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Home » 11 Awesome Things to Do in La Paz, Bolivia

11 Awesome Things to Do in La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz is the world’s highest capital city at 3,600 meters and even on the warmest days, most residents wear long sleeves and pants to protect against the intense sun. It’s undoubtedly one of the most chaotic and unique cities in South America while also being one of the last big cities with a thriving indigenous culture. It’s a shame that many visitors only pass through La Paz for a couple of days before heading to the Uyuni Salt Flats. This city is so unique and there are a variety of exciting things to do that cater to different interests. Here are 11 awesome things to do in La Paz, Bolivia!

La Paz, Bolivia features on the best places to visit in South America. Check out the rest of the list!

1. Climb Huayna Potosí

Climbing Huayna Potosí was one of the coolest things I did during my 8 months in South America. It’s one of the easiest 6,000-meter peaks in the world and most climbers reach the summit. The 3-day climb requires no previous mountaineering experience and costs less than $200 US.

Huayna Potosí at Sunrise

2. Learn About Life Inside San Pedro Prison

This unique prison in the city center is run by the inmates and their families can still live inside with them. It’s one of the world’s craziest prisons and they even produce cocaine in there. “Crazy Dave” is an American who was incarcerated at San Pedro for over a decade, and he gives a tip-based tour detailing what life on the inside was like. Crazy Dave very much lives up to the nickname, and he’s outside the prison every day at 1 PM.

3. Bike the Death Road

Before they built a highway, the Death Road claimed the lives of over 500 motorists a year and was the world’s most dangerous road. Now it’s used for thrilling bike tours where you’ll reach speeds of 50 km/h while descending from 4,700m to 1,600m. 

Related: 7 Incredible Things to Do in Bolivia

4. Ride the Teleférico

Nine cable care lines connect La Paz with El Alto, and this is the best way to avoid the horrible traffic. The views are spectacular and riding the teleférico is a great way to see the city from above. The green and celeste lines between the city center and south zone and the red line are the most scenic.   

5. Admire the Art

Bolivian art is unique in the way it incorporates indigenous themes, and it’s my favorite in South America. The Museo Nacional de Arte has a fantastic collection featuring colorful paintings and folkloric masks.

Things to do in La Paz Bolivia
Museo Nacional de Arte

Related: The Best 1 Month Backpacking Itinerary for Bolivia

6. Watch Cholitas Wrestling

Every Sunday night in El Alto indigenous women, known as cholitas, take part in a lucha libre wrestling show. Parts of the show are a bit dramatic, but the moments that have you dying of laughter more than make up for it. 

7. Visit La Paz’s Most Colorful Neighborhood

You won’t find Barrio Chualluma on a map, but from the teleférico its colorful houses stand out. The neighborhood is full of street art, and its location high up in the hills means you’ll have some peace and quiet away from the constant horn honking in the city center. To get here, take the red line to El Alto and walk down to the sea of color. 

Related: 10 Awesome Things to Do in Sucre

8. Shop at the Largest Market in South America

Every Thursday and Sunday the 16 de Julio market takes place in El Alto. The size of the market is staggering and the best way to appreciate it is from above on the teleférico. You’ll find just about everything here including crafts, coca leaf readers, and even a street full of cars for sale. 

Things to do in La Paz Bolivia
Apartments in El Alto

9. Go on A Free Walking Tour

Bolivia’s culture and political history are incredibly fascinating to learn about, and Red Cap gives a fantastic tour explaining this in detail. 

10. Take in the Incredible Views

The landscape of La Paz is spectacular. The city seems to go on forever and the snow-capped mountains in the background are the cherry on top. La Paz and El Alto are full of incredible viewpoints and Mirador Killi Killi is the best one near the city center.

things to do in La Paz Bolivia
Mirador Killi Killi

Next, read the complete guide to visiting La Paz!

11. Go to the Witches’ Market

Alternative medicine and Pachamama are still very relevant in Bolivia. At this exotic market, you’ll find everything from llama fetuses to “cures” for Alzheimer’s.

Mercado Brujas
Witches’ Market

That wraps up the 11 awesome things to do in La Paz, Bolivia!

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