The huge, beautiful and empty country that somehow only gets 895k tourists a year | World | News


Nestled in the heart of South America, Bolivia is the fifth-largest country in the region, after Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Colombia.

This stunning nation has an area of 424,164 square miles, and is one of the two landlocked countries in the Americas.

An analysis of the World Population Prospects by the United Nations shows that Bolivia isn’t particularly densely populated.

Counting a little over 12 million residents, its population density is a little over 30 people per square mile – a number that pales in comparison to that recorded in much smaller and more populated countries such as Monaco and Singapore.

While it has a relatively small population when compared to its land size, Bolivia is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world.

The nation has to offer one natural marvel after another, including the world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, and the Lake Titicaca.

When it comes to its incredibly diverse population, Bolivia is also home to 36 different ethnic groups, each with its own language and customs.

The country’s ancient history, which can still be explored in UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as El Fuerte and Tiwanaku, and its outstanding biodiversity are a further plus that should contribute to attracting tourists.

However, despite its qualities and all it has to offer, the South American nation is not the destination of choice for as many tourists as other countries in the region.

Data shared by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Bolivia shows that the number of international arrivals in the nation in 2022 was around 895,500.

This marked a large increase when compared to the previous two years affected by the coronavirus pandemic but was not yet on par with the 1.4 million foreign tourists it welcomed in 2019.

Still, even pre-pandemic data for international tourists in Bolivia are smaller when compared to those recorded, for example, in Chile and Brazil.

The former welcomed more than 4.5 million people in 2019 and registered more than two million international arrivals in 2022, while the latter saw 3.6 million international tourists visiting its territory in 2022 and some six million people in 2019.

The relatively small number of tourists in Bolivia allows visitors who do travel there to fully enjoy its sights – although some areas such as the trails on Huayna Potosi can still attract enough people during high season to feel crowded.


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