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Bolivia

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Bolivia

Official Name: Republic of Bolivia

Capital: La Paz (seat of government)
Sucre (legal capital and seat of judiciary)
Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara (all official)

More than half of Bolivia is mountainous. In the west are
the Andes which divide into two parallel ranges. Between
them lies the altiplano, a high plateau 3700 to 4000m
(12000 to 13000ft) above sea level. Low plains cover the
rest of the country.

Best time: Good all year round, but better March to
May (autumn) and September to November (spring).

Other good months are June to August (dry but cold) and December to February (warm but wet).
Variations in altitude provide Bolivia with contrasting patterns of climate. Note that thin air at high
elevations can bring on “soroche,” altitude sickness, which leaves you with nausea and shortness of
breath. People with heart or lung problems should be aware of this.

We have divided the weather into two regions. Refer to map for corresponding numbers.

1. Altiplano region. (Includes the high plateau where La Paz is situated.)
April to October: Warm. Afternoon temperatures average 17C (63F). Overnight temperatures can
drop to –3C (27F), particularly June to August. This is the dry season; June is the driest month.
April to October: Warm. Afternoon temperatures average 17C (63F). Overnight temperatures can
drop to –3C (27F), particularly June to August. This is the dry season; June is the driest month.

November to March: Warm to hot. Afternoon temperatures average 19C (66F) but temperatures can
fall quickly after sunset to 6C (42F) and lower. This is the rainy season; most rain falls December to
February. Afternoons are often cloudy, but sun usually shines for several hours. Expect 5 to 6 hours of
sunshine daily.

Recreational activity: Skiing is possible, December to March, at Chacaltaya, the highest ski run in
the world, just 36km (22 miles) from La Paz. Ski equipment can be rented in La Paz.