Geography, climate and weather at Bolivia - The Traveller


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Geography, climate and weather at Bolivia


Bolivia is home to the Altiplano, valleys and the Amazon, the wonders of this Vespucci saw as the "earthly paradise". In addition to the blank spaces and grandiose of the Altiplano, the vegetation is one of the most fascinating wealth of Bolivia.

The Puya Raimondi found in the park Comanche flower valleys or orchids Amboró Park, not to mention the giant cactus of the Salar de Uyuni and carnivorous plants in the Amazon.

The Altiplano

This high plateau (above 3000 m) is surrounded by two mountain ranges. Including a worthy competitor of the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. To the east of the Altiplano, the Cordillera Real: 500 km long, 30 km wide and 300 peaks over 5000 meters! To the west, the Western Cordillera and volcanic peaks such as Sajama (6500 m), or Payachatas Licancabur (this beautiful volcano behind the Laguna Verde).

It is also found on the Altiplano large lakes in Bolivia: Lake Titicaca, lakes Uru-Uru and Poopó south of Oruro, or the deserts of Uyuni salt and Coipasa, South Lipez with Colorada and Laguna Verde.

The Yungas

It is northeast of La Paz that is the region where the Andes marry the Amazon. It is this region of lush vegetation that supplies the city of all the exotics of your dreams.

The valleys

1 500 to 2 500 m, the valleys are characterized by a mild climate and lush vegetation. Its fertile soil make this region the breadbasket of Bolivia.

The Chaco

Here is an area that marked the painful history of Bolivia (Chaco War in the 1930s). Rich in oil, the area dry, flat stretches on the southeast corner of Eastern in the confines of Paraguay. Because of its low population density, there is a sample of rare varieties of fauna and flora.

El Oriente

This is the Oriente itself. Despite some idea of
​​Bolivia, the region occupies 67% of its surface. Area hot plains, lush vegetation, it is now the main economic hope of the country (Santa Cruz became the locomotive of progress Bolivia). The Amazon and the Pantanal (the largest in the world) are there.

National Parks

There are currently twenty parks and protected areas in Bolivia. In total, these areas of the biosphere are 100 000 km ². The word "park" means first of all reserves. Few places are indeed marked or guarded by gamekeepers. Hikers, do you not venture without a guide and feel free to use the services of an agency.  It is in some of these parks that are the hidden gems of Bolivia.


The tropical location of Bolivia that the seasons and climate are directly related to major geological zones that determine the climate. First the Altiplano at over 3000 m above sea level, surrounded by the Cordillera of the Andes to the east (over 500 km long!) And the Western Cordillera to the west. In July and August, in the heart of the dry season it can get very cold at night (this is the southern winter), but mild enough during the day (15-20 ° C) if the blizzard does not blow; rare rain in June and July.

Then the temperate valleys in the center of the country east of the Cordillera, where it will remove the wool from July to August. And finally, contrasts: the Amazon and the plains of the east (El Oriente, 67% of the country) with hot winter to 30 ° C (in Trinidad and Rurrenabaque) or Surazos (cold winds of Patagonia) that require them to pull out the alpaca under the coconut trees of the square of Santa Cruz from July to August!

For backpackers who go to the Salar and Lipez, provide thermal underwear and good wind. At the Laguna Verde, it can do to - 30 ° C at night! The best time to visit Bolivia is during the dry season that is to say from May to October. The wet season from November to March, brings, in turn, a strong and stifling heat in the plains and the Amazon basin.

Not easy, therefore, to provide the best clothing. Get ready for all types of situation: the swimsuit ... the jacket. In general, light and equip themselves backpackers buy locally complement, wool clothing is common and cheap.

While the dry season is of course advisable, Bolivia has so many climates and microclimates that can, without hesitation, to get all year.

A few notes

- Although the roads in Bolivia are improving, we must reflect this climatic cycle for travel. Especially in the Amazon flights are canceled if it rains too much, and sugar due to fog.

- In the Oriente, from June to August, temperatures can in a few hours from 30 to 10 ° C. With the humidity, it can be annoying.

- A small note unpleasant during the month of August, the country can be covered with a dense smoke (chaqueo), the result of burning of land in the Bolivian Amazon and Brazil. Experts say the practice, associated with the greenhouse effect, is currently having a strong impact on the cycle of rain in Bolivia. The glaciers of the Cordillera Real are melting. Cordillera governs the whole climate of Bolivia, both in the Andes in the Amazon....

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