Geography of Bolivia


Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Bolivia holds great contrasts from the topographic point of view. The western part is occupied by the Andes, which here reaches its greatest breadth, while the eastern part is a lowland, Oriente, which covers about 2/3 of the area of ​​Bolivia.

A third landform region is the high plateau in the southwest, Altiplano, between 3,600 and 4,000 m above sea level, partially enclosed by both Andean chains. Of these, the Western Cordillera has Bolivia’s highest peak, Sajama 6 542 m above sea level, while the Eastern Cordillera is less dramatic but has several high volcanic peaks, such as Illimani and Illampú. On the high plateau between them lies Lake Titicaca (3,810 m above sea level), the highest lake in the world with shipping and South America’s largest freshwater lake (8,100 km2); it is dewatered to the drainless and salty Lake Poopós.

The eastern slopes of the Andes are divided by a large number of river valleys, of which the lower ones are densely populated. The area is called Yungas in the north and Valles in the south.

The ground cover at Altiplano is thin, most consisting of loosely consolidated clays, sand and gravel, in the southern part salt-rich. In Yungas, the soil is strongly eroded, while the Valles region has deeper ground cover. In most of Oriente, the soil is nutrient-poor, alternately dehydrated and water-sick.


Bolivia is entirely within the tropical zone, but the climate holds great contrasts, mainly due to the elevation differences. Altiplano is thus characterized by cold winds and low rainfall, which mostly comes in the form of thunderstorms during the high summer (December – January). The temperature stays on average between 7 and 11 °C, but the nights are cold and in winter it can reach down to -20 °C. Lake Titicaca has an equalizing influence on the climate in the northern part, and the strong sunshine in the clear air can give a temperature of 21 °C during winter days.

In Yungas, on the other hand, humid air comes in from the Amazon, giving an annual rainfall of 1,350 mm and an annual average temperature of 16-19 °C. Valles has clearer and drier air and is slightly warmer. On the low plains of Oriente, the climate is hot, 23-25 ​​°C in the south and 27 °C in the north, with 1,000 and 1,750 mm of precipitation per year, respectively. Temporarily cold winds from the south, which bring sand and dust, can lower the temperature several degrees.

Plant-and animal life

Bolivia Wildlife

About 2/5 of the land is wooded. The area in the far north is covered by tropical rainforest with, among other things. very palm trees. On the plains in the northeast, an open tree and shrub saw takes over. In the Bolivian part of Gran Chaco in the south there are deciduous forests of varying appearance, in their places swampy, in other places dense and lush, in some areas open and savanna. Along the eastern slopes of the Andes between about 1,000 and 2,500 meters above sea level. grows a subtropical, moist forest. Here you will find the valuable chin tree that provides quinine. Higher up is a humid zone with high rainfall and fog, where vegetation is quite dense but low-grown and among other things. includes heather, myrtle, pineapple and medinilla plants. Up on the high plateaus there is a sparse vegetation with shrubs, which to the east turns into grassy, ​​steppe so-called Puna vegetation. Above 4,500 meters above sea level

Bolivia’s rainforests are rich in species. Many monkeys are found here, such as tamarins, skull monkeys, capuchin and crab monkeys, further jaguars, ocelot, lowland tapestries, navel pigs and several large rodents, among others. capybara. Among the birds can be seen ares and other parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, kingfishers, king gams and muskand. The arctic fauna in particular is hugely rich. In the drier forests, cougars, belts and marshes are found. In the Andes you will find vicunja and guanaco, Peruvian huemul, guinea pig, chinchilla, viscachor, Andean condor and many oven birds. Highly situated lakes, including Lake Titicaca, houses a variety of waterfowl, i.e. dopings, coot and flamingos, and a largely unique lower fauna, which has developed in the geologically old lake.

Nature conservation

Bolivia had 16 national parks in 2010, among others. Carrasco Ichilo, Isiboro Sécure and Noel Kempff Mercado. In addition, there were a number of so-called national reserves and areas with other forms of protection, together representing about 18% of the country’s area.