What to see in La Paz, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest in the city of Bolivia, including the Presidential Palace, Cathedral and Valley of the Moon.
Despite being the seat of the government of Bolivia, La Paz is not the capital of the country, as the role is covered by the city of Sucre.
Located at an altitude of about 3,600 meters, La Paz lies perched along the slopes of a deep canyon, created by the Choqueyapu river, under the El Alto district, the highest part of the city is located at about 4,000 meters, on the same plateau where the airport is located.
From the El Alto district it is possible to admire a spectacular panorama of La Paz, with Mount Illimani in the background, characterized by the snow-capped peak 6,438 meters high.
Poor people live at the top of the canyon and on the plateau, the altitude is higher and the air is more rarefied, while lower down, where the air is more oxygenated, the wealthy population lives.
Those who are not used to these altitudes need to acclimatise a little, in some cases it may happen to experience a temporary altitude sickness when descending from the plane.
From the top you go down through narrow and very sloping streets to the city center, at an altitude of 3,600, where there are traces of colonial architecture.
The Legislative Palace, the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral overlook Plaza Murillo.
The Church of San Francisco, in Baroque style and located on the square of the same name, is one of the most interesting churches to visit.
There are also many museums, including the National Museum of Art, the Archaeological Museum, the Casa del Murillo and the Museum of musical instruments.
There is no lack of markets, the most characteristic one is the Mercado de las brujas, where amulets and offerings for the Pachamama cult are sold.Recommended readings
- Bolivia: general information
- La Paz (Bolivia): what to see
Continuing south, we meet the commercial part of the city, dominated by skyscrapers, even further down are the elegant residential districts.
An excursion to the Valley of the Moon, about 12 km from La Paz, proceeding south is recommended.
It is a rocky landscape formed over thousands of years of erosion, whose appearance is similar to the lunar landscape.