is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is claimed to be the highest city in the world at 4,090 metres (13,420 ft). The city is also the site of silver mines that produced fabulous wealth for the Spanish Monarchy; 45,000 tons of pure silver were mined from Cerro Rico from 1556 to 1783. The Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat[2] at 4,085 square miles (10,580 km2).[3] Madidi National Park contains the upper Amazon River basin and is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world. Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi, a Bolivian NGO that works in defense of animal rights and the environment, maintains three wildlife centers throughout Bolivia where volunteers can work closely with wild animals, such as spider monkeys, jaguars and exotic birds.

Growth and economic impact[edit]

Bolivia's tourist industry has grown gradually since about 1990. In 2000 Bolivia attracted 306,000 tourists, compared with 254,000 in 1990. Tourist revenue peaked at US$179 million in 1999. Tourism in Bolivia declined following the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, as was the case across North and South America.[4]

Deterrents to tourism[edit]

Political instability and lack of first-class and second-class accommodations have held Bolivia back in terms of growth in tourism, although it still has experienced quite a lot in the past.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mostrous, Alexi (2008-04-25). "British cyclist Tom Austin killed on Bolivian 'Highway of Death' - Times Online". The Times (London). Retrieved 2009-03-20. The highway east from La Paz - the world’s highest capital city – winds down the face of the Andes, dropping 11,800 feet in just 40 miles. The views from the dangerous road and its hairpin turns now draw an estimated 25,000 thrill-seeking mountain bikers from around the world. At least 13 cyclists have died on the road in the past 10 years. 
  2. ^ "Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia : Image of the Day". Retrieved 2009-03-20. The largest salar (salt flat) in the world, Salar de Uyuni, is located within the Altiplano of Bolivia in South America 
  3. ^ "Uyuni Salt Flat (salt flat, Bolivia)". Britannica. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  4. ^ a b "Country Profile: Bolivia" (PDF). Library of Congress Federal Research Division. January 2006. 

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