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La Paz

Why Visit La Paz?

La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, is the highest city in the world, at 3,640 metres above sea level among the Andes mountains. It’s a stunning setting and the drive from El Alto airport offers excellent views as you approach the city.
Reasons to Visit La Paz include:

  • The city is an intriguing mix of old and new, traditional and modern, European and native Amaya influences.
  • Rub shoulders with locals at the ‘Witches Market’ as you browse the stalls laden with various potions and ingredients.
  • Admire fine colonial palaces and churches, a legacy of the Spanish era. 
  • Visit some of the cities museums, from the Contemporary Art Museum to the Textile Museum – and there are plenty of others of interest too.
  • Spend time people watching as you relax in a café. 
  • While in La Paz you should make time to travel down to the Valley of the Moon, a mysterious world of jagged rocky spires and canyons, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city above. 
  • Having been down, you should now head upwards with a ride on the cable car. The ride takes you 500 metres up from San Francisco Church in the city to El Alto, the Aymara capital of the world. 
  • Tiwanaku is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the capital of a pre-Inca kingdom and home to some 20,000 people, and can be visited on a day trip from La Paz. The site includes temples, archways, statues and carvings of faces some of which look eerily alien, and the on-site museum has a selection of interesting exhibits.
  • Another day trip from La Paz takes you north into the Yungas Valley, a fertile area of banana, citrus and coffee plantations and lush jungle vegetation. It takes about 3 hours to reach the small town of Coroico, where you can enjoy views of the valley flanked by the Cordillera Real mountains.

When to visit La Paz

La Paz can be visited all year. The daytime temperature varies little month on month, averaging around 14°C. The rainy season coincides with the summer months, December to March, with the heaviest rainfall in January and February. The best time to visit the city and surrounding Andean area is generally from April to November.

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facts and information

Time: Bolivia GMT -4 hours

Flight time:

approximately 21.5 hours (no direct flights from the UK) 

Language: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

Visas:

Visas – not required for British nationals for stays of up to 90 days

Health:

Yellow Fever vaccine should be given to travellers 9 months of age and upwards if travelling to areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains. These areas include the whole departments of Beni, Pando and Santa Cruz, and parts of the Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija departments. No other vaccinations are compulsory.

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