The Best Things To Do In La Paz
Having the distinction of the highest capital in the world, La Paz sits more than 3500 meters above sea level in the Altiplano plateau of the Andes Mountains. With a gorgeous backdrop of mountains and sprawling city, La Paz is rapidly growing in popularity with world travellers. New boutique hotels are popping up all throughout the city, each one promising a glittering array of amenities and accommodations. Foodies are also flocking to La Paz, as the city and its chefs begin competing with world-renowned names.
Though La Paz is going through a rejuvenation, it’s not always been like that. For decades, visitors and residents of the city have known it as a place where there is frequent strife and a lack of any amenities – so it makes sense that all of the new developments throughout the city are infusing fresh life into Bolivia. Now hitting some of the top travel lists, including one of the best places to travel, La Paz features a host of public transportation options which allow visitors to easily explore the city and beyond. Whether you want to venture out to the Altiplano plateau or head over to the neighboring city of El Alto, you can easily do it for an insignificant amount of money.
While exploring La Paz, prepare yourself for unique and innovative experiences – one of the first fine-dining restaurants in the city boasted a menu using local flavors including Amazonian honey, fermented and used sparingly in a haute-cuisine presentation. Now, cooking schools are located all throughout the city, highlighting the surge in demand and interest – ideal for those who plan to come to La Paz and Bolivia in the coming years. Regional beers, craft wines and plenty of other local favorites, including the spirit singani, are all must-haves during a trip.
When you want to explore some of the points of interest throughout La Paz and beyond, you’re in luck. Plaza Murillo is one interesting destination, as it’s a major square in the heart of the city and packed full of historical buildings. The La Paz Cathedral and the presidential palace are both located here, amongst a number of other landmarks.
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN LA PAZ…
Lake Titicaca plays host to a multitude of historical and natural wonders. It is also the highest lake in the world on which vessels can travel! When you visit the lake, it is usually to explore the many ruins that surround it, or to travel to one of the forty-one islands that it is home to. Take in the magnificent scenery as your boat glides across its clear blue waters, and discover this amazing natural beauty today.
Intrepid mountain bike riders flock from around the world to seize the challenge of “Death Road” in Bolivia. Picture this; a forty-three mile, death defying stretch of dirt from La Paz to Coroico, which hugs a never ending, incredibly dangerous cliff face, and has virtually no guard rails to protect you from falls, that are in some places thousands of feet high. Oh, and it’s only ten-feet wide! With a high mortality rate – causing around 300 deaths every year – the road really has earned its name and is not for the faint-hearted!
Island of the Sun (Isla del Sol)
For a feast of history, take a cruise on Lake Titicaca that includes a stay on the magnificent Sun Island (Isla del Sol)! Explore the island on the many hiking trails, and discover the sacred Inca landmarks such as Pilko Kaina and the Chincana Ruins. This beautiful island is full of history and charm, so make sure you the journey – you’ll never forget it!
As you explore La Paz, you are sure to come across Plaza Murillo; the largest square in the heart of the city, and a favourite meeting place for the locals. Named after Don Pedro Domingo Murillo – a leader of the resistance against the Spanish in the early 1800’s – admire the magnificent monument that stands in his honour. Several landmarks are just close by – including the Presidential Palace and La Paz Cathedral – so once you’ve had a break, your next stop is always nearby.
Valley of the Moon (Valle de La Luna)
Just a short trip from the chaos of La Paz, suddenly you will find yourself confronted by the desolate alien landscape of the Valle de La Luna (Valley of the Moon). Head to the visitor centre and get a map of the walking trails, and explore the views, canyons and spires, with colours ranging from beige to red, formed from the mineral content of the rock.
No matter what your beliefs, there is no doubt that a visit to the Witches Market will be somewhere between truly fascinating and seriously confronting! As you wander through the myriad of stalls – selling a wide range of ingredients for local rituals – you will encounter both dried frogs and dried llama foetus in every direction you look, used for luck when a new building is constructed. Throw yourself into the culture of this amazing country, and step outside the square of your daily routine!
A beautiful exploration opportunity for those who venture to La Paz, the Altiplano has a vast array of geographic features, ranging from snowcapped mountains to barren landscapes – a gorgeous sight for those who love to get out and explore the outdoors.
Salar de Uyuni
Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. At 12,000 feet above sea level, the famous land is encrusted by a dense layer of salt and is part of the Altiplano or ‘high plain,’ formed by the uplift of the Andes Mountains. In total it covers more than 4,000 square miles of ground.
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