Nestled in a valley amidst the peaks of the Andes, La Paz will certainly take your breath away. Due to its location, La Paz is a picturesque city of ups and downs, with narrow streets, wide avenues, and the iconic, snow-covered Illimani Mountain, whose silhouette has been an emblem for the city since its foundation.
Bolivia is characterized by its ethnic diversity and variety of geographical settings, which have both influenced the country’s culture. La Paz has rich traditions, costumes, dances, and customs which have been preserved from colonial times to the present day.
Native traditions mixed with Spanish ones during colonial times. This encounter resulted in a fascinating cultural blend, which you can see in clothing and festivals today.
For instance, in the Altiplano area, it is common to see multicolored garments and fabrics made from llama, alpaca, vicuña, or sheep wool, colored using natural dyes. The fabrics with geometric patterns and bars are known as Aguayos or lliqllas, in Quechua.
Due to its altitude at 11,942 feet (3,640 m), La Paz is a fairly cold throughout the year. However, for the best experience, we advise visiting the city from late April to late May and from late August to early December.
Keteka grants access to authentic activities run by local tour operators and guides. You can book and secure your place in advance, and we will take care of everything else. We’ll let you know where to go or where you will be picked up and at what time.
City highlights include:
The surroundings of La Paz also have a lot to offer travelers. Visit Lake Titicaca and its islands, hike in the Valle de la Luna, or go mountain biking. La Paz is a great hub for exploring Bolivia, given its strategic location between the Amazon and the Andes. Travelers can use the city’s convenient location as a base to discover further.
The department of La Paz is known for having a great variety of dishes that highlight the culinary heritage of the region. La Paz’s cultural diversity makes its gastronomic scene surprisingly rich. Once you’ve awakened your appetite, check out the city’s multitude of excellent restaurants for an authentic, gourmet experience.
For more ideas of what to do in La Paz, check out our city guide.
By bus, the city of La Paz is seven to eight hours away from Cochabamba ( 241 miles/388 km) and three hours from Oruro (122 miles/196 km). From Chile, you can go on an 8-hour bus ride from Arica (303 miles/489 km).
La Paz’s bus terminal is a distinctive bright yellow building designed by Gustave Eiffel. You can find it on Avenida Peru near the Autopista La Paz-El Alto. It is a 15-minute uphill walk north-west from the main tourist areas of the Casco Colonial.
If you arrive by bus to La Paz from Copacabana and Lake Titicaca (the route for entering overland from Puno, Peru), the bus leaves you right at the entrance to the Cemetery stop of the red line cable car. From there, you can catch a taxi to the city center, Casco Colonial.
If you decide to drive by yourself, we advise you to rent an SUV, as most of Bolivia’s roads aren’t paved, and to carry an international driver’s license to show at toll booths.
El Alto International Airport is the world’s highest international airport at 13,323 feet (4,061 m), half the cruising altitude of some jetliners.
If you are coming from the United States, your only option is to take the daily flights from Miami and Washington.
In Europe, Madrid offers flights to La Paz. Other big cities such as Rome, Berlin, and London go to La Paz but have stopovers on the way.
If you are in South America, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia have flights to El Alto International Airport.