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Land and Resources, Natural Regions

Cordillera Occidental, Cordillera Oriental, Yungas, flood line, Altiplano

Bolivia is divided into three distinct regions: the Altiplano, or plateau region; the Yungas, a series of forested and well-watered valleys embracing the eastern mountain slopes and valleys; and the llanos, or the Amazon-Chaco lowlands. The Altiplano is about 800 km (about 500 mi) long and about 130 km (about 80 mi) wide and lies between the Cordillera Occidental and the Cordillera Oriental. In the northern part of the Altiplano, where the bulk of the population and industry of Bolivia is found, is Lake Titicaca, the highest large, navigable lake in the world. The southern part of the plateau is arid.

Stretching east and northeast from the mountains are the great Amazonian plains (llanos) containing large grassy tracts and, along the rivers, dense tropical forests. Much of this region becomes swampland during the wet season (December through February); large areas, however, lie above the flood line and are rich grazing lands. In the southeast, separated from the Amazonian plains by the Chiquitos highlands (about 1,070 m/about 3,500 ft), are the dry, semitropical plains of the Chaco.

Article key phrases:

Cordillera Occidental, Cordillera Oriental, Yungas, flood line, Altiplano, Lake Titicaca, llanos, swampland, plateau region, Chaco, wet season, rivers, mountains, population, northeast, bulk, large areas, region, world


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