Bolivia Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Bolivia: population, cities



According to Countryaah website, Bolivia has around 11 million residents.

Ethnic groups

41% Indian, 30% mestizo, 5% European, 24% Creole.


About 78% Roman Catholic, also Protestants and natural religions

National languages Spanish (official language), Quecha and Aymará are only used regionally.

Capital, other cities

The capital, but not the seat of government, of Bolivia is Sucre with a population of around 260,000. According to Abbreviation Finder, BOL stands for Bolivia in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other cities are:

Santa Cruz de la Sierra with approx. 1.3 million residents

La Pa z with 760,000 residents. In the city is the seat of government of the country

El Alto with approx. 647,000 residents

Cochabamba with approx. 517,000 residents

Oruro with approx. 201,000 residents

Tarija with approx. 136,000 residents

Potosí with approx. 133,000 residents

Bolivia: geography, map

Bolivia, located in the center of South America, borders the countries Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Bolivia.

The country covers a total area of 1,098,581 km² and is about three times the size of Germany.

The country is divided into the following landscapes:

  • ForestAround 66% of the country is forested.
  • Meadow/pasture landAround 25% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 4% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing maize.
  • WaterAround 14,190 km² of Bolivia is taken up by water, which is around 1.3% of the country’s area.

National borders

Bolivia has a common border with a total of five countries:

  • Peru with a length of around 1,048 km
  • Brazil with a length of around 3,125 km
  • Paraguay with a length of around 756 km
  • Argentina with a length of around 742 km
  • Chile with a length of around 861 km.

Longitude and latitude

Bolivia extends over the following geographical latitude (abbrev.) And geographical longitude (abbrev.):

φ = from 10 ° 20 ‘to 23 ° south latitude λ = from 58 ° to 69 ° west longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For the capital Sucre, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there and a plus sign that it is later than after CET:

Δt (CET) = – 5 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in La Paz

La Paz lies at a south latitude of around 16.5 °.

If the declination of the sun has a value of 16.5 ° S, and so the image point of the sun is exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 27 days before December 21st and 27 days after December 21st (for details see position of the sun).


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination is north of the latitude of La Paz, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.

Andes and mountains


The Andes are very extensive in the western part of the country and consist of two large and widely spaced chains, the Cordillera (Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central). The highest mountains are there: the Sajama with 6,542 m in the west and the Illimani 6,882 m in the center. In between lies the highlands, the 3,000 to 4,200 m high Altiplano. As part of the Cordillera Central in the central area to the southeast of the country, the heights of the Cordillera Real rise, this “royal” mountain range is narrower and contains most of the six thousand meter peaks, including the well-known Illampu(6,553 m). It is not surprising that Bolivia is therefore also called the Tibet of South America.

Illimani massif

The Illimani massif is located in the Andes and has the second highest mountain in Bolivia with a peak of 6,439 m. The massif has the following four peaks over 6,000 m:

– Pico del Indio (Pico Sur) in the south of the massif with a height of 6,439 m.

– Pico La Paz (Pico Central) with an altitude of 6,362 m

– Pico Kuhm (Norte) with an altitude of 6,380 m

– Pico París with an altitude of 6,043 m.

From La Paz you can see the Pico del Indio and the Pico Kuhm.

The British William Martin Conway made the first ascent in 1898. As part of the German Bolivia expedition of 1950, Hans Ertl climbed the Illimani north summit single-handedly. Hans Ertl and the geologist Gert Schröder then managed the first ascent of the Illimani southern summit.

The starting point for the ascent of the four peaks is the village of Pinaya.

The Chilean music group Inti-Illimani takes its name from this mountain.


The Sajama (Nevado Sajama) is with a height of 6,542 m the highest mountain in Bolivia and also one of the highest volcanoes in the world. It is located in the middle of the Sajama National Park of the same name on the southwest border with Chile. Since the mountain lies on the plateau of the Altiplano at an altitude of about 4200 m, it appears to be considerably lower than it actually is. The volcano has been extinct for about 25,000 years. Since the summit is covered by an ice cap, no crater can be seen. An ascent of the mountain The ascent to the summit is an alpine tour and can be completed in two to three days after a corresponding acclimatization of physically trained and healthy people. A specialty are the Queñua cripple trees (Polylepis tarapacana), which can be found up to a height of around 5000 m, the trees are the highest growing tree species in the world. Its shoots, boiled into tea in hot water, are said to help against altitude sickness.

On August 2, 2001, the mountain was the venue for what is probably the highest football game on earth. And on June 12, 2007, a football game took place here at an altitude of 6,000 m in the presence of the Bolivian President Evo Morales. The game was intended to protest against a new FIFA regulation that prohibits international matches at locations above 2500 m.


Río Beni

The longest river in Bolivia is the Río Beni with a length of about 1,600 km.

Other rivers in the country are:

  • the Río Madeira
  • the Rio San Miguel
  • the Rio Grande and
  • the Río Lauca.

Lakes, Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca Lake

Titicaca is at an altitude of 3,800 m, making it the highest lake in South America, it contains 36 small islands and has clear water. Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and a sacred lake known through myths and legends at an altitude of 3,812 m and the highest lake on earth. It enchants with its unbelievably clear water, has 36 islands and an area of 8,290 km² – with a maximum depth of 365 m. The border with Peru to the west runs through the middle of the lake, which therefore belongs to both countries. Its water is fed by around 25 rivers, while the only outflow is the Río Desaguadero. But between 80 to 90% of the water evaporates and only the rest of 10 to 20% flows away via the river.

Other lakes:

  • the Poopó lake
  • the Coipasa lake

Bolivia Population