Activities and Events in La Paz, Bolivia
Day 1


Lonley Planet quote

La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, looks like a moon crater. The city is 4km (2mi) above sea level, situated on a canyon floor which shows only a hint of greenery. Even oxygen is at a premium. Fortunately, the life and color of La Paz is found in its people and culture, not its landscape. Find a good vantage point and simply watch the passing throng: women wearing bowler hats (worn on the side if they're single and on top if they're married) and voluminous skirts; white-shirted businessmen and politicians; machine-gun toting military; and beggars asleep under awnings, wrapped up like sarcophagi. Because of the often chilly temperatures, warm clothing is essential throughout the year.

SouthWind quote
  (The other travelers will be arriving.) An early morning arrival to La Paz allows us to enjoy the day's first golden lights on the impressive summits of Illimani (21,260'), the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real range which looms over the southeastern end of the city. Our staff will meet us at El Alto, or the high one, one of Bolivia’s two International Airports. Its 12,850-foot elevation makes it one of the highest commercial airports in the world. After collecting our luggage and passing through customs, we’ll drive to the centrally located El Rey Palace Hotel (or similar) where the remainder of the morning is at leisure so we can begin acclimating to the city's breathtaking 11,930-foot elevation.
  Following lunch on your own, we'll have a guided tour of the Valley of the Moon at the lower end of the city. Here we can walk through bizarrely eroded sandstone formations and enjoy the lower elevation. Later we'll return to explore the city itself as part of our combined walking and bus tour. Our visits will include a stop at the colorful Indian and witches market where we can purchase handicrafts such as alpaca sweaters and leather fanny packs, or perhaps a good luck charm to bring us health and prosperity. We will also explore La Paz's colonial section with its steep cobbled streets, see the main plaza and Cathedral which are built on a hillside and stop at the outdoor museum where we can gain insight into Bolivia's ancient cultures. Later our local guide will join us for a trip briefing at the hotel before we gather together for our welcome dinner. (CB*,D)
La Paz Airport tower

Valley of the Moon


"Just outside of the city we visited the "valle de la luna" (valley of the moon). This amazing lunar landscape exists of eroded miniature canyons and pinnacles."


Indian/Witches Market

  People congregate around the splendid Iglesia de San Francisco (construction began in 1549) with its arresting blend of mestizo and Spanish styles. Behind the church is the Witches' Market where you can buy a bizarre assortment of goods including amulets, potions, delicately crafted silver jewelery, sweets and dried llama fetuses.


Colonial Section


Main Plaza and Cathedral

  Cathedral in the Plaza Murillo  

Palacio de Gobierno - Plaza Murillo



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