Visit La Paz: The highest capital city in the world

La Paz, home to about eight hundred thousand people, is the de facto capital of Bolivia. Yes, you did not hear wrong, Bolivia has two capitals and the other one is Sucre. Despite the fact that the country’s official capital is Sucre, the administrative capital is La Paz, and the government is here.

Breathing in La Paz

This city is the highest capital of the world. In the city of 3700 meters height, the most challenging activity for tourists is to breathe. The oxygen level here is so low, then it’s hard not to breathe, even to walk. During the time you are here, sleepless nights will be waiting for you, because sleeping at this height is almost impossible. Do not be surprised if you see oxygen tubing in the reception areas of some hotels!

In the city, there is a plant called Coca which is sold in almost every market. You are biting the leaves of this plant and drinking the resulting water, indeed you feel more energetic and less affected by the altitude.

la paz square

In-city transportation

There are two options for transport in this city: buses and vans. These vans, called Micro, are quite crowded and uncomfortable. If you want to use a taxi, it is possible to pay up to 15 Bolivianos to all parts of the city.

What to eat in La Paz?

The Bolivian cuisine is a kind of meat kitchen. Red meat, chicken or fish is consumed almost every meal of the day. Even meat products are eaten at breakfast. Although Cevihe is a local dish of Peru, you can also taste this vegetable fish here. I can recommend Chez Lacoste for fish and Angelo Colonial for local food.

la paz local traditional

Things to see in La Paz

– Tiwanaku

– Mi Teleferico

– Valle De La Luna

– Yungas Road

– Plaza Murillo

– Calle Jaen

Mi Teleferico

Mi Teleferico, the longest cable car in the world, which is 11 kilometers long and offers you a spectacular view while climbing the city. This is the best place to see the bird’s eye view and say hello to this beautiful city. After spending two hours on this cable car, you can see the whole city peak. The windows are not always clean, and in reality, they are very very cheap.

la paz people

Yungas Road

This road is known as the most dangerous way in the world. It is 65 km long and the altitude of the highest point is almost 4500 meters. I can promise to be an exciting journey through the cliffs and nature.

The most important activity on this road is to ride a bicycle. You can negotiate with tour companies and drive downhill for thousands of meters.

Calle Jaen

This street, which houses the Apolinar Jaen museum, was built in the sixteenth century and has many cafes, restaurants and bars. This street, which houses a total of four museums, is one of the most interesting places in La Paz.

tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

This area is one of the most important settlements remaining from the Inca, and its history dates back to almost the sixth century. If you are interested in history, you should not come back from La Paz before you visit here.

Final tips for La Paz

– Most of the houses in the city are not whitewashed and painted.

– This is the cheapest city in South America. Everything is really cheap.

– Most of the people are made up of locals.

– The city is alive and standing for 24 hours.

– It’s a safe city and has a low crime rate.

– In this city where there is very little oxygen, fire is not common.

– Currency is Boliviano.

– Before you get home, you must buy cigars.

– There are no taximeters in the taxis and you must absolutely bargain before you ride.

2 thoughts on “Visit La Paz: The highest capital city in the world

  1. Jay

    Mike – Some corrections:

    The city center is officially recorded at 3600m. The lower suburb (Zona Sur) is 3100m.

    Breathing is not difficult in La Paz. The lower oxygen levels can make it a little harder than usual for visitors to catch their breath when they are walking/running/exercising. However resting doesn’t cause people any issues. A few people suffer mild altitude sickness in La Paz, however the majority are fine. All visitors are acclimatized to the altitude after 2 or 3 days.

    The Coca plant is a well known plant around the world and sadly is the base ingredient of Cocaine. It grows naturally in Bolivia and other Latin American countries. Colombia, Bolivia and Peru are the world’s largest producers of Coca. The leaves can be chewed raw (After being dried) or mixed into a tea call Mate (Mat-tay), which can be used to relieve the effects of altitude, however this has been debated by scientists. Coca is usually used to provide energy and suppress hunger.

    Transport in La Paz has more than 2 options: Trufi, Taxi, Minibus, Micro, Puma Katari, Teleferico. Trufis are like taxis which carry up to 5 passengers on a designated route around the city. People get in and out whenever they need. They cost 2 BOB for short journeys and 3 BOB for long journeys. Taxis are like regular Taxis except you negotiate and agree on a price before getting in. Mini Buses are just like Trufis except they are Mini Buses. They cost 2.00 BOB for short journeys and 2.60 for long journeys. Micros are medium sized buses which are usually very crowded. Puma Kataris are modern looking regular buses that you’d find in any major city. Any route costs 2.00 BOB. There are currently 3 cable car lines (The Teleferico), each line costs 3.00 BOB.

    Meat is not eaten for breakfast, unless you are referring to the pastries of Salteñas or Tucumanas. And those are mid morning snacks, not specifically breakfast. Meat and Chicken (not fish) are the common dishes in Bolivia. Usually served with rice or potatoes. Fish is available but not consumed as much as meat or chicken.

    The Teleferico is 11km long IN TOTAL. There is no single line that is 11km. Also, the longest line does not take 2 hours. The Green line (Irpavi – Obrajes) is 20 minutes. There, you can swap directly onto the yellow line to Ciudad Satelite which takes 25 minutes. The windows are rarely dirty, they are cleaned almost every day. Each line costs a flat fee of 3.00 BOB.

    – Most of the houses in the city are not whitewashed and painted.
    I don’t understand how this is a tip. However it’s true that a large quantity of houses are brick without plaster or paint.

    – This is the cheapest city in South America. Everything is really cheap.
    This is purely subjective. Minimum wage in Bolivia is less than $200 per month. It doesn’t get you very far when you have to live.

    – Most of the people are made up of locals.
    Most of every city in the world are made up of locals.

    – The city is alive and standing for 24 hours.
    False. Stores close at lunchtimes for 2-3 hours. Stores close in the evenings between 6pm and 7pm. After 10pm, the only places open are bars and clubs.

    – It’s a safe city and has a low crime rate.
    Some areas are relatively safe. Some are not. Express kidnappings can occur, and pickpockets and street muggings are not uncommon – Just like any other city.

    – In this city where there is very little oxygen, fire is not common.
    True. Due to altitude.

    – Currency is Boliviano.

    – Before you get home, you must buy cigars.
    There is nothing about Bolivia or La Paz that is famous for cigars. Don’t buy cigars in La Paz, they are terrible.

    – There are no taximeters in the taxis and you must absolutely bargain before you ride.

    1. Mike Adams Post author

      First of all, sorry for some wrong infos Jay. But i hope you to understand that this is such a personal exprerience and observation. I never been in there but a friend of mine, who’s been there told me about the city.
      So he told that he was surprised by meat in every meal even at breakfast. Like that, he told me he got some difficult to breathe, that’s why i wrote that.

      But i am really thankful to your comment because it’s very important to learn the right things about the city and you let me and visitors know this.

      As a result, nobody knows a place as well as somebody who lives there and that’s you living in La Paz. Thanks for your contribution and correction.I appriciate what you did.

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