La Paz Travel Guide
Why? As you fly in for your La Paz holiday you will
understand why this high-altitude city is one of the world's most
spectacular, set as it is inside a river canyon. Once on the ground
visitors discover that this city has some bizarre attractions, from
street markets selling dried frogs to a cocaine museum. It all adds
up to a memorable destination full of life and colour.
When? No matter what time of year you choose to travel to La Paz you will be assured of mild, sunny days, thanks to the altitude of the city which moderates the temperatures. If you holiday in La Paz during summer, though, be prepared for afternoon rain showers.
Who for? A holiday in La Paz is for the fit, especially if you plan to explore the steep city streets on foot. The city is an experience for intelligent travellers who just enjoy watching it go about its business and soaking up the sights and sounds.
More Info: Before setting off to Bolivia for a holiday in La Paz, learn all there is to know about the city from our comprehensive La Paz travel guide, designed to answer all your questions and then some, with useful hints and tips besides basic information. The La Paz travel guide is updated regularly and can be printed or emailed.
La Paz © Donvittore
The air is indeed rare in La Paz, the world's highest capital city, at two and a half miles (4km) above sea level, or 11,910ft (3,630m). Living in La Paz is a bit bizarre because it is akin to living in a giant bowl. Around the rim are brick buildings and workshops, the inside slopes are scattered with houses, and across the bottom is the dense city centre. Rising up in the background is the most well known of Bolivia's lofty peaks, Illimani, standing at 21,188ft (6,420m). The most pleasant way to explore the diminutive city centre is on foot; the alternative is to sit on a crowded bus in congested traffic. Expect your sightseeing to leave you breathless. Steep, narrow streets lead into an assortment of little alleyways while well-used staircases wind their way up between crooked houses and colourful hotels.
More than a million people live in La Paz, adding colour, culture and vibrancy to the otherwise dusty barrenness of a high altitude city. The most rewarding (and least exhausting) activity is to people-watch. Andean women dress in brightly coloured, multi-layered skirts and thick knee-length stockings with bowler hats perched jauntily over long, plaited strands of hair. There are also smartly dressed businessmen and scruffy street urchins wrapped in woven blankets, shoe shiners and fruit sellers, trinket vendors and alpaca wool weavers.
The city also has some interesting museums, modern and comfortable hotels and is an excellent place to purchase authentic local souvenirs. Beautiful hand-spun alpaca wool products, paintings, silver handcrafted jewellery, music and musical instruments are just some of the many things on offer.
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We are looking for contributors for our La Paz travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to La Paz or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.
Tour operator G.A.P Adventures has for the past 14 years specialised in unique, small group, grassroots adventure travel experiences in the world's most wild places, going off the beaten track into the heart of the destination to meet the locals who call it home. G.A.P. Adventures offers several expeditions to the Bolivian Amazon and Andes.
Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures, focuses on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout Bolivia.