Conventional Name: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia (Plurinational State of Bolivia)
Short Name: Bolivia
Surface: 1.098.581 kms2
Population: Approx. 9.000.000
Capital City: Constitutional capital Sucre - Administrative capital La Paz
Local Hour: (- 4 hours GMT)
Electricity Power : La Paz & Huatajata 110 & 220 volts. Sun Island & the rest of the country 220 volts.
Language: The official language is Spanish, but natives also speak Aymara, Quechua and Guarani. English is generally spoken at hotels, shops and other tourist establishments.
Religion: Catholic is the official one, but freedom of worship is guaranteed by law.
Currency: Our national currency is the "Boliviano". There are 10, 20, 50, 200 and 200 Bolivianos bills. The existing coins are 5 Bolivianos, 2 Bolivianos and 1 Boliviano and smaller ones called “centavos” (cents) being 1 Boliviano equal to 100 centavos.
Economy: As regards the economy of the country given by the varied geomorphology offers important natural resources, in what concerns cereals (quinua, soya, wheat) potatoes, fruits, vegetables, rice, wine, coffee, and also llama wool. Other exportations are gas and oil.
Banking & Shopping hours: Weekdays: Shops: 10:00 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 19:00, Banks: 08:30 to 11:30 and 14:00 to 17:00.
Offices: Government offices: 08:30 to 16:30 .
National Holidays: New year (January 1st), Carnival (Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), Good Friday, Labor Day (May 1st), Corpus Christi, Aymara New Year (June 21st), La Paz holiday (July 16th), Independence Day (August 6th), All Saints Day (November 2nd) and Christmas (December 25th).
Geography: Bolivia is the 27th largest country in the world, covering a wide variety of climates and scenery. It is important to mention the big contrast offered by the immense Amazon basin, the imposing mountain range of the Andes as well as the valleys. Bolivias highest peak is the Sajama Volcano (6542 mts). Bolivia has the largest Slat Flats of the world called Uyuni (10,582 km2) on its high plateau.: It presents a full range of climates: cool on the highlands, mild in the valleys and warm on the flat lowlands. Generally, there are 3 months of rain (Dec.- Feb.), and 9 months of crystal blue skies and sunshine. In the highlands the climate is dry, which makes any temperature more comfortable.
Transportation: Bolivia has air, sea, river, overland (intercity) and urban transport (busses and taxis) services. J.F. Kennedy International Airport is located 12 km from down town La Paz.
Communication: Bolivia has excellent telephone, fax, email, internet and courier services. International direct dialing can be accessed from anywhere in the country. Bolivia dialing code is 591, and La Paz City code is 2. All over town exist stores where telephone calls can be made in prívate booths with metered calls. International calling cards are also widely available. “Cyber Cafes”(Internet Cafes) are everywhere you look.
Food & Beverage: Besides international cuisine, Bolivia offers a large variety of national dishes especially of the spicy type. The quality of the meat and vegetables is excellent and water is safe. In restaurants and coffee shops a 10% tip is customary for service.
Culture: Cinema, Theatre, Fine Arts, Music and Literature are present but information on the same is hard to find.
Sports: One of the great Bolivian passions is soccer (futbol in local language) and La Paz City has the highest Stadium worldwide called: Hernando Siles. Tennis and racketball are quite popular.