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- 1 Local languages diversity
- 2 Largest statue of Jesus in Cochabamba
- 3 Picturesque traditions: the country where everything is challa
- 4 The Clock of the South
- 5 Potosi was the most populated city in the world
- 6 The flattest country in the world
- 7 McDonald’s Boycott
- 8 Once upon a time it had an ocean
There are many who wish to discover the towns, landscapes, lakes and all the fun facts about Bolivia. So it’s no wonder you want to travel to Bolivia.
Bolivia is also known as the heart of South America or the country of superlatives. And it is that “the biggest” and “the highest” are the surnames of the most impressive Bolivian places.
If you are considering going, we recommend reading our post on the Bolivia itinerary in 2 weeks: what to see in 15 days. That way you’re sure not to miss anything!
Recommendations aside… if you read our post about the curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats you probably already know that Bolivia has the largest salt flat in the world. If you don’t trust it, the best thing to do is to take the three-day salt flat tour and check it out.
Today we tell you fun facts about the country in general. You’ll be amazed, you’ll see!
Local languages diversity
The 45% bolivian mother tongue is indigenous. Hence, there are 40 official languages: 39 indigenous languages and Spanish.
Currently, some no longer exist and 3 more were incorporated in 2019. Quechua and Aymara are the most common languages and it is not uncommon to hear them around the city markets and in the Andean villages.
Largest statue of Jesus in Cochabamba
The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro is the most famous, but not the tallest. The Christ of Concord measures 34 meters.
It is located in Cochabamba and is 4 meters taller than the one in Rio de Janeiro.
Picturesque traditions: the country where everything is challa
Another fun fact are the Bolivian traditions. This country still retains much of the indigenous beliefs and especially in the western Andes.
These traditions are based on challar everything: the house, the car, the business… but, what is challar?
Challar is sprinkling the ground with liquor in homage to Mother Earth or Pachamama, the goddess of the indigenous people . Another meaning is celebrating with food and drink the acquisition of goods.
As a curiosity, the Aymaras, the second largest indigenous group in Bolivia, celebrate Day of the Ñatitas (November 8th). The Aymaras honor their deceased by filling human skulls decorated with flowers with alcohol, coca, cigarettes and gasoline.
But that’s not all, other traditions include pouring alcohol on cars as a blessing, beating a friend for a good harvest and burying the llamas’s fetuses under houses.
These are some of the many beliefs that Bolivians cherish today. Aren’t they fascinating? It is said that following these customs is like a gift to the soul.
The Clock of the South
The Clock of the South is in the Bolivian congress building in La Paz. This clock dials the passage of time backwards.
The numbers now go from 12 to 1, in reverse, and its hands turn to the left.
They want it to be a symbol of political change in the Andean region and a reminder of Bolivian heritage and creative thinking.
Potosi was the most populated city in the world
In the year 1650 the population of Potosi was greater than Madrid, Paris or London populations. We are talking about a population of 160,000 inhabitants.
This is due to the rich hill of Potosi, a mountain in the Andes. This hill brought prosperity and wealth to the city with its silver veins.
At that time they were the most important in the world and that is why this hill is considered the richest source of silver in the history of mankind.
The flattest country in the world
Continuing with the superlatives, Bolivia is the flattest country on the planet. It’s curious since it has a high altitude and is the country with a lot of towns in the top 10 highest cities in Latin America.
Yes yes, the McDonald’s Boycott is another Bolivia’s fun facts. This is the only country in Latin America where all the stores of this multinational closed, McDonald’s went bankrupt.
This is due to different social, economic and cultural factors. The locals preferred the flavors of their land and not to be cheated with excessive prices.
Today, if you travel to Bolivia you won’t even find a McDonald’s. What a curious thing, isn’t it?
Once upon a time it had an ocean
Bolivia had a vast coastline in what is now northern Chile just before it lost it after the Pacific War (1879- 1884).
This war between Bolivia and Chile provoked in large part as a result of a tax hike has reached the international court at The Hague Court of Justice in the Netherlands.
This court ultimately ruled in favor of Chile in 2018 regarding the maritime dispute with Bolivia.
Now that you know the best fun facts about Bolivia you surely can’t resist discovering more about this country. You just need to travel to Bolivia to find out more!
What fun fact has caught your attention the most?