Bolivia Nature and Wildlife
Despite being a landlocked country, Bolivia hosts remarkably diverse landscapes unprecedented in a country of its size. Within its borders are incredible mountains, jungles, forests, grasslands, savannas and salt flats as well as interesting wildlife. The country hosts nearly 300 mammal species as well as over 1,400 bird species. Many animals commonly associated with Bolivia include the llama, the guanaco and the alpaca but the country is also home to the jaguar, the maned wolf, the giant otter and more. Bolivia is also known for its Andean flamingo population which is one of the rarest in the world.
While a great deal of Bolivia remains undisturbed, there is still a strong commitment to conservation and more than 17% of the country’s land is protected through national parks and reserves. Much of Bolivia’s population lives within the protected areas so the government is charged with the task of finding the appropriate balance between the ecological needs of the country and the equally important needs of the people. This balance is, in part, carried out by community-based conservation projects.
Bolivia’s national parks are very rugged and host many different ecosystems and habitats. There are thirteen parks in total as well as eight reserves, all dedicated to conservation. Sajama National Park in western Bolivia is one of the most popular. Located across the border from Chile’s Lauca National Park, it is home to Sajama Volcano, which at 6,522 m (21,391 ft) is the highest peak in the country. Many llamas, vicuñas and flamingos live in the park. Sajama is also known for the hiking area, “the Lost Garden of the Incas” which includes geysers and hot springs.
In central Bolivia, there is Madidi National Park which stretches from the Andes to the western Amazon Basin. An incredible 988 species have been listed in the area and it is considered one of the world’s most extensive biodiversity reserves. There is also strong cultural significance found in the park as there are Inca archaeological sites as well as present-day indigenous groups. Another popular park in central Bolivia is Toro Toro National Park. However, Toro Toro is not necessarily known for the wildlife that exists today, but rather for the dinosaurs that once called the area home. Within the park are dinosaur footprints and fossils and the cave of Umajalanta.
Finally, in eastern Bolivia is Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, one of the largest and most intact parks in the Amazon Basin. There are an estimated 4,000 flora species in the park and over 600 bird species with approximately 120 mammals. Within this one park are tropical rainforests, savannas, thorn scrub and wetlands. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 because its vegetation is almost pristine with only minor human impact. The park encompasses the Huanchaca Plateau, one of the largest protected tracks of undisturbed upland savannas making it ideal for the study of the evolution of the area.
The aforementioned parks are only a sampling of the incredible nature and wildlife available within Bolivia’s borders. For a relatively small country to encompass such varied landscapes and ecosystems is incredible and the chance to visit and experience these parks should not be missed.
Bolivia Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Bolivia.
Learn about the history and culture of Bolivia, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Bolivia's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Bolivia for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Bolivia tours today!
Extend Your Trip
After your Bolivia tours, why not consider another of Goway's Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island tours, Ecuador vacation packages which include Galapagos cruises, Peru vacation packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.
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