Where to find the world’s highest capital city?

At the foot of the soaring peak of Mount Illampu (6,550 metres) and Mount Illimani (6,459 metres) on the Andes mountain range, stands, the city of La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, founded by the Spaniards in 1548.

Situated on a high plateau a little south of Lake Titicaca, this city of almost 900,000 inhabitants rises to a height of 3,831 metres, the highest capital city in the world. But it is not Bolivia’s highest city. Oruro for example, which has almost 140,000 inhabitants, is 3,715 metres above sea level. There are even higher inhabited places: the village of Chacaltaya, lost in the mountains of the Andes, is 5,130 metres above sea level which is higher than the summit of Mont Blanc.

At such altitudes the air is very thin and contains less oxygen, but the Indians can live and work in these conditions without suffering too much. For thousands of years they have been used to living at great altitudes and their bodies have become adapted to the severe climate of the Andes. As a result of breathing in the thin air they have developed large chests to extract as much oxygen as possible from the air.

Bolivia has no sea coast and its territory is almost completely covered by mountains. These include high mountain chains in the west and a number of high plateau, most of them arid and all of them about 4,000 metres above sea level. In the east the land slopes gently away downwards to the immense river basin of the Amazon.


Picture Credit : Google

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