Description

La Paz is the Bolivian seat of government. This fascinating metropolis is full of cultural activities, shows and chaos. Considered a Great City for its fascinating geographic landscape, its urban design and its mysteries, La Paz is a city you have to visit!

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Itinerary

 
  • Los Andes Street artisans
  • Witch Market
  • San Francisco Church
  • Executive Palace in Murillo Plaza
  • Killikilli Gazebo (a privileged panorama of the city)
  • Outdoor Tiwanaku Culture Musuem
  • The valley of the Moon

Includes

  • Private Transportation
  • Bilingual Guide English-Spanish
  • Entrance fees for all attractions

Doesn't Include

  • Personal Spending
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic Beverages

Bring with

  • Sun Screen
  • Hat
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes

Metropolitan Cathedral and Murillo Square

The Metropolitan Cathedral is located at the Murillo square next to the Government Palace. It was built in 1835 and shows an impresive structure with a rock foundation. The high cupulas, robust columns and wide stone walls make for a massive building that contrasts with the simplicity of the altar. The main attraction from the interior are the large decorative windows. On the way out, one can admire the Murillo square that features a beautiful statue of Gualberto Villarroel, a former president who was taken prisoner in 1946 by rebels and hung from one of the square's lamps.

San Francisco Church and Convent

The church was originally built in 1548. Around the year 1608 the structure collapsed and it was rebuilt to re-open in 1753. The church's shows architectural characteristics of the barroque style. The facade includes a mural of carved rock with natural figures like birds and fruits. Inside an altarpiece made of carved wood and decorated in gold is one of the main features. Nowadays the convent has turned into a museum that hosts an important collection of paintings and historical religious elements. 

The Moon Valley

It is located 15 km south of the city. Wind and water erosion have developed this unique scenario of rocks, craters and columns throughout an extensive area. Hiking paths can take you through an experience that feels like walking on the moon. From the overlooks it is possible to see the Devil's Tooth and the La Paz landscape. Inside the Moon Valley there is also a small cactus forest with 32 different types of native cacti.

Devil's Tooth

It is volcano located at 3,897 meters above see level (12,785 ft). It is filled with strange and capricious rock formations. At the highest point there is a flat area that is used for rituals and offerings to the Achachilas (the mountain gods). It takes around 3 hours to get to this flat area.

Witch Market

This unique market extends for a few blocks on the Sagarnaga and Linares streets in downtown La Paz. The name is related to products like potions, charms, medicinal herbs and other ingredients used in traditional Aymara rituals, that are sold in most of the stores. This traditions are very interesting and one can inquire about the use of strange items like dry llama fetus. Around this market it is easy to find a Yatiri (Aymaran Wise) who can read people's fortune. In this same market is also easy to find traditional handcrafts, colorful fabrics and clothes. 

Bolivia » La Paz » La Paz

Map

Geography

It is located at the north-west side of Bolivia. It neighbors to the north with Pando, to the south with Oruro, to the east with Beni and Cochabamba and to the west with Peru and Chile.

The city was built on the Choqueyapu river banks. The river divides the city and runs from north to south.

La Paz offers one of the most impressive landscapes because of its location in a deep basin and the presence of Mount Illimani that is part of the Royal Andes Mountain Range.

The city appears to have been built in a giant crater. This provides outstanding views from elevated places and an spectacular urban landscape.

Altitude

The city of La Paz average altitude is 3,600 mamsl (11,800 ft)

Climate

The city of La Paz usually has a cold weather with a sunny sky. The average temperature is 8 degrees celsius (46 F). From La Paz it is easy to get to Rurrenabaque that has a tropical climate, warm and humid or to Lake Titicaca that offers a cool refreshing andean environment.

How to get there?

There are many ways to arrive to La Paz. There is an International Airport in El Alto where airlines from all over the world arrive. It is also posible to get there by bus through Copacabana, Oruro and Cochabamba city.

Culture

Among the most important cultural activities we can mention:

The Alasitas Fair: miniature replicas of everything you can imagine are sold. The tradition is to buy and have blessed all that you want for the coming year.

International Book Fair: gaining tracktion and importance every year

Festijazz: Some of the most interesting jazz fusion music is presented in this festival.

In this city you will find not only extraordinary festivals, it is not unusual to be surprised by the high quality of art that is displayed in the theaters. Art and fotography exhibits, music and artisan crafts are just part of the daily life. 

Population

There are over 1.5 million inhabitants in La Paz. Most of the people are quechua, aimara or mixed. There are also some immigrant minorities. 

Economy

La Paz economy is the second largest of Bolivia. It is also the seat for the national government which infuses a special athmosphere to the city. The services industry is the largest of the country, other important economic activities are related to transportation, manufacture and agriculture. The mining industry is gaining tracktion although not as fast as in other regions.

For the tourism sector, La Paz is not among the main touristic destinations but it serves as a main point of entry and distribution for tourists.

History

The city was founded in 1548 during the colonial times. It was one of the first cities where indigenous groups called for freedom. In 1781, Tupac Katari lead a rebellion for freedom that was not succesful. It was in La Paz where during one one of the first South American calls for freedom, Pedro Domingo Murillo said: the bolivian revolution was lighting a lamp that no one will ever be able to extinguish.

At the end of the 19th century, La Paz became the seat for the national government after the bolivian civil war in which Sucre lost that title.

In the 20th century, La Paz becomes a central piece for bolivian history. Many revolutions, coup d`Etat, political and economic movements took place in its streets and marked the future of the country.