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5 Cool Things To Do In La Paz, Bolivia

October 20, 2011



Situated 3,660 meters above sea level, La Paz in Bolivia is the highest national capital city in the world. The city was built in the Andean mountains on October 20, 1954 with the name La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz.

Its altitude ranges from 3,100 to 4058 meters in the higher to lower residential areas respectively. Spreading over various heights that feature breathtaking views and scenery, La Paz has been a brilliant, must-see destination for many backpacking South America.

If you plan to travel but on a tight budget, La Paz is the place for you. The food and services are relatively cheap and there are a lot of things you can do at a minimal fee or even for free. After all, Bolivia has one of the lowest standards of living across South America, so you can practically enjoy anything when you come here.

This is definitely a guilt-free way to relax and enjoy some of the best South America tourist attractions without hurting your pocket too much. So to better keep you guided, check out these five fun things to do in La Paz, Bolivia:

#1: Plaza Murillo
Experience Bolivian culture at this historical place in La Paz. It features the beautiful city cathedral and several government buildings. Perhaps the best sight here is the hordes of pigeons flocking around. In fact, there are so many that they outnumber the people in the Plaza. Another popular landmark nearby is the Valle de la Luna. A low entrance fee is charged, but the view is worth the cost.

#2: Witches’ Market
If you’re looking for some supernatural, eccentric, and ethereal bazaars, the witches’ market is for you. Also known as Mercado de Hechiceria, this place is one of the most bizarre Bolivia tourist attractions around. Stalls and “open tents” are overflowing with herbs, dried roots, ornaments, spices, and oils associated with the spiritual life of the Aymara people. You can also buy the authentic Bolivian instrument called charango. But what really makes this place famous is the sight of shrunken llama fetuses found in many booths. Fortune tellers also flock to the area, so you might as well try your luck!

#3: Museo de la Coca
Among the top picks of the Bolivia tourist, this museum documents the history and significance of the coca plant in the development of Bolivia, including the effects of the U.S. War on Drugs. According to the museum, crack cocaine has been the greatest epidemic since the Middle-Ages Plague. And yes, you can get buzzed with the free samples of coca leaf given to tourists!

#4: El Alto Mercado
Every Thursday and Sunday, El Alto holds a huge market perfect for tourists looking for cheap, quality shopping. Here, you can find great bargains on vintage and branded clothes, textiles, and antiques, all imported from North America. You can also find some Alpaca wool sweaters that will only cost you around $7 each. And if you’re lucky, you can spot many high-end clothing brands at a very cheap price, most of them rarely used.

#5: Presidential Palace
Locally known as Palacio Quemado that literally means “burnt palace”, this place seems inviting to many tourists due to its intriguing history of multiple fires. This palace, which serves as the official residence of the president, has undergone several restorations after it was burned many times long ago.


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