Looking for the best things to do in La Paz? Look no further! Here is your ultimate tour guide full of the top 10 activities that will make your visit to this vibrant city one to remember.
From admiring stunning views at El Alto, exploring the ruins of Tiwanaku, shopping for unique handicrafts in Calle Jaen, and taking a boat ride on Lake Titicaca, there are so many delightful experiences awaiting you. And don’t forget about visiting the Witches’ Market – Mercado de las Brujas and Murillo Square, Plaza Murillo.
Plus, take a cable car trip to El Mirador and get a bird’s eye view of the Valley of La Paz from above! Finally, be sure to enjoy some traditional Bolivian cuisine at one of the many restaurants in Zona Sur. Get ready for an incredible journey through the streets of La Paz – let’s get started!
Visiting the Witches’ Market – Mercado de las Brujas
Merced de las Brujas, an iconic market in La Paz, is a must-see for any traveler. Located in the heart of the city, the market is known for selling traditional Bolivian items such as charms, medicines, and herbs. Visitors will find an array of stalls selling potions and herbal remedies that are believed to bring good luck or ward off bad energy.
The Witches’ Market is also home to many artisans who handcraft unique jewelry, musical instruments, clothing and other souvenirs. Many of these items feature symbols or motifs from local folklore such as llamas and alpacas. You can also find plenty of unique sculptures made from wood, stone, and clay.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional cure-all or just browsing for souvenirs, Mercado de las Brujas is sure to delight any traveler. Be sure to take your time when exploring its stalls – you never know what magical item you might find!
Admiring the Views from El Alto
Admiring the views from El Alto is an unforgettable experience. You’ll get a stunning view of La Paz, the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real and the Illimani mountain, which has been venerated by locals for centuries.
From El Alto, you can take in the bustling energy of the city below, with its unique mix of colonial architecture and modern skyscrapers. To maximize your enjoyment, it’s best to visit during sunrise or sunset when you can enjoy some truly incredible colours and light reflecting off the mountains and buildings.
Once there, make sure to take a stroll around La Cancha market; one of Bolivia’s largest markets where you can find all sorts of interesting items including traditional textiles, jewelry and food. And don’t forget to just sit back and take it all in – witnessing the hustle and bustle of people going about their daily lives while taking in some beautiful views.
Catching a Show at Teatro al Aire Libre
Catching a show at Teatro al Aire Libre is an excellent way to experience the vibrant culture of La Paz. Located in downtown La Paz, this open-air theater hosts a variety of performances, from traditional Bolivian folk music and dance to modern plays and comedy acts.
The theater is surrounded by lush gardens, creating a tranquil atmosphere for visitors to enjoy the show. The tickets for most events are relatively affordable, so you can easily find something to suit your budget. During the day, the theater is also open for guided tours around its grounds.
For visitors who prefer more interactive experiences, there are usually workshops and classes on offer at the theater as well. These include dance lessons with native instructors or theatrical productions featuring amateur actors.
When attending a performance at Teatro al Aire Libre, make sure you dress appropriately – no shorts or tank tops! Additionally, it’s polite to arrive early so you can take advantage of all that the theater has to offer before the show starts.
If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in La Paz, catching a show at Teatro al Aire Libre is definitely worth considering!
Shopping for Handicrafts in Calle Jaen
If you’re looking for the perfect souvenir to remember your time in La Paz, then a visit to Calle Jaen is a must. Located in the city center and only a few steps away from Plaza Murillo, this lively street is brimming with stores selling local handicrafts, hand-woven textiles, jewelry and colorful masks. You’ll find everything from traditional alpaca sweaters to decorative masks crafted by local artisans that depict Bolivia’s rich cultural heritage.
Calle Jaen has been around since colonial times and its buildings have been carefully restored to retain their original charm. As you wander through the narrow street, admire the colorful facades of the traditional houses and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
With so much to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin but don’t worry – most stores offer free samples of their products so you can take your time browsing until you find something that catches your eye.
Once you’ve chosen your perfect souvenir, make sure you haggle over the price – this is part of Bolivian culture and it can result in some great savings! If all else fails, many stores also accept debit or credit cards for payment too. So why not take home a unique reminder of your time in La Paz with a purchase from Calle Jaen?
Exploring Tiwanaku – Ruins of an Ancient Pre-Incan Civilization
Explore the ancient ruins of Tiwanaku, a pre-Incan civilization that dates back to 500 BC and learn about its history! Located in the south of La Paz, Tiwanaku is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America.
The ruins consist of a large temple complex, various stone sculptures, and a sunken court that served as an astronomical observatory. There are also a number of smaller structures and tombs scattered around the site, making it an interesting place to explore.
The main part of the complex is the Kalasasaya Temple, made up of two platform mounds with an entrance between them. Inside you can find some remarkable stone sculpture work featuring images representing human figures and animals.
This includes impressive monoliths carved with intricate designs, such as Ponce Monolith which depicts a human figure surrounded by snakes and jaguars. You will also find massive bas-reliefs depicting deities, warriors and religious ceremonies.
Tiwanaku is home to many other fascinating features including: Akapana Pyramid which was likely used for astrological observations; Subterranean Temple which consists of several chambers linked by underground tunnels; Chinkana Labyrinth which is believed to be a mystical passageway; and Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun) which was once thought to be an entrance portal to another world!
No matter how much time you have available during your visit, exploring Tiwanaku is sure to provide insight into this ancient culture’s way of life and belief systems. Be sure to stroll around the site slowly so you don’t miss any hidden gems!
Taking a Boat Ride on Lake Titicaca
Taking a boat ride on the majestic Lake Titicaca is an amazing and unforgettable experience. Located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, this lake is the highest navigable lake in the world and has a breathtakingly beautiful landscape that will leave you mesmerized. From La Paz, there are several tour operators who offer boat tours to explore this stunning body of water and its many islands.
The Uros Islands are one of the most popular destinations and are made entirely of reeds, with houses built out of the same material. The locals still live like their ancestors did hundreds of years ago, relying on fishing for sustenance. A visit to these islands is a unique experience that allows you to learn about traditional life on Lake Titicaca.
Taquile Island is another must-see destination when visiting Lake Titicaca. This island is home to a traditional community that relies heavily on agriculture for their livelihoods. This island has been inhabited by locals for centuries and visitors can admire the ruins of ancient Inca settlements as well as appreciate their colorful textiles produced by local artisans using traditional methods.
On board your boat, you can take in all the stunning views around you while admiring some wildlife such as flamingos, pelicans, and other interesting birds which inhabit this area. There are also opportunities to swim in some areas or just simply relax in comfort while taking it all in!
Visiting the Famous La Paz Cemetery – Cementerio General de La Paz
If you’re looking for an interesting and unique way to explore the culture of La Paz, Bolivia, then a visit to the city’s famous cemetery – Cementerio General de La Paz – is a must. Located in the middle of downtown La Paz, this grandiose cemetery is one of the most visited sites in the city and offers a fascinating glimpse into Bolivian history.
The cemetery dates back to 1804 and has since become an elaborate resting place for many prominent figures in Bolivia’s history. Throughout its grounds, visitors will find ornate mausoleums, memorials and monuments dedicated to these individuals, as well as small shrines and gravesites honoring people from all walks of life.
The cemetery also offers insight into local customs and beliefs. Visitors are likely to spot small offerings placed near gravesites such as food, candles or flowers; these offerings are part of a popular tradition (known as “velar”) meant to console the souls of those who have passed away. As you explore the grounds, keep an eye out for religious symbols and effigies that represent traditional Bolivian beliefs about death and afterlife.
Cementerio General de La Paz is open daily from 8am-5pm and admission is free. Given its popularity with locals and tourists alike, it’s best to go early in the morning or late afternoon if you want to avoid crowds. Be sure wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking around quite a bit during your visit!
Enjoying Traditional Bolivian Cuisine at the Restaurants in Zona Sur
No trip to La Paz is complete without experiencing a taste of the traditional Bolivian cuisine. Zona Sur in La Paz is the perfect place to savor all the flavors that Bolivian cuisine has to offer. From cozy cafes serving up hearty stews to bustling restaurants offering up delicious grilled meats, there’s something for everyone’s taste at Zona Sur.
If you’re looking for a classic Bolivian dish, try salteñas – these savory pastries are filled with meat and vegetables and are served hot or cold. Another favorite is the chairo – a traditional soup made with potatoes, beef, onions, quinoa and spices. For those with a sweet tooth, order a plate of api – a thick corn-based beverage made with brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
You’ll also find plenty of restaurants serving up delicious dishes like llama steak and alpaca ribs. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the more exotic dishes such as cuy (guinea pig) or charke (llama jerky). And don’t forget dessert! Enjoy an indulgent treat like tres leches cake or arroz con leche – rice pudding topped with raisins and almonds – while you take in all the sights and sounds of Zona Sur.
So whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full meal, make sure to check out what Zona Sur has to offer during your visit to La Paz. You won’t be disappointed!
Climbing to the Top of Murillo Square, Plaza Murillo
Climbing to the top of Murillo Square, Plaza Murillo, is an essential stop for any visit to La Paz. Located in the heart of the city, this square holds a special place in Bolivian history and culture. Named after Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz Murillo, who was the first president of Bolivia, it’s filled with monuments, statues and beautiful gardens that honor his achievements.
In addition to the symbolic significance of Plaza Murillo, it’s also home to some amazing views of La Paz. On clear days you can see all the way up to Illimani mountain in the south. You don’t even have to climb all the way up; if you take one of the many staircases around its perimeter you’ll be able to get an excellent overview of this vibrant city.
Take some time out of your day and explore Plaza Murillo! One way that makes it especially enjoyable is by taking a guided tour led by a knowledgeable local guide who will provide insight into Bolivian history and culture as well as pointing out hidden gems throughout the square.
Many visitors also enjoy spending time sitting on a bench or walking through one of its gardens while enjoying the views and architecture surrounding them. No matter how you decide to experience Plaza Murillo on your trip, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression!
Taking a Cable Car Trip to El Mir
Take a cable car ride to El Mir and experience an amazing journey over the rooftops of La Paz. With spectacular views of the majestic Andes, it’s a great way to explore the city from above. The cable cars run from downtown La Paz all the way up to El Alto, about 5km away. It’s like taking an aerial tour of the city in just 15 minutes!
The cable car system consists of four lines: Red, Green, Yellow and Blue. All four lines start in downtown La Paz and end at El Alto, with stops at major attractions along the way. The Red Line is the longest and takes you up to El Alto while passing by some of La Paz’s most beautiful sights like San Francisco Church and Cristo de la Concordia statue.
The Green Line passes over popular neighborhoods like Sopocachi where you can get an amazing view of Illimani Mountain in the distance. The Yellow Line takes you above Bolivia’s traditional villages while highlighting some of its cultural heritage sites, such as Triple Junction Plaza and Estadio Hernando Siles Stadium. Lastly, the Blue Line gives you panoramic views of La Paz from different angles as you head up to El Alto.
Each line has its own stations that are clearly marked with signs indicating which line is which. At each station there is a ticket booth which allows you to purchase tickets for your ride on any or all of the four lines.
You can choose one-way or round-trip tickets depending on your itinerary and budget. Prices vary according to each line but most range from $2-$4 USD per person for one trip (round trips are generally cheaper).
Cable cars offer a unique opportunity to experience La Paz from a different perspective – so don’t miss out on this unforgettable ride!
In conclusion, La Paz is a city of beauty and history. With so much to do and see in this incredible city, you’ll have plenty of memories that will last forever. Experience the best things to do next time you visit La Paz!