La Paz, Bolivia is an excellent starting point for any trip to Bolivia. Situated in the highlands of eastern Bolivia, this city is the administrative capitol of Bolivia. A stroll through the town will show you why this city has gained so much importance.
La Paz boasts magnificent views of the tremendous, 21,000-foot tall peaks that look down upon it. The eastern side of the Andes is only a days' hike from La Paz. Most visitors to Bolivia, including climbers, usually spend a few days here to enjoy this intriguing plateau community.
From here you can access Oruro, a lesser-known yet rich and thriving village a three-hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia. The Valle De La Luna, or the Valley of the Moon can only be described as a mythical landscape. Walk the narrow ridge through this park and marvel in the
The church, built in 1549, is excellently preserved and is still in use in this predominately Catholic country. Its pale, sun bleached belies the detail on its façade. As you come closer and intricate details emerge from the shadows and strange faces appear in the stonework.
La Paz, Bolivia is the wanderers dream. Roam through the colonial-era plazas and gaze at the bronze statues of Spanish rulers and military leaders. Get lost in the pristine alleyways and enjoy the majestic architecture that graces every street in this capitol of Bolivia, a city is which is often bathed in a harsh, dramatic light under the cloudless blue skies of the Bolivian winter.
The witches market is a marvel to wander through as well. Freeze dried llama fetuses are on display, purchased by the devout worshipper as an offering to the God. The predominant religion here is Catholic, which is heavily interwoven with native traditions and belief.
Caramel-colored Bolivia, La Paz vendors may offer a fine Indian weaving similar to one of the petticoats she is wearing, colors blazing in an intricate pattern. Excellent hand crafted silver is plentiful, affordable, and of the finest craftsmanship. Being the least developed county in South America, many of the people of Bolivia eke out a living with a skill such as weaving. Up to 70% of Bolivian take part in time-honored activities such as traditional farming methods. The dry grasslands of the Altiplano is not the best habitat for farming, and yet many families eke out their living here, as their ancient Incan ancestors did before them.
Although it does help to know Spanish in Bolivia, all over the country, but especially here in the seat of government in Bolivia, La Paz, many of the vendors speak English. Take time during your afternoon of exploration and ask a question or two about a piece of cloth, you might get a sense the time that a person spends on such an elaborate piece of fabric. As you hold the heavy item in your hand, you can feel the weight of the care and attention that has gone into the dying and spinning of the yarn to the final product. This object will retain its memory after you return home; each gaze upon it, like a return to its Andean birthplace.