10 Interesting Facts About Bolivia

1. Camino De Las Yungas, about 50 kilometers northeast of La Paz is notoriously known as the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Road’ or rather ‘Death Road’. The 56km stretch of road is responsible for 200-300 deaths every year, and is located in Bolivia!

2. Did you know, that in order to mix things up a bit and keep things interesting, back in 2014, the main clock on the National Building of Congress was reconfigured to run backward. Bolivia’s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca proudly declared the unorthodox new mechanism to be ‘The Clock of the South’ and was put in place not only as a way to encourage people to think differently but also as a nod to the pride of the country’s indigenous heritage and traditions and to enable them to connect with their ancestors and indigenous roots.

3. La Paz, Bolivia is the highest administrative capital of the world. It houses the government’s executive and legislative branches. La Paz rests at 11,975 ft above sea level with one airport and a population count of nearly 2 million.

4. In Bolivia, zebras help people cross the streets of La Paz. These ‘zebras’ are actually people dressed in zebra costumes, but it’s still one for cool Bolivia facts. The zebras help children cross the road carefully and teach them road safety.

5. Did you know? The legal voting age in Bolivia depends on marital status? Married people can vote at 18, while single people can only vote at 21. Now that’s one for interesting Bolivian facts.

6. Families are the core of Bolivia culture. It is traditional for multiple generations of families to live together under a single roof. Men are the predominant breadwinners of society while women focus on household work.

7. Hats are also traditional in Bolivia. In Quechua, Tarabuco, single women go for woolen hats, while leather hats are worn by married women. The hats vary in style and sizes that denote a citizen’s status.

8. Deceased animals are commonly sold on the streets of Bolivia. Bolivia’s deceased animal trade includes dried llama fetuses, which citizens use as offerings to Mother Nature. The people of Bolivia traditionally offer them to ‘Pachamama’ in return for the blessings that they receive.

9. Did you know? Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni also houses the Palacio de Sal or Palace of Salt? From the name itself, the Palacio de Sal is a structure made entirely of salt. Built from 1993 to 1995, the Palace used 1 million 35-cm blocks of salt for its floors, walls, and ceiling. The same materials formed its furnishings, including beds, chairs, tables, and sculptures.

10. In the country (and other parts of South America including high Andean regions of Peru and the North of Argentina) it is quite common to see people chewing coca leaves, drinking coca tea or eating coca sweets. Coca leaves have been known to have medicinal purposes, mild stimulants and help to alleviate altitude sickness.