The main rivers of Bolivia 2021

Bolivia is a landlocked South American country. The geography of Bolivia is characterized by a great diversity of terrain and climate with a high degree of biodiversity. Bolivia has three different physiographic areas, including the Andes, the Sub-Andes, and Llanos. The land is drained from three large pools; the Amazon basin, the Rio del la Plata basin and the central pool. Several rivers and lakes of different properties and lengths make up these catchment areas. Some rivers and lakes, especially in the central basin, do not enter the ocean because they are enclosed by the Andean mountains.

The main rivers of Bolivia


The Madeira River is a significant body of water in South America and the longest river in Bolivia, measuring 2,020 miles. It is one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon. Water flows into the Madeira River from other major rivers such as the Guapore, Blanco and Beni. The upper branches of the Madeira River find their way to the Beni Plain. From its source in the Beni and Mamore rivers, the Madeira River flows north, forming the border between Bolivia and Brazil, before changing towards the Brazilian state of Rondonia. Madeira is an active waterway that facilitates the export of millions of tons of grain. The river is inhabited by dolphins from the Amazon and more than 900 species of fish.


The Paraguay River flows through Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina about 1,629 miles from its source in Mato Grosso, Brazil, to its end on the Parana River. The river forms the border with Paraguay and Brazil, as well as Paraguay and Argentina. It is an important geographical feature of Paraguay with which it shares its name. The Paraguay River is one of the main rivers of the Rio de la Plate. It disposes of significant parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It is an important sea and trade route to the Atlantic Ocean for Paraguay and Bolivia without access to the sea. It is also an important source of fish and water for irrigation for communities living on its shores.


The Mamoré River is a large river shared by Bolivia and Brazil that connects the Beni and forms the Madeira River. It rises from the slopes of the Sierra de Cochabamba to the intersection with the Chapara. The river is interrupted by rapids above the connection with Benny. A railway was built under the rapids. Most of the tributaries of the Mamoré are navigable over long distances. Mamoré drains an area of ​​9,382 square kilometers and flows 1,199 miles from its source to the junction with Beni.


The Guaporé River is located in northeastern Bolivia and western Brazil. The river is 950 miles long and forms the border between Brazil and Bolivia. It is part of the Madeira River Basin which flows into the Amazon. The Guaporé River feeds the Guaporé Biological Reserves. The river has over 250 species of fish, of which 25 are endemic. The Guaporé River is important in the aquarium industry in Brazil and Bolivia.

Threats to rivers in Bolivia

Water pollution is a growing problem in Bolivia. Agrochemical products such as fertilizers and pesticides, as well as untreated sewage, are some of the main polluters of the river. Biodiversity loss, including the loss of Bolivia’s river dolphins and several species of fish, also poses a threat to Bolivia’s aquatic life. Erosion and sedimentation as a result of human activity along the banks of Bolivian rivers affect floodplains.

rank The main rivers of Bolivia Total length
1 Madeira 2,020 miles (shared with Brazil)
2 Paraguay 1,629 miles (shared with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay)
3. Mamore 1,199 miles (shared with Brazil)
Fourth Guapore 950 miles (shared with Brazil)
5 Grande (Guapay) 894 miles
6. We’re 732 miles (shared with Brazil)
7. Pilcomayo 684 miles (shared with Argentina and Paraguay)
8. Bermejo 659 miles (shared with Argentina)
9 Mother of God 659 miles (shared with Peru)
10 Ichilo 242 miles

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