La Paz, Bolivia is considered the highest capital in the world. Explore this beautiful city tucked away in the mountains.
La Paz is the highest capital in the world. How high is it?
- So high, the city built a cable car system so the locals can get around.
- So high, you’ll fore sure be hit with a nasty case of altitude sickness.
- So high, it’s one of the most beautiful places to catch a view…at 12,000 ft above sea level.
While La Paz is not actually the capital of Bolivia, it’s known as the highest administrative capital. An overwhelming sense of ancestral ties envelopes this city in the mountains.
You have natives roaming the streets in traditional wear, dating back to the 1800s. An abundance of street foods and automative exhaust. Hills, pebble sidewalks, and graffiti of ‘si’ and ‘no’ to reflect the city’s battle between political candidates.
To give you a peek into this interesting, vibrant city, here’s a roundup of things to do in La Paz!
Things to do in La Paz:
1. Mi Teleférico
(photo by @poundstown)
The Bolivian urban transit system, built in 2014, is the local’s way of commute. The first three lines of Mi Teleferico was considered to be the longest aerial cable car system to be built…in the world.
→ PRO TIP: Take the yellow line for the best scenic view of La Paz and beyond.
2. Cholita Wrestling
Cholita wresting is an evening match on Thursday & Sunday nights between Bolivian women in spectacular fashion and all kinds of antics. These female lucha libre wrestleres are Cholitas – native Aymara and Quechua women. Their feisty spirit and one-of-a-kind moves will fill your evening up with endless entertainment.
→ PRO TIP: The venue may be a little difficult to find. There are are tours you can book online that will provide door-to-door transportation and some other goodies. Here’s one.
3. Moon Valley
(photo by @jsnwp)
Valle de la Luna, Moon Valley, is an area of bizarre lunar landscape only 30 minutes away from city central. The maze of canyons and spires is created by the erosion of mountains by wind and rain.
→ PRO TIP: Reserve a taxi for two hours while you hike the Moon Valley. The taxi driver will wait for you by the entrance. It’s only $20 USD to do so – cheap! Your hostel or hotel front desk can help call the taxi company for you.
4. Try Bolivian Cuisine
Did you know Bolivia is actually quite the foodie country? You got to try the salteñas, a type of baked empanada filled with meat or veggies. Pique a lo Macho is a plate topped with endless onions, beef, sausages, egg, and fries. They also have the best quinoa in town as it’s a staple ingredient in Bolivian households. Bolivians don’t mess around with their spices so get every ‘picante’!
5. Salar de Uyuni
La Paz is truly the best starting point for surreal side trips. The world’s largest salt flat at 11,000 square kilometer, awaits you after a 10-hour sleeper bus. Take perspective photos in this salty wonderland and bring out your inner child to play! Watch my salt flats vlog here.
→ PRO TIP: As you’re researching salt flats tours you’ll stumble on 1-day or 3-day options. Do the 3-day tour. I don’t want to spill all the beans but let’s just say the volcanoes and desserts of Bolivia will take your breath away. Maybe even more than the salt flats!
See the rest on the La Paz travel video guide here.