Must-see attractions in La Paz
La Paz is a city full of hustle and bustle everywhere you look. It’s hard to keep up when you’re still trying to learn how to breathe at almost 4000m above sea level but here are the must-do’s so grab your coca tea and explore!
Going to start with the most obvious and popular attraction in La Paz. The most dangerous road in the world, also known as, the Death Road. Here, you have the opportunity to cycle along the winding path, be rewarded with lunch at the end and then be able to don your ‘I survived the Death Road’ T-shirt for anyone who questions your bravery.
Cable Car to El Alto
Obviously, 3640m above sea level just isn’t quite enough for bragging rights so you are able to take a ride on La Paz’s very impressive cable car system, which is of course the highest cable car system in the world. Head to El Alto to stand at an also impressive 4150m above sea level. If you head there on a Thursday or Sunday, you will catch the market, which also happens to be the largest market in Bolivia!
The Witches’ Market is the perfect place to stock up on all your Bolivian gifts and souvenirs with everything from clothes, jewellery, ornaments or furniture accessories – whatever you are looking for (or not looking for), it can be found here. However, what sets this market apart from the others are the unique items for sale, which you definitely wouldn’t have been looking for.
Whether you have an illness or maybe just want to put a curse on someone (no judgement here), this market will have the potion for you. Something that may surprise you are the numerous dried llama foetuses for sale. This may seem strange to us but there is actually an ancient belief in Bolivia that they can ward off bad spirits!
Calle Jaen is one of the most preserved colonial streets in La Paz. It provides a colourful and alternative perspective to La Paz amongst all the chaos happening around it. There are some lovely bars and cafes placed along the cobbled streets, along with an abundance of museums.
Mirador Killi Killi
South America loves a lookout point, and this one provides an awesome sweeping view of La Paz with the incredible backdrop of the mountains. This can be reached by foot but we recommend taking a taxi or bus unless the altitude ain’t got nothin’ on you, in which case, ensure to brush your shoulders off at the top.
San Francisco Church & Plaza Murillo
San Francisco Church is one of the most important historical sites in La Paz and the detailing of it is beautiful. This church is free to visit and for a very small fee it is possible to see the monastery and explore the rooftop. Plaza Murillo is a lively plaza, surrounded by many of the cities political buildings, such as the presidents house. Be warned though, you may need to dodge a few pigeons to explore this area.
San Pedro Prison
For those of you who have read Marching Powder, San Pedro prison will be high on your priorities. San Pedro prison is very different to many of the prisons you may be aware of, as are there many you know of where there is an entrance fee? Prisoners need to buy their own cells or where guards hardly enter and the prisoners are, for the most part, left to their own devices? Unfortunately for those looking to take a tour of the premises, the tours have now been banned. However, if you are determined to get some insider info, if you head to Plaza San Pedro around 1pm, you can hear all about the experience from ‘Crazy Dave’, an ex San Pedro prisoner – google it!
For us, Cholita wrestling is an absolute must due to the fact that you will just not see anything else quite like this elsewhere. Cholita’s are the indigenous women of Bolivia and there are some who have taken up a career in WWE style wrestling. No, we are not joking. It is hilarious but also has a side to it that isn’t as well known, where it is a way for these women to prove their worth in a "mans world”, where they have been discriminated against for years.
Read more about our Cholita wrestling experience here.
Now this attraction is something we can’t exactly condone but we feel that it wouldn't be right to not inform our readers that this place exists, as it is highly unique. It has this high level of uniqueness due to it being the only cocaine bar in the world. In La Paz, a bar exists where it is as normal to order a plate of coke as it would be to order an actual glass of coke in an everyday bar. The location changes often and only certain taxi drivers know the location but be aware that even though this exists, it is still very much illegal.
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