So this blogpost is way overdue! The memories of La Paz have already been overwritten with some others (Of course not). The reason for this is that I had already almost finished the blogpost but then everything was deleted for some magical reason. So now I found the motivation to do it over.
So let’s start over, La Paz the highest capital city in the world is the capital city of Bolivia. This city is around 3200 to 3700m above sea level. So what to do in this high city? Let me give you a list of things you can visit or do. Let’s start:
The rest – For a change ill begin with everything besides the main activities and day trips around La Paz, because I think that this is what makes La Paz actually attractive. Like most of the big cities you can have a good time just walking around, but in La Paz it’s just a bit harder since you’ll have to walk up or down most of the time. Since the city is also that high there is not that much oxygen for you, so don’t be surprised when you get out of breath or have a headache.
Once you get used to it or just don’t care about being out of breath you can start exploring (For real). You can walk by plaza Murillo, San Francisco Cathedral, el Alto, Sagarnata and the Witchmarket, which are all places worth passing by.
The most interesting of La Paz in my opinion are the streetmarkets. Basically the entire city of La Paz is one big street market. There is no business for supermarkets in La Paz since everyone is buying everything on the street at the same stand with the same person. Let me give you some background on this. In Bolivia they call their local market lady ‘Casera‘. The Caseras are always native women dressed in native clothes (Also called Cholita). So the people of Bolivia always go to the same casera to show their loyalty. In return for their loyalty they have some benefits. The freshest vegetables and fruit for the best price are the most common ones, but in some cases the casera becomes like a life coach who can advise you for any matter possible.
Death Road – So you probably already heard of the Death Road and if you didn’t, the name says it all. From La Paz you can do an organised tour to bike down this road. You will start at a point around 4700m altitude and go down high speed to around 1300m altitude. Don’t worry there will be enough moments you could die, but luckily not that many people die anymore on this road.
As mentioned before you can do an organised tour. If you just care about biking the death road Xtreme Downhill has the best deal for the best price for you. They include good bikes, good protection gear, a good English speaking guide and they make pictures and videos on the way. If you want to visit La Senda Verde(Animal refugee) or do some ziplining you might wanne choose a different company (Gravity, Barracuda Biking or Altitude).
So if you want to do some ziplining it depends on which zipline you want to do. Let’s say there is a basic zipline (70 Bolivianos) and another one which is the best in the area (220 Bolivianos). The best is like 4 times longer, but compared to others in South America they are probably both shit, but the decision is yours (of course). The price of the zipline isn’t included, but you just pay more for the opportunity to do the zipline. If you just want to do the ‘basic’ zipline you can just go with Xtreme Downhill. If you want to do the best in the area you go with Barracuda Biking/Altitude, unless you also want to visit La Senda Verde on the same trip. Gravity offers you a look at La Senda Verde after the Death Road trip. If you’re short in time and really want to visit this place this might be a good option. If you have enough time I can give you a better option. Just go with a different company and go to Coroico after the trip (Don’t take the ride back to La Paz). Stay here for a night and visit it by yourself the next day and stay a night in the refugee if you would like that. I didn’t calculate this, but I think this will be cheaper. At least you will have more time in La Senda Verde for the price you pay.
Tiwanaku – Tiwanaku was a tribe which conquered a big part of the land which later became part of the Inkas. This place was their capital city and you can see items from their time. If you’re going to search reviews for this place, you’ll find alot of disappointing reviews. The reason for this is that it is disappointing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit it. If you want to see the big rock sculptures, this is the place to see a few of them. Unfortunately a lot of the details they had aren’t visible anymore, but I still had a good time seeing them. I also did some research on the tribe and I find it quite interesting. Maybe the background information made it a bit more interesting for me to visit this place.
You can visit this place with a tour or by yourself. The tour is a little bit more expensive and possibly a good way to get to know more about tiwanaku. I choose to do some research before and visit it by myself to avoid another boring tour through the museum part. Again the decision is yours!
Cholita Wrestling – This is probably one of the most funny things I’ve paid for (I only visited like 2 comedians). Cholitas are native Bolivian women in native clothes (Like explained before) and seeing them in the ring is already weird. Besides that they are giving you a proper wrestling show. The public is allowed to throw popcorn and yell at them as well. If you’re sitting in the front you might have to catch up a cholita or see your beer being stolen to be spilled on a cholita (You will get a new one if you ask). This stuff is funny as hell for like 3 matches and after that it might get played out. I would highly recommend it because its funny, was set up to empower native women and is unique (only in La Paz).
Teleferico – Instead of trams and metros La Paz has cabletrains for the daily travels across the city. There are like 7 lines with all multiple stop. For us tourist it’s a good way to explore the city from above and enjoy the nice views.
Rurrenbaque – From La Paz you can visit this place and go to the jungle or the pampas. Read More
Where to stay?
We stayed at two different hostels in La Paz. First we stayed in adventure brew in a private room for a decent price. Nothing special nothing bad. The second place we stayed at was Loki Hostel. They had really nice private rooms for a little bit higher price but definitely affordable. This hostel has good food and good social vibes. I would definitely recommend this hostel since you will find everything you need here.
Where to eat?
If you’re looking for some authentic bolivian restaurant you can stop reading, because we didn’t find any good one. We were also a bit careful since we heard of multiple people getting sick in Bolivia lately. The places we had nice food were Cafe Vida, Cafe del Mundo and Carrot tree. These place were more in a western style, but still very nice! Besides that we had some good food in the hostel. It’s actually recommended to have food on the market, but we didn’t try that.
So that was La Paz, way overdue, but there is gonna come more very soon!