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City Profile: La Paz, Bolivia Important Information About the City of La Paz

La Paz, “the city that touches the clouds,” is Bolivia’s administrative capital and the seat of the Bolivian national government. Because of this, it is sometimes called the de factocapital instead of Sucre. La Paz is the second most populated city in the country after Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and serves as the departmental capital for the La Paz Department. It is the hub for culture, commerce, finance and industry in Bolivia. The city is named after Nuestra Señora de la Paz, or Our Lady of Peace.

La Paz, a city in Bolivia is in South America, with Spanish as one of its official languages. While the majority of the population is ethnic Amerindians, most of them are bilingual. And the city is also culturally diverse, with a large population of foreign immigrants speaking English, Japanese and several European languages

Geographically, the city of La Paz lies on latitude 16°30’ 0” south and longitude 68°08’ 0” west. It is located at the La Paz Department, by the western side of Bolivia. The city is elevated at a height of 3,650 meters (11,975 feet) above sea level and stands on steep hills. It is the highest administrative capital in the world. The altitude of La Paz is also a reflection of the division of its society. The more affluent neighborhoods are located southwest of Prado, the city’s downtown area. There, the weather is milder and more pleasant. The middle-class residents live in high-rise condominiums and apartments near the middle of the city, while the poor members of society have put up brick houses in the surrounding hills. From above, La Paz looks as if it sits atop a bowl, which is how it is often described. This “bowl” is surrounded by high mountains in the eastern side of the Altiplano (high plains) region, which include the Andes valley. It is close to the mountains of Huayna Potosi, Illampu, Illimani, and Mururata. To the west, La Paz is near the extinct Sajama volcano, the ninth tallest mountain in the Andes.

When you fly into La Paz, the view is simply incredible. You would have a glimpse of the snow-capped Illimani Mountain with its triple peaks, the satellite city of El Alto, which is situated 4,058 meters or 13,313 feet above sea level to the west where the airport is located, and finally, the sprawling La Paz Metropolitan area. The city itself emerged from a canyon naturally formed by the Choqueyapu River, running from the northwest to the southeast. The main thoroughfare of the city follows the La Paz River and runs through a tree-lined avenue in Prado, the downtown center.

The city of La Paz is divided into seven main districts – Cotahuma, Max Paredes, Periférica, San Antonio, Distrito Sur, Mallasa, and Distrito Centro. The 7 districts are further divided into 21 smaller districts. Locals mainly refer to the city’s division into three main zones: the Central Zone, North Zone, and South Zone.

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La Paz experiences a subtropical highland climate with sub-polar oceanic tendencies. This means that throughout the year, the city consistently enjoys cool to chilly temperatures with dry winters and humid summers. A cool and dry climate dominates the city. This is due to the altitude of La Paz. Rainfall is concentrated in January and February, while June and July are the driest months. November and December are the warmest months. Average high temperatures during these months are 14-15°C (57-59°F). February and March are the cloudiest months of the year, and also the late summer months. During this time, the city gets an average of five hours of sunshine. On the other hand, June and July are the sunniest months of the year, and also the coldest since it is winter. Average low temperature during these months is -2°C (28°F). During this time, the city gets an average of nine hours of sunshine. The average daily temperature in La Paz is 7°C (45°F). The best time to visit La Paz is during the months of April to October. But no matter when you visit the city, always remember to pack warm clothes for cold, windy nights.

La Paz is a safe city to visit, but just like any place in the world other than your hometown, it is still a foreign land. It is very important that you keep your eyes on your bags and luggage. When shopping or strolling around the sights, be sure to keep your bag or purse close to your body. A body bag that can be worn under your clothes is ideal. Do not wear expensive jewelry and keep your electronic devices like mobile phone, MP3 player and digital camera inside your bag when not in use. Likewise, do not carry too much cash or show that you have a large sum of money with you when you are shopping or dining.

It is wise to go with an organized tour group particularly when you want to sample the nightlife in La Paz. Be wary of taking a taxi, as there were incidences of muggings involving taxi drivers and local gangs. There are also people disguised as plainclothes policemen and hotel staff that rob unsuspecting tourists. Most of these unscrupulous individuals work with one or more accomplices. When accosted by a plainclothes policeman, be sure to ask to be taken to the police station before you show them anything. Always check with your hotel concierge on which taxi service you should call or use.

La Paz is located at a high altitude and you should be aware that the hard drive of your laptop could be damaged when used in a place of such high altitude and cause your hard drive to crash. Therefore if it is not critical for you to use your laptop and other electronic devices with a hard drive, it will be better to leave them at home or at least, back up the contents of your hard drives.

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History of La Paz

It was Alonso de Mendoza and his band of Spanish Conquistadoreswho founded the city of La Paz on October 20, 1548. The original site is now known as the municipality of Laja, in the department of La Paz. The city was initially named Nuestra Señora de la Paz, in honor of Our Lady of Peace, when peace was restored after Gonzalo Pizarro and his comrades revolted against the first viceroy of Peru, Blasco Núñez Vela in 1544. After the civil wars in Peru, the king of Spain who was also the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, handed over control of all former Inca lands to Pedro de la Gasca. De la Gasca then tasked Alonso de Mendoza to establish a new city to commemorate the end of the civil wars; hence, La Paz was founded. After some time, the city was transferred to its present location in the Chuquiago Marka Valley, which is present-day Río Choqueyapu. The following year, Juan Gutierrez Paniagua was tasked to design the city’s layout and designate locations for official buildings, plazas, public areasand a cathedral. Paniagua chose the present location of Plaza Murillo (formerly Plaza de los Españoles) to house government buildings.

In reality, the founding of La Paz was based on a ruthless territorial claim – the La Paz area itself was rich in precious metals, including gold, copper, and silver. In no time at all, mines sprung up and the Spaniards scrambled to stake their claim. They imposed not only their culture, but also their laws, lifestyle, and religion on the indigenous people. Relations between Spanish men and indigenous women brought about the rise of the mestizo population.

In all political matters, the Spanish king had a tight grip on La Paz, which prompted a series of rebellions by the indigenous people. One of these was a six-month siege of the city in 1781 by a group of Aymara people under Tupac Katari’s (Julián Apasa Nina) leadership. They destroyed tangible symbols of Spanish authority – government-owned properties and churches. Katari was eventually captured and executed. Since then, he has been revered as a hero by members of indigenous movements. Despite the meaning of its name, La Paz has witnessed a bloody and violent history. Other uprisings and revolts would follow including the nation’s struggle for independence from its Spanish rulers in 1809. Pedro Domingo Murillo, was a former member of the royal army turned independence leader. But as with the fate of previous revolt leaders, he was captured and executed along with his comrades and fellow patriots. Before dying, he was said to have declared that the tyrants couldn’t squelch the peoples’ desire for freedom. It was the revolution that mattered since it paved the way for other South American countries to fight for liberation against Spain.

In 1825, during the Wars of Independence in South America, the Spanish forceswere defeated at Ayacucho, Peru. The city’s name was then changed into La Paz de Ayacucho, or “The Peace of Ayacucho.” However, since then, leadership in the republic has been accompanied with constant danger and a high mortality rate.

La Paz was formally declared the seat of the Bolivian government, albeit a de facto one, in 1898. Sucre, on the other hand, was designated as the nominal and judiciary capital of Bolivia.

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Demographics of La Paz

In La Paz, more than half of the residents belong to an indigenous group. The rest are of mestizo (mixed white and ethnic Indian) descent, and foreigners. The largest ethnic groups are Aymara and Quechua. The city’s population is pegged at 835,361 as of 2010, while population in the metro is pegged at 2.176 million as of 2007. More than half of the population are between the ages of 15-64, followed by children aged 0-14, and those 65 and above. The average life expectancy for males is 64.84 years, and 70.42 years for females.

Majority of the residents, or 95% of the population of La Paz are Roman Catholics, closely followed by some Protestant and Christian denominations. There are growing numbers of followers of Islam, Baha’i and Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. There are also a large group of Jews in La Paz. Official languages spoken in La Paz are Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara and majority of the natives of La Paz are bi-lingual. In some areas, dialects like Guarani and Pano are still spoken. The city of La Paz has a large community of foreign immigrants so it is not surprising to hear residents speaking English, Japanese, French, Dutch, Norwegian and German. Education is valued; but in reality, not even a majority of Bolivians finish their primary education and move on to higher education.

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Economy of La Paz

Traditionally, the main industry in La Paz has been mining or mineral processing, and manufacturing of agricultural products. Plants in the urban center of La Paz produce agricultural tools, clothing, construction materials, food, tobacco products, and other consumer goods. However, it is the tin deposits within Bolivia, including those in La Paz, which serve as the life force of the whole country. It makes up a third of Bolivia’s national revenue. Before the market for tin dropped in the 1980s, Bolivia was one of the world’s leading producers of tin. Bolivia is the sixth largest producer of tin in the world as of 2011.

During the 1980s until the early 1990s, Bolivia struggled with a long period of high inflation. As a result, a huge informal economy began to emerge. This is marked by markets that sprouted all over the cities, including La Paz. In La Paz, aside from the already established markets, there is at least one market or vendor in almost every street in the surrounding neighborhoods and the downtown area. In recent years, La Paz has had better and more competent political leaders, who have in one way or another, contributed to the city’s gradual economic growth. The satellite city of El Alto, which is considered an extension of La Paz, has been experiencing an influx of immigrants in recent years. Ongoing developments make it one of the fastest-growing cities in Latin America.

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La Paz Attractions

The city, even if it is only about 472 square kilometers in size, still has several wonderful areas that attract thousands of visitors annually. The city itself is very beautiful and there are places that you could go to that are free and will present you with wonderful panoramic views of La Paz in all directions. Such places include Parque Laikacota that is located west of the center of the city at Avenida Ejercito. You could have good view of the city from the park, all the way to the Illimani Mountain. Likewise, good panoramic views of the beauty of Mount Illimani are possible from the Mirador Monticulo near Plaza España and from Avenida Camacho in the downtown area. From this vantage point you would be able to see Mount Illimani framed by the skyscrapers in the city. And saving the best for last, the best views of La Paz and its environs could be had when you go to Mirador Killi Killi. Mirador is a Spanish word meaning a viewing place. Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley, is a hillside with canyons and pinnacles shaped by nature itself. Great views can be had all around this valley, which is just 10 kilometers or six miles outside the city proper. Nearby is the La Paz Zoo, which is the world’s highest zoo.

Sagarnaga Street, located on the southern side of Plaza San Francisco, is the main tourist area in La Paz. It’s a commercial street with many artisan shops, budget hostels, cafés, souvenir stores, and travel agencies. It’s the place where backpackers flock to as well. While in the area, visit the Peña Huari, a local pub and restaurant for a sample of the best in Bolivian music and dance.

Plaza Murillo, which was originally called Plaza de Armas, and named after Pedro Domingo Murillo, a martyr during the 1809 revolution, is located at the center of the city. It houses many interesting historical and government buildings like the Congress building and the Government Palace. Palacio Quemado is the official residence of the Bolivian president. Originally built in 1852, it is also known as Government Palace, Presidential Palace, and “The Burnt Palace;” the latter because of the many times it caught fire in the past. At its entrance you will see guards wearing red uniforms. The Metropolitan Cathedral is beside the Government Palace. It was built in 1835 in the neoclassical style.

El Prado is the main street in La Paz, where most of the bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, shops, and businesses are located. If you want to take a walk back in time, Calle Jaen is a quaint old cobblestone street with lots of preserved colonial architecture. The street is home to some museums and cathedrals, shops, and restaurants. Iglesia de San Francisco, located at Plaza San Francisco, is a restored church complex. Its stone façade contains carvings of both ethnic and Christian figures. The top of the church tower also boasts of magnificent panoramic views.

There are many museums you can visit in La Paz. Museo de Coca, located at 906 Calle Linares, is a favorite among foreign visitors. It showcases the history, significance, and uses of the coca plant. Free samples of coca leaves are also given out to visitors. Museo del Oro displays items made from copper, gold, and silver during Bolivia’s pre-colonial era. Museo Nacional de Arqueología has artifacts on display from Bolivia’s biggest archeological and UNESCO World Heritage site – Tiwanaku. There, you will learn about the Tiwanaku culture – an ancient South American culture that came even before the Inca Empire. The remains of their old city state is located near the southeast of Lake Titicaca in the La Paz Department, just 72 kilometers west of the city of La Paz.

Casa de Pedro Domingo Murillo Museum, which was the residence of revolution martyr Pedro Murillo, is now a museum that contains colonial-era items like coins, furniture, paintings, textile, andsilver.Casa Museo Nuñez del Prado was a private home turned into a museum which displays artworks of the Nuñez del Prado family members themselves, including the works of Marina Nuñez del Prado, a sculptor, and her sister, Nilda, a painter. Marina’s sculptures have Quechua and Aymara themes. Museo Costumbrista is quite an interesting and unique museum containing displays of ceramic dolls dressed in traditional, ethnic, and colonial style costumes.

Old photos of La Paz are also on display. Museo de Etnografía y Folklore was a house built during the 1700s. It now contains an exhibit on the art and customs of the ethnic groups Ayoreos and Chipayas. Museo Nacional del Arte, located in Calle Comercio, used to be a palace built in 1775. It is now a museum that houses artworks from Bolivian artists Marina Nuñez del Prade, Melchor Perez de Holguín, and others.

Museo de Historia Natural shows various exhibits on the botanical, geological, paleontological and zoological history of Bolivia. Museo del Litoral has some artifacts from the 1879 war – the time when Chile claimed Bolivia’s seacoast. Museo del Charango is located in Calle Linares and displays a variety of native Bolivian musical instruments including the charango, a stringed instrument shaped like a lute usually used to play traditional Andean music. It was traditionally made with the back shell of an armadillo and is 66 centimeters long.

Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos is located at Plaza Benito Juarez. It showcases a huge collection of Bolivian-made textiles, weavings, and garments including ponchos. The museum has a shop where you can buy garments. Rather than buy souvenir Bolivian garments elsewhere, do buy them here to support the local artists. Museo Subterraneo is more of a sunken outdoor plaza than a museum. At the center is a massive replica of a Tiwanaku monolith. The original was moved back to the Tiwanaku archeological site.

If you go down to Mercado de las Brujas, or Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches’ Market) located in Calle Linares, prepare yourself to step into the bizarre. Here, self-proclaimed “witches” sell odds and ends like amulets, aphrodisiacs, charms, figurines, herbs, potions, magic spells, souvenirs, trinkets and even weirder stuff such as dried frogs and llama fetuses used in some Aymara rituals. El Alto’s Thursday and Sunday Market is a regular event enjoyed by locals, longtime residents, and even foreigners. You can find anything here from clothes, accessories, gadgets and electronics, furniture and home décor, plants, shoes, toys, DVDs, etc. Prices are relatively low.

If you have time for some unique day trips to places outside the city of La Paz, you can go to the Tiwanaku Ruins, Titicaca Lake,the world’s highest lake with breathtaking views and “enchanted” watersor Copacabana,a town on the shores of Lake Titicaca where pilgrims and tourists flock to every year in time for the Virgin of Copacabana celebration. You could also hike to Muela del Diablo (Devil’s Molar), a volcanic outcrop located south of La Paz or go to Chiarkota Lake, a natural lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. For activities like golf, mountain biking, and skiing, you can go to Chacaltaya.

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La Paz Culture

As with the whole of Bolivia, La Paz is multicultural and filled with pre-Hispanic and Hispanic influences. Surprisingly, ethnic diversity and the mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures coexist peacefully.

A visit to La Paz in January won’t be complete without witnessing the Feria de Alasitas. The festival is celebrated every 24th of January, in honor of Ekeko, an Aymaran little god of abundance. In fact, Ekeko means dwarf. There is also a Carnaval celebration called Diablada, or “Devil’s Dance.” While in La Paz, you shouldn’t miss the chance to see a peña – a musical folklore show infused with dancing and singing. Some shows include drinks and meal.

The city observes about 23 festivals and celebrations annually and almost all of these are religious in nature. The months of May and September have the highest number of festivals.

La Paz loves football and the city had hosted several national and international games. The top football clubs in the city are The Strongest, the oldest football club in Bolivia, Club Bolivar and La Paz FC. The Strongest was established in 1908 while Club Bolivar was founded in 1925.

Bolivian culture is rich in folklore, mysticism, superstition, and rituals, most of which have been passed down since pre-Inca times. Bolivians in general, are big on festivals, dance, music, games, and sports. Dance and music play key roles in their many colorful festivals and have special meanings. They have quite a distinctive and varied kind of folk music. They have also inherited a tradition of religious art that continues to thrive after centuries of being passed on and practiced by local artisans and builders. Through the centuries, indigenous communities have assimilated symbols and beliefs of Catholicism with those of local folklore and their ancestors’ pre-Hispanic practices. Religion is an aspect dominated by Bolivian females, including attending Church and observing rituals.

In general, Bolivians are courteous, friendly, generous, kind, polite, and warm by nature. They are willing to help each other out. In La Paz, as with the rest of Bolivia, the family is the hub of social life, and friendships are valued and maintained. Families are usually very tight knit and live in a single house. It is not uncommon for a home to have three generations of the family living together. In fact, the extended family serves as a traditionally accepted support system. Family roles are still very much traditional as it has been in the past, and “machismo” is still present. The husband is usually the sole breadwinner, while the wife is the matriarch of the household who is in charge of all domestic concerns. The machismo mentality in Bolivians includes male superiority and a strong sense of maintaining honor and dignity at all costs. Unfortunately, women are still considered subordinate to men.

When greeting someone, a handshake is commonly accepted, or you can say “Buenos dias” (good morning), “Buenas tardes” (good afternoon), or “Buenas noches” (good evening). Maintaining direct eye contact is also permissible and even expected because it signifies that you are sincere and really listening to what the other person is saying. On the other hand, not focusing directly on the person you are speaking with is considered rude. Stand up when someone comes to greet you. People with a more informal and familiar relationship will embrace each other or give a pat on the shoulder. Women kiss each other on the cheek. Use the person’s professional title if you know it. In Bolivia, both the maternal and paternal surnames are used. And since it is a patriarchal society, the father’s name is always listed or mentioned first in a conversation. When women marry, they add a “de” to connect their maiden surname with their new surname. It is considered polite to address an older woman as señora, and an older man as señor. Bolivians in general don’t have the concept of personal space ingrained in their culture. They are more likely to be open to touch and gesture, and stand close to you when you speak.

In public places like in a public transport or a restaurant, it is polite to modulate your voice when speaking. If there aren’t any empty seats, men traditionally give up their seats to the women. Pointing and staring at something too long is considered rude. When pointing out something or someone, incline or nod your head toward the right direction instead. Smoking indoors is allowed. It is even considered polite to offer a cigarette to those around you. When in someone else’s home, never put your feet up on the furniture, remove your shoes (unless told to do so), or sit on the arm of a chair. For women, sitting with your legs apart is considered unladylike. Proper posture should be observed. When attending any social or business event, remember to ask what kind of attire is expected so you know how to dress appropriately. In general, people in Bolivia dress neatly and conservatively. Do not wear shorts, rubber flip-flops, and overly casual or ragged clothes. Evening events are always formal. Lunch is considered the main meal of the day. Most businesses still observe siesta until 2:30 PM. Dinner usually begins at 8 or 9 in the evening.

In conversations during social settings, refrain from discussing about drugs, military activities, politics, poverty, or religion. Do not patronize Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay as Bolivia has lost lands and wars to these other nations. Turning your back on someone when you face the other person beside you is considered rude. Therefore, in unavoidable circumstances, when you have to speak to one and leave the other for a while, you can say “Disculpe si le doy la espalda un momento.” This means, “Forgive me for turning my back on you for a moment.” It will convey the message that you are still aware of the other person and not ignoring or snubbing him on purpose. Bolivians generally appreciate it if you try to use Spanish in conversations.

When dining at a house party, punctuality is usually not strictly observed. It is okay to arrive between fifteen to thirty minutes after the time given. Greet your host first and hand him your gift. After arriving, do not sit immediately. You are expected to mingle, converse, and socialize. Ask the host where he wants you to sit. Only sit down when your host does. The host usually says “Buen provecho!” (Have a good meal or enjoy your meal) to invite the guests to eat. You should reply with “Gracias!” (Thank you). The guest is usually served first, but it is considered polite to decline the first offering of food until the host insists. When you have been served, wait for the host to start eating before you begin. Always eat using the proper dining utensils. As much as possible, finish everything that’s on your plate and everything you take. However, if you’ve been given something you’re allergic to, it’s okay to decline and tell them about your situation. Bolivians usually don’t share food from their own plates, so don’t offer to share your food with someone. In dining settings where you’re allowed to help yourselves to containers of food on the table, refrain from taking the last morsel on a container to avoid looking greedy. Instead, if the host offers it to you, decline first, and then gratefully accept it when he insists.

Always keep your hands visible and your elbows off the table at all times. Hiding your hands indicates deception or dishonesty, while putting your elbows on the table is being disrespectful. Never toss or hand someone directly something he has asked you to pass to him. Pass it to the next person until it reaches him if he’s far from you, or simply set it in front of him if he’s beside you. Do not stand up or reach across the table to get something. Bolivians have this superstition that bad luck will come to you if you’ve been handed something directly in front of the dining table. Avoid any form of business discussion. Concentrate instead on getting to know those seated nearest to you on a more personal level. Wait for the server to pour your wine and wait for the host to make the first toast. The common response to a toast is “Salud!” If you are full and somebody offers you more food, never say that you are already full. Instead, tell them that you are satisfied and the meal was so delicious and enjoyable that you couldn’t take another bite. In general, wait for the entire meal to finish before complimenting your host on the food. Never get up and leave the table right after the meal. It is considered polite to stay for at least another more 30 minutes.

When in a restaurant and you want to call out to a server, simply raise your hand and make a pinching gesture with your thumb and index finger, then smile. This is a polite way of asking the server for a bit of his time to accommodate you. Doggy bags aren’t common, as Bolivians who can afford to eat in restaurants do not take home leftovers. This is more of a conscious social standing issue practice, and doesn’t have anything to do at all with etiquette. Bolivians usually don’t hand out their leftovers to beggars outside restaurants. Foreigners are expected to give a 15% tip, but do not give it directly to your waiter. Just leave it under your cup, glass, or plate, and leave a piece sticking out enough for the waiter to see it. He will pick it up after you leave the restaurant. If you dine out with a host, he will insist on paying for your meal. Calculating tabs is considered impolite. When your host offers to pay, decline first and if they insist, accept it gratefully.

There aren’t strict rules when giving gifts. The price is not of much importance, but quality is given much thought. When invited to a house party, you can give the host chocolates, pastries, wine, or flowers. Bring sweets for the children. Avoid giving yellow or purple colored flowers as these have a negative meaning. Never give knives or scissors as these mean severing ties. Gifts are usually not immediately opened upon receiving them. It is considered rude to refuse a gift.

During initial introductions in business-related meetings, business cards are exchanged. The other side of your business card should be in Spanish. The same goes for your materials and papers. It is polite to wait for the other party to initiate business discussions. Initially focus on building a smooth relationship with the other party and gaining their trust by sincerely trying to get to know them better. Business meetings are usually conducted in Spanish, so it helps if you have an interpreter with you. Allow the meeting to run its course; never show impatience or try to rush things along. Business meetings are usually a platform for discussion and the exchange of ideas or suggestions. Never pressure the other party to come up with a decision on the spot. Always aim for a diplomatic communication style. It’s okay to take time and choose the phrasing of your words and responses carefully. Avoid being highly opinionated, aggressive, blunt, and direct.

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Interesting Facts about La Paz

Here are quick facts if you want to learn more or plan to visit La Paz, Bolivia in the future.

  • La Paz is the second largest city in Bolivia in terms of population.
  • The city of La Paz is raised to a height of 11,975 ft. (3,650 m) above sea level. La Paz is the world’s highest capital.
  • The original name of La Paz was Nuestra Señora de la Paz, after Our Lady of Peace. In the Aymaran language, La Paz is called Chuqiyapuor Chuquiago Marka.
  • Since the airport at El Alto is so high, airplanes need to have a special set of tires so they can land smoothly. It is the highest airport in the world.
  • La Paz also has the world’s highest golf course. In fact, since the air there is so thin at such a high altitude, a strongly hit golf ball can travel farther than it normally would at sea level.
  • In La Paz, there is a dangerously steep road connecting the city to the Yungas Valley, called the Yungas Road. It has been documented that each year, an average of 25 vehicles accidentally plunge off that same road, and more than a hundred people die because of it. It has since then been dubbed the World’s Most Dangerous Road.
  • There is a street market in La Paz called the Witches’ Market, aptly named because there you’ll meet real-life witches that sell their wares like charms, magic spells, paraphernalia and potions.
  • The currency used in La Paz and the rest of Bolivia is Boliviano (BOB).
  • La Paz is the home of three of the biggest football teams in the country: Club Bolivar, La Paz F.C. and The Strongest.
  • Universidad Mayor de San Andrés which first opened in 1830 and is located in La Paz, is the second oldest university in Bolivia.

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