Bolivian culture has been heavily influenced by the Quechua, the Aymara, as well as the popular cultures of Latin America as a whole.
The cultural development is divided into three distinct periods: precolumbian, colonial, and republican. Important archaeological ruins, gold and silver ornaments, stone monuments, ceramics, and weavings remain from several important pre-Columbian cultures. Major ruins include Tiwanaku, El Fuerte de Samaipata, Inkallaqta and Iskanawaya. The country abounds in other sites that are difficult to reach and have seen little archaeological exploration.
The Spanish brought their own tradition of religious art which, in the hands of local native and mestizo builders and artisans, developed into a rich and distinctive style of architecture, painting, and sculpture known as "Mestizo Baroque". The colonial period produced not only the paintings of Pérez de Holguín, Flores, Bitti, and others but also the works of skilled but unknown stonecutters, woodcarvers, goldsmiths, and silversmiths. An important body of Native Baroque religious music of the colonial period was recovered and has been performed internationally to wide acclaim since 1994.
Bolivian artists of stature in the 20th century include María Luisa Pacheco, Roberto Mamani Mamani, Alejandro Mario Yllanes, Alfredo Da Silva, and Marina Núñez del Prado.
Bolivia has a rich folklore. Its regional folk music is distinctive and varied. The "devil dances" at the annual carnival of Oruro are one of the great folkloric events of South America, as is the lesser known carnival at Tarabuco. The best known of the various festivals found in the country is the "Carnaval de Oruro", which was among the first 19 "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", as proclaimed by UNESCO in May 2001.
Entertainment includes football.
Cuisine in Bolivia stems mainly from the combination of Spanish cuisine with traditional indigenous Aymara/Inca ingredients, with the addition of later influences from German, Italian, Basque, Russian, Polish, and Arab immigrants.
Artistic and popular references
The 2011 Caroline Alethia novel Plant Teacher takes place in Bolivia from 2007 to 2008. The novel explores such themes as politics, indigenous religions, and narcotourism.
The 2017 video game Ghost Recon Wildlands is set in a narco-state Bolivia.