Loving and Leaving La Paz, Bolivia

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Hola,

Today we’re going to discuss my recent time in La Paz, Bolivia. It was one of those cities that I instantly started to love and to say that it is unique would be an understatement. It’s literally a metropolis built in the sky and the highest capital city in the world at around 3800m above sea level. With all the crazy vendors it felt like Asia meets the Americas which is a good thing, a really, really good thing.

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The place is super busy and decidedly dodgy but divine for those who don’t mind busy and like bargains. I spent my time exploring old ruins such as Puma Punku and Tiwanaku, playing the world’s highest golf course, drinking tons of street orange juice and walking in and out of spas splurging on $14 massages. If I can get a massage for under $15 anywhere in the world I’m a buyer, in bulk.

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I’d of loved to have stayed longer in La Paz but the show must go on. It was one of those cities that I really enjoyed but also realized there was nothing there for me. It’s possible in the future that I’ll fantasize about renting a small flat on the south side of the city and play La Paz Golf Club daily but that’s just a pie in the sky idea; liked it but it’s not my place and the more you travel the sooner you realize that.

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That said, there is a big expat community in La Paz and it makes sense because Bolivia is one of the cheapest countries in the region just like how there are lots of expats hanging out in Bangkok, right? I will note that the nightlife can get out of hand in a hurry and on my last night I went out on the town with a fist full of fiat currency and a stomach filled with fury, it was fun but have no desire to do it over.

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Besides the activities that I did, the main activity that draws many to La Paz is “The world’s most dangerous road.” Seems like everyone and their 90 year old grandmother was doing it so it kind of lost its appeal. That said, people do get mangled but usually because they are overstating abilities and trying to keep up with the guide or something. I’ve heard it’s just a 4 hour downhill bike ride on an infamous road; I’ll paz(sic) thanks.

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Do get involved with eating out where you’re there. It has some incredibly reasonable prices for great food. You can hit up the three course meals for ~$5US or street hamburgers or sausages for less than a buck. Really, besides SE Asia it had some of the bet street food selection I can remember and haven’t seen three course meals at that price since Hoi An, Vietnam.

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I’d go on but I’m playing catch up hence writing about this from Copacabana which bores me. La Paz is good times and how long you want to stay is up to you. I only spent three nights but if I wasn’t rushing to Lima for a flight to somewhere new I probably would have hung around another few days; the living is easy there and everything you need AND MORE is there.

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Tips hat,

6 Comments

  1. Leigh Shulman

    January 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I also absolutely adored La Paz. I went last year with my 9 year old daughter. We were on our way to Coroico to volunteer at a monkey sanctuary and had a couple days in La Paz on either end. Totally fell in love with it! I can’t wait to go back. Coroico, too.

    • Rob

      January 14, 2014 at 7:52 am

      I wouldn’t mind revisiting Bolivia one of these days, loved it too.

  2. Brigid

    July 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Awesome photos, and so great to hear you loved La Paz also 🙂

    I had such a fab time in the city. At first it was a little daunting and chaotic, but after doing one of the free walking tours, I felt I was able to navigate the narrow streets on my own.

    I loved the checking out the witches market and tasting the local food at Mercado Lanza. I also spent a day at the ‘World’s highest golf course”. I didn’t play myself (left that to my husband) by still enjoyed walking around and admiring the stunning scenery.

    Could have definitely spent longer in La Paz, can’t wait to go back one day!

    • Rob

      July 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      It’s one of the places in South America I’d like to return to. I spent some time in Bolivia but it’s a beautiful and beyond affordable place which means it makes sense to further explore.

  3. gringoinbolivia

    August 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Nice write up, glad you enjoyed the city. I despise those 3bs street hamburgers but there is some good street food out there. Choripan and anticuchos are my favourite.

    Death road is a great day out because of the awesome scenery but I agree it is a little overdone.

    http://gringoinbolivia.wordpress.com/

    • Rob

      August 20, 2014 at 4:41 am

      Will look into that food for next time and cool blog, check it now.

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