Share Online :

City Guide: La Paz

Sprawled out in a canyon and fringed by mountains and the imposing presence of Illimani volcano, La Paz is the world's highest capital city. It's a little rough around the edges, but wandering around the attractive centre, exploring the traditional markets and gliding over the city in a cable car will soon have you captivated. Discover the best of La Paz with our handy guide...

Symbol of the City: La Paz is a colourful, loud and jumbled city, with a tendency to surprise and intrigue. It is also full of interesting details for those willing to look close enough and nowhere are these traits better embodied than in the Mercado de las Brujas (Witches Market). For sale here are potions, medical plants, dried frogs and llama fetuses, alongside more traditional souvenir offerings for visitors. A second witches market takes place in El Alto, an extension of La Paz, where local witch doctors put the weird and wonderful merchandise to good use in various rituals.

witches market la paz

Star Attraction: Given the altitude here, there are many things in La Paz that can lay claim to being the world's highest this, or the world's highest that, but soaring just that little bit higher than all of them are the cable cars which whisk locals across the city (and yes are the world's highest). Joining them on the cars is one of the most exhilarating, if perhaps initially a little unnerving, experiences on offer here and gives a magnificent bird's-eye view over the sprawling mass of buildings and surrounding volcanoes and mountains. It is also possible to reach El Alto and the southern and more upmarket part of the city, seen by far fewer tourists. 

cable cars La Paz

Hidden Gem: No-one comes to La Paz just to see the old Dodge micro-buses that worm their way through the centre of the city, in fact most don't even know of their presence until the see them for themselves. But they make a pleasant surprise and add another layer of colour and charm to the chaotic streets of La Paz. Intricately decorated in vibrant greens, blues, oranges, yellows and more, the buses now have to compete not only with each other and the taxi-style minibuses (known as colectivos), but also the cable car system that serves as a bona-fida (if a little more expensive) transportation option for locals.

Dodge bus La Paz

Eat & Drink: A Bolivian variation on the empanada, a salteña is typically filled with beef, pork or chicken, alongside a combination of hard boiled eggs, peas, raisins and a sauce of varying degrees of spiciness. They are perfect for an afternoon snack, or can be eaten as a larger meal alongside rice and potatoes. Given the proximity of Lake Titicaca, trout is also common throughout the restaurants in La Paz. Considering the altitude of La Paz, drinking mate de coca is something of a necessity and is widely available throughout the city and in most hotels.

After Dark: A good way to experience some traditional Bolivian music, dress and dance is to attend one of the many peñas which are offered in the city centre. Normally combined with a meal, the shows are colourful and upbeat affairs, and although some are a little touristy, you are certainly guaranteed a good night's entertainment.

Escape: The nearby Valle de Luna (Moon Valley) is a natural collection of clay and sandstone spires, which together create a bizarre canyon-like landscape, just 30 minutes from the centre. Two walkways guide visitors around the site, passing the various types of cacti which also grow here. A couple of hours away by road is the magical Lake Titicaca on the border with Peru.

Lake Titicaca

When to Go: Although it is an all year round destination, as La Paz is usually combined with the Uyuni Salt Flats the best time to visit is in the dry season between May and October, when the flats are more accessible. The hottest temperatures in La Paz come during July and August and the coldest in January and February.

See our range of carefully crafted tours to La Paz

Find your perfect Holiday from our
Suggested Itineraries

View All
The Viracocha Tour - Holidays to Landmark Tours

Landmark Tours

Viracocha Tour

21 Nights from £5,147 €5,276 $5,691

A cross-continent odyssey from beaches to the high Andean mountains, via remote villages, cosmopolitan cities, Inca archaeology and dramatic landscapes.

The Viracocha Tour
Tours in Landmark Tours

21 Nights from £5,147 €5,276 $5,691

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Departure flight

    Day 2 - Full Day Tour of Rio de Janeiro

    Day 3 - Rio de Janeiro at Leisure

  2. Day 4 - Visit Iguassu Falls

  3. Day 5 - Travel to Buenos Aires

    Day 6 - Tour of Buenos Aires

    Day 7 - Buenos Aires At Leisure

  4. Day 9 - Tour of Sucre

    Day 10 - Tarabuco Sunday Market

    Day 11 - Day-trip to Potosí

  5. Day 12 - Fly to La Paz

    Day 13 - City tour La Paz

  6. Day 14 - Sun Island

    Day 15 - Puno

  7. Day 16 - Andean Explorer Train to Cusco

    Day 17 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour

  8. Day 18 - Machu Picchu tour

    Day 19 - Machu Picchu at Leisure

  9. Day 20 - Cusco

  10. Day 21 - Fly to Lima

    Day 22 - Flight back home

    Day 23 - Arrive home

The Shaman Tour - Holidays to Landmark Tours

Landmark Tours

Shaman Tour

28 Nights from £9,643 €10,671 $11,535

Cross the continent and cruise deep into the Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy cosmopolitan cities, colonial heritage, stunning Andean landscapes and the magnificen…

The Shaman Tour
Tours in Landmark Tours

28 Nights from £9,643 €10,671 $11,535

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Departure from the UK

    Day 2 - Buenos Aires at Leisure

    Day 3 - Buenos Aires City Tour

    Day 4 - Buenos Aires at Leisure

  2. Day 5 - Iguazu Falls, Argentinian side

    Day 6 - Iguassu Falls, Brazilian side

  3. Day 7 - Full Day Tour of Rio de Janeiro

    Day 8 - Rio de Janeiro at Leisure

  4. Day 9 - Flight to Salvador

    Day 10 - Salvador City Tour

    Day 11 - Salvador at Leisure

  5. Day 12 - Brasília City Tour

  6. Day 13 - Manaus tour

    Days 14 - 17 - Cruise in the Amazon rainforest

  7. Day 18 - Transfer to Lima

    Day 19 - Lima City Tour

  8. Day 20 - Fly to La Paz

    Day 21 - La Paz City Tour

  9. Day 22 - Lake Titicaca

    Day 23 - Uros & Taquile Islands

  10. Day 24 - Andean Explorer Train to Cusco

    Day 25 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Full Day Tour

  11. Day 26 - By Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu

    Day 27 - Machu Picchu at Leisure

  12. Day 28 - Cusco Tour

    Day 29 - Cusco at Leisure

    Day 30 - Departure

The Laguna Tour - Holidays to Landmark Tours

Landmark Tours

Laguna Tour

21 Nights from £5,768 €6,021 $6,498

An expedition to the remote salt flats and flamingo-filled lagoons of the high Andes and the Atacama desert. Cross mountains and valleys to reach Machu Pic…

The Laguna Tour
Tours in Landmark Tours

21 Nights from £5,768 €6,021 $6,498

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Days 1-2 - Travel to Santiago

  2. Day 3-4 - Moon Valley & Pucara de Quitor sunset

  3. Day 5 - Laguna Colorada and Desert of Siloli

    Day 6 - San Pedro de Quemez

  4. Day 7 - Uyuni Salt Flat

  5. Day 8 - Potosí

    Day 9 - Casa de la Moneda

    Day 10-11 - Tarabuco Market

  6. Days 12-13 - La Paz city

  7. Day 14 - La Paz

    Day 15 - Sun Island, Lake Titicaca

  8. Day 16 - Andean altiplano

    Day 17 - Sacred Valley of the Incas

  9. Day 19 - Machu Picchu

    Days 20 - 21 - Cusco

  10. Days 22-23 - Lima

The Quechua Tour - Holidays to Landmark Tours

Landmark Tours

Quechua Tour

17 Nights from £4,204 €4,144 $4,465

The descendant of the Empire of the Incas maintain their identity and traditions blending with colonial history, in a setting of impressive mountains lands…

The Quechua Tour
Tours in Landmark Tours

17 Nights from £4,204 €4,144 $4,465

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Departure

    Day 2 - Lima City Tour

  2. Day 3 - Flight to La Paz

    Day 4 - La Paz City Tour

    Day 5 - Tiahuanaco

  3. Day 6 - Flight to Sucre

    Day 7 - Sucre city tour

    Day 8 - Potosí

    Day 9 - Tarabuco Sunday Market

  4. Day 10 - Sun Island

    Day 11 - Taquile & Uros Islands

  5. Day 12 - Andean Explorer Train

    Day 13 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour

  6. Day 14 - Train to Machu Picchu

    Day 15 - Machu Picchu at Leisure

  7. Day 16 - Cusco city tour

    Day 17 - Cusco at Leisure

    Day 18 - Departure

The Moneda Tour - Holidays to Group Tours

Group Tours

Moneda Tour

17 Nights from £4,735 €4,782 $5,155

Step back in time to explore landlocked Bolivia and the riches of Potosi. Cross mysterious Lake Titicaca perched at the top of the Andean mountains, travel…

The Moneda Tour
Tours in Group Tours

17 Nights from £4,735 €4,782 $5,155

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia

    Day 2 - Join Group in Santa Cruz

    Day 3 - City Tour of Santa Cruz

  2. Day 4 - City Tour of Sucre

    Day 5 - Excursion to Potosi & Cerro Rico

    Day 6 - Visit to the Tarabuco Market

  3. Day 7 - Travel to La Paz

    Day 8 - City Tour of La Paz

    Day 9 - Day at Leisure in La Paz

  4. Day 10 - Travel to Lake Titicaca, Peru

    Day 11 - Boat Tour of Lake Titicaca

  5. Day 12 - Train Journey to Cusco

    Day 13 - Full day tour of the Sacred Valley

  6. Day 14 - Train to Machu Picchu & guided tour

    Day 15 - Explore Machu Picchu & train to Cusco

  7. Day 16 - City Tour of Cusco

    Day 17 - Day at Leisure in Cusco

  8. Day 18 - Lima

    Day 19 - Return flight

    Day 20 - Arrive home

The Pachamama Tour - Holidays to Landmark Tours

Landmark Tours

Pachamama Tour

21 Nights from £3,751 €3,601 $3,876

Combine an Amazon adventure with visits to the Inca heartland in Peru and the island communities of Lake Titicaca and a flight over the mysterious Nazca Li…

The Pachamama Tour
Tours in Landmark Tours

21 Nights from £3,751 €3,601 $3,876

Full Itinerary Contact Specialist

Itinerary Summary

  1. Day 1 - Travel to Lima

    Day 2 - Paracas

    Day 3 - Ballestas islands and Inca Museum

  2. Day 4 - Nazca Lines

    Day 5 - Arequipa

  3. Day 6 - La Paz & Moon Valley

  4. Day 7-8 - Lake Titicaca & Copacabana

    Day 9 - Sun Island, Lake Titicaca

  5. Day 10 - Travel to Puno

    Day 11 - Train to Cusco

    Day 12 - Tour of Cusco

  6. Day 13 - Train to Machu Picchu

    Day 14 - Machu Picchu at leisure

    Day 15 - Sacred Valley

  7. Day 16-18  - Amazon Lodge

    Days 19-20 - Return to the airport and fly to Lima