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Bolivia is an amazingly diverse country in every sense of the word. Landlocked and located in the heart of South America, in Bolivia culture draws strongly from deep multi-ethnic indigenous roots, centuries of Spanish colonial occupation, the influence of its five neighboring countries, and numerous very diverse foreign immigrant populations.
The curious history of Bolivia has been shaped by colorful conditions as reflected in the unusual changing colors of the Bolivia flag and its nine state flags. See all Bolivia's national emblems. In rugged Bolivia government has been tumultuous and very difficult, especially since the country gained its independence from Spain in 1825.
The economy in Bolivia continues to undergo transitions as the country desperately searches for a more self-sustaining system that will release it from its almost complete dependence on traditional global trade models. However, Bolivian politics often hinder success. Another factor that impedes development is the availability and extent of education in Bolivia.
is cold, arid and nearly impenetrable in some places. It is difficult to develop transportation and agriculture in this region; however, this is offset by its beauty and colorful Andean cultures. Most of the country's most visited tourist destinations in Bolivia are located in the Andes Mountains and highlands and most of the 10 top tourist attractions in Bolivia reflect the country’s Aymara and Quechua population, making tourism a very important source of income here. Because of this, most of the Bolivian art and Bolivian music and dances known around the world come from this region as well. Moreover, for the past 500 years most of the country’s wealth, stemming from rich silver and tin mines, has been concentrated in this area and little of it was ever invested anywhere else.
Bolivia's tropical eastern half
is covered in vast valleys and plains, rolling hills and lush rainforest. This hot, humid half is home to over 20 ethnic groups, each with very distinct customs and traditions. This half is also home to over 40% of all the Earth’s known wildlife and most of the wildlife in Bolivia and its endangered species. It has the most suitable geography of Bolivia for agriculture, animal husbandry, cattle ranching, transportation, and expansion; yet remained largely ignored and underdeveloped until the 1990’s when foreign companies invested in Bolivia’s now powerful oil and gas industry. Two of Bolivia’s nine states, Santa Cruz and Beni, produce close to 80% of all Bolivian food and agricultural products, and contribute over 40% of Bolivia’s gross national product. In this area of Bolivia people developed and industrialized the region through private enterprise.
If you plan to travel Bolivia, be sure to visit our Bolivian festivals, holidays and special occasions pages as they may affect your itineraries. They also contain many interesting facts about Bolivia culture and customs. Our Travel Planner contains information on hotels and hostels, airlines, and hundreds of other facts and travel information. View our events in Bolivia and Bolivian sports pages for fun activities, things to do and ways to entertain yourself all over the country. Also see our page on traditional Bolivian games, some of which are very dangerous! Welcome to Bolivia!