BOLIVIA SOUTH AMERICA

This one time I went to La Paz Bolivia

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The world’s highest city… altitude sickness… witches markets… talk about feeling like an alien dropped in from outer space. This city is truly one of the world’s most authentic doses of unusual you will find.

When I first arrived in La Paz in a delirious jetlag-induced haze, I didn’t really know what to think. My mind was darting everywhere as were my eyes, from the colours and busy streets through to the smell of gas and dusty air. It was one of those ‘Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” moments. Surreal, intimidating, and slightly nauseating (thanks to the altitude sickness).

la paz

But it was also inspiring all at the same time.

La Paz is a city unlike any other in the world. There’s so much happening all at once that you’re never really certain how you feel or able to ‘put your finger on it’, if you will. It’s confusing in the best kind of way.

La Paz for First Timers

First of all, you’ll notice the lack of oxygen in the air. Walk a few metres up hill and you’ll already start to huff and puff, wondering if you’ve suddenly stooped in fitness levels, but fear not – it’s just the altitude sickness. Hopefully you can shake it off in a day or two, but just to be safe, don’t plan on doing too much exercise in your first couple of days here. Besides, taxis are cheap at $2 a pop to get just about anywhere in town. Just as a warning, the city is over 3,500m above sea level!

The city is essentially a massive hole in the earth – hence the hills. and lots of them.

There are 835,000+ people living in La Paz, Bolivia’s capital.

La Paz is renowned for being quite unsafe for tourists and travellers – though you shouldn’t run into trouble if you keep an eye on your belongings and stay in well-lit, well-populated areas. Walking around after dark isn’t recommended but I did sneak in one or two missions to grab food and had no troubles as a solo female traveller.

What to Do?

Be sure to find a viewpoint – ‘Mirador’ – and see La Paz from above. It’s truly a sight for the eyes.

Bike riding Death Road has become a highly popular activity and is a great challenge, albeit not for the fainthearted.

A road trip to Moon Valley is also popular and will set you back about 200 Bolivianos for a taxi fare, round-trip.

Don’t forget to ditch the map and get lost in La Paz’ many alleyways and crazily steep streets, as there’s lots to see and do in this eclectic city.

la paz la paz la paz la paz la paz

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  • nancydavolio6@gmail.com'
    Best holiday destinations
    October 1, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Nice blog.Thanks for posting nice blog.

  • christineking@hotmail.com.au'
    Christine King
    October 1, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    The photos are amazing. So vibrant and beautiful.

  • charactersandcarryons@gmail.com'
    Joyce
    October 1, 2014 at 5:27 am

    What a rustic beauty! I can relate to being sleepy and unfocused when I first arrive at a place. I’m glad that you take time to understand a place and the take in it all when you are there.

    http://www.charactersandcarryons.com

  • luyoutravel@gmail.com'
    Elizabeth
    October 1, 2014 at 3:42 am

    You made a little error by writing 35000 rather than 3500. Just FYI!

  • shopwanderwell@gmail.com'
    Rosanne
    October 1, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Oh, would love to go here someday! (with an empty suitcase so I can fill it with all these handmade items and souvenirs 😉 )

    http://www.shopwanderwell.com

  • katry@comcast.net'
    Kathleen Ryan
    October 1, 2014 at 12:52 am

    My altitude sickness started in Merida, Venezuela and lasted until Asuncion, Paraguay. Luckily it was only in the morning I got sick. It became a daily routine.

    I rode into La Paz across the altiplano from Peru. Seeing the city from above was jaw droppingly awesome. I loved wending my way down to the city on the winding road. I roamed La Paz. It was one of my favorite cities in S.A. This was in the mid-1970’s.

  • thepinthemapproject@gmail.com'
    Nikki
    October 1, 2014 at 12:27 am

    The photos alone make me want to visit La Paz! I love the color of your photographs. What camera are you using?

  • laurasbestlife@gmail.com'
    Laura
    October 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

    beautiful photos Brooke!

    xo, Laura
    laurasbestlife.com

  • lennae87@hotmail.com'
    Lennae
    September 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Sounds awesome, I’m loving these posts! Are you off too Peru next?

  • ale.ralok@gmail.com'
    Danijela
    September 30, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Looks really amazing 🙂

  • thelotuscreative@gmail.com'
    Kate
    September 30, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Wow, it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  • dontforgettomove@gmail.com'
    Christine
    September 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Awesome! I didn’t make it to Bolivia during my South America trip unfortunately but I’d love to check it out. I’ve heard its super cheap. Not sure about the altitude in La Paz though!

  • lagrammar@yahoo.com'
    Ava
    September 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    This has been on my to-do list for a while…I love the pictures with the blankets, really beautiful!

    – Ava

    beck daily

  • steve@stehenmanning.com.au'
    Steve
    September 30, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Brooke, think you need to lose a zero in the elevation to 3500m

  • garobinson@optusnet.com.au'
    anne
    September 30, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Hey, you might want to edit that to 3,500 m not 35,000 m above sea level!

  • beautyfoody@web.de'
    Tatjana
    September 30, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Beautiful photos 🙂
    I was in Sorrento at the Amalfi Coast last week and it waas incredible too 🙂

    Love,
    Tatjana

  • Dianascarrunz@gmail.com'
    Diana A.
    September 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for doing this city justice!

  • endlesspostcards@gmail.com'
    Deepti @ Endless Postcards
    September 30, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Such beautiful colors!

  • alissaloxton@hotmail.com'
    Ali
    September 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Looks like so much fun to me!

    ——————————–
    20 year old travel blogger

    http://the-living-spree.blogspot.co.nz/

  • egorowski@gmail.com'
    Emma
    September 30, 2014 at 10:16 am

    La Paz is certainly a very beautiful and interesting city.

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