High up in the sky, La Paz is positioned as the world’s highest capital city. La Paz sits at the bottom of a bowl shaped canyon hugged by the snowy Andes. It may take a bit to get used to the thinner air, but once you do, the city will reveal its chaos and carnival of color.
Woven blankets are piled up in a patchwork of bright patterns. Aymara women in rounded black hats drape vibrant shawls around their shoulders. The indigenous culture and traditional outfits are very visible here, even though you will also see more modern dress on the streets.
Modern cafes bring a level of cool to a city speeding forward. Piles of tropical fruits, vegetables, and quinoa overflow in the markets. Munch on street-side saltenas, a baked treat with spices (especially chili), bits of potato, and meat.
For a taste of the past, join the crowds in the San Francisco square. Your legs get a stretch on the climb up the church’s bell tower, and you’re rewarded with sweeping city views. Find a spookier sight and a fascinating glimpse into the indigenous beliefs in the Witches Market. Shop keepers in a long, frilly skirts sell all kinds of mysterious potions and herbs.
Stroll on the cobblestone lanes flanked by colonial edifices. Bolivia’s rich history unfolds in the Museo del Oro, known for its displays of jewelry.
A thrilling cable car ride sends you up to El Alto, a lofty neighborhood located atop the town. If you need a quick escape from the thrum of city life, head off to Valle de Luna, just a stone’s throw from downtown. The strange rock formations will make you think you have landed on another planet.
Bolivia’s natural beauty continues to Lake Titicaca, a vast body of water that extends into Peru. Vibrant blue water meets dazzlingly bright skies. Floating islands and even boats crafted from reeds are a peculiar and fascinating sight. It’s almost as though time stood still around the shimmering lake. Llamas graze and terraced fields are tended by hand. The friendly people eagerly invite you to learn about their culture that is so very different from your own.
Bolivia’s La Paz and Lake Titicaca are a must on your own South American adventure-seeking journey.