Explore the best things to do in La Paz Bolivia with us! Let’s start…The highest capital in the world (de facto), the city in which you land and it quite literally takes your breath away. La Paz, meaning “the peace”, is maybe one of the cities with the most contradicting names in the whole world. If you’re looking to travel to a completely hectic, fun, and wild place then you’ve found it! La Paz is full of oddities, and interesting stories in every corner. From urban legends to ghost stories these streets are not to disappoint. Not only does La Paz offer museums and parties every night but it also has many options for activities inside as well as outside of the city.
La Paz really has it all, a crazy uptown filled with top-of-the-line restaurants, galleries, theater, and historic sites; and suburban areas in which you can also find trendy bars and clubs. And if you’re in the mood for some adventure you can rock climb or go hiking just a few minutes away from the city. Just remember that everywhere you go all around you is a work of art. Because of the mountainous landscape there is almost always an incredible and unique view of the city as a whole, the views are AMAZING. But now let’s get into it. As a La Paz city native I am done gatekeeping so let’s get into the real best things to do in La Paz Bolivia.
Mi Teleférico (World’s highest & longest urban cable car)
Imagine a subway but crossing all over the city, this is exactly what you get with the public transportation Teleférico or “cableway”. Sights to die for, a ride all over the city and the best part is that it is SUPER CHEAP! Every ride is a sight to see and takes you through the beautiful landscape that La Paz has to offer. Pro tip if you take the yellow line and then the green one you will be enjoying the longest and highest urban cableway in the world!
I definitely recommend going at around 6 or 7 depending on the time of year to be able to ride the sunset to the top. Here you will be in El Alto, the sister city next to La Paz. You can also go on the purple line to get fabulous views and be in El Alto in 15 minutes! Get yourself a nice little snack like a llaucha or some “api con pastel” and then come down and see the lights at night. You could also get a Jawita (typical cheese empanada) which is sold right then and there!
Valle de las Animas
Valle de las Animas or Valley of the souls is one of my personal favorites. In Andean cosmovision when you pass you go back to the earth as a mountain, and in this spiritual haven, you can find 17 km of these beautiful souls all around you. Only 40 minutes away my personal recommendation is to go at dawn or sunset. There are various hikes you can go on ranging from 40 min to 6 hours, truly a sight to see and something you can not pass by when visiting La Paz.
Valle de la Luna
Dubbed the Moon Valley by Neil Armstrong himself, this mountainous area will make you feel like you are walking on the moon. Similar to the Valley of the Souls, you have pointy mountain patterns created by erosion, but this time it’s like you are floating over the moon rather than appreciating it from afar. It has a lot of paths and levels making it easy to lose yourself in the beauty of a place that feels surreal. Definitely try and get there early because it is a very popular destination in La Paz.
Pro-tip, after the walk you might want to venture further on and find the La Paz Zoo. Just a bit further is a large arena where they rent 4×4’s. This is not known to the general public but us locals love going there. You can also ask one of the quad owners to take you to explore the nearby mountains, it is amazing and something not known to many.
Mirador de Killi Killi
Video by our buddy @theboliviantraveler (Andres MacLean)
One of the most interesting 360 views of the city it is VERY popular and only a 5-minute car ride in the uptown area. Camera and sunblock are a must, this beautiful place is smack in the middle of the city and will give you spectacular views of the whole city and of course the majestic Illimani.
5 IN ONE
Ok, so this is me kinda sorta cheating. But being a native paceña I just think there are too many beautiful places you won’t want to miss out in La Paz and this city tour is definitely one of them. I’m gonna crunch up 5 must-sees of La Paz mainly because they are so close together you can do it all in a single walk! Besides, the way I’m gonna give it to you is the easiest way to go because it’s all downhill <3 and yes this sounds like a lazy thing to say but trust me, at 3600 meters above sea level… Let’s just say, you can thank me later.
We begin in the most beautiful and best-preserved colonial street in La Paz, Calle Jaén. Home to various museums, restaurants, bars and even art workshops owned by the world-renowned Mamani Mamani. It is a very colorful and lively place to visit and not only that if you are lucky you’ll be able to meet the artist himself. Actually, that’s a lie, I can almost guarantee you’ll meet him and he’ll steal your heart with his charisma. This street truly transports you to another time. Besides, if you choose to go back at night you can have an Absent in the local legendary pub ETNO.
Just walk a few blocks and you’ll be able to see the beautiful Teatro Municipal, the most important theater in La Paz, if you’re lucky you can go in and see how magnificent it is and hopefully get tickets to a show.
Head on down a few more blocks into Plaza Murillo located in the city-center. This is where the main government branches meet as well as many many pigeons! You can feed them and take pictures with them right in front of the presidential palace “Palacio Quemado ” or burnt palace, dubbed this way because of the many attempts at arsenal, talk about history!
Walk about 3 blocks down hill and you’ll find the San Francisco Church, a stunning piece of colonial architecture that decorates the more modernized city. The church can be seen decorated with various indigenous symbols with traditional Catholic elements.
And last but definitely not least in this city tour is the famous Mercado de las Brujas or Witches’ Market. Appropriately named and shocking for people not used to traditional andean cosmovision, the market can be spotted with llama fetuses and be dancing with the aromas of different herbs and plants for cleansing and ridding evil. A place you will not want to miss! The sweet cholitas selling will make the whole experience a lot more fun than scary believe me!
SOOOO, WHAT IS THE BEST TOUR IN LA PAZ BOLIVIA?
Want to explore the best of La Paz Bolivia? Don’t miss out – this is the perfect one-day tour for you! From exploring the stunning Valle de las Animas & Moon Valley, explorring the Killi Killi, having the best food experience, a complete Walinggking tour to taking in stunning views from cable cars, this tour has it all.
Muela del Diablo
La Muela del Diablo or “Devil’s Tooth” is an iconic rock formation that is visible throughout La Paz. The hike there is about 2 hours uphill but can be difficult if you aren’t used to hiking or even if you are you may find it difficult at 3,600 meters above sea level and this hike ending at about 3,825 meters above sea level. Regardless if you make it up make sure to take the most amazing pictures of the landscape!
Yungas and the Death Road
Truly La Paz never ceases to amaze because you can truely to everything here. The famous or rather infamous Death Road is in my opinion one of the main attractions when visiting La Paz. The once main road of transportation to Yungas was a DOUBLE WAY street once….and believe me when I say I use the word street very loosely. This was once one of the most dangerous roads in the world and is now a surreal crazy bike tour. Going from the high altitude in La Paz to the tropical Yungas in just a few hours is truly breathtakingly beautiful as well as breathtaking in itself because of the exercise.
Lake Titicaca and the wonderful city of Copacabana!
Venture into the highest navigable lake in the world when visiting Lake Titicaca, a lake so large it is shared between Bolivia and Peru. It is a 4 hour trip out of the city but very much worth it. The city of Copacabana is very fun and full of activities like hiking up to the Calvario. I would definitely stay a night or two and venture off into the lake with the boats and camp in the Isla del Sol or Island of the Sun, a haven for tranquility and meditation. Be sure to not leave without having some of the fresh fish that come from the lake like trout or Ispis (small fried fish!) just drizzle a little bit of lemon on them and enjoy a true delicacy!
A not very well known but beautifully re decorated living area in La Paz. It is filled with colorful murals and houses that can make you think you’re walking through a piece of colorful artwork. Get lost in the beauty of this sureal neighborhood.
Last but definetly not least is Tiwanaku an UNESCO World Heritage Site about 75 km from the city of la paz it is home to the largest pre. Colombian archaeological site in all of South America. A home to the great Inca civilization it was the center of agriculture to the empire. Even older than the very famouse Machu Picchu it holds large stone sculptures and buildings from about 1000 AD so if you are into archeology you will definetly want to visit this city full of monolitos, monoliths or stone statutes. Mono being the latin word for one and lito the latin word for rock, translating it in carved by one rock.
La Paz Bolivia is an unforgettable destination, brimming with culture, history, and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an adventure of a lifetime, this city has something to offer everyone!