Nestled in a bowl-shaped valley at the foot of the Andes, at an altitude of 12,000 feet, La Paz is a bustling city with a deep-rooted Indian culture, and the highest Capital city in the World. The snowcapped Mount Illimani, at more than 19,000 feet in height, dominates the skyline from most parts of La Paz, creating a stunning backdrop for this incredibly captivating city.
La Paz is a bustling and friendly place to explore. All around you will see local people going about their daily lives in the market places, often wearing the traditional dress. Aymara women dress in traditional skirts and bowler hats and often have a child strapped to their backs wrapped in wonderful multi-coloured blankets. The cobbled streets are home to many sights including the Cathedral, Government Palace, Casa Murillo, San Francisco Church, witchcraft market and residential areas.
La Paz is often a start or end point of a trip. You may not spend much time here but there are certainly many adventures to be had. For instance Chacaltaya which claims to be the world’s highest ski resort, while not to be recommended for skiing is the perfect place for downhill mountain biking. Here you can rapidly descend about 3000m in just over fifty kilometres – an exhilarating experience!
There are other similar downhill trails (for example starting at 'La Cumbre' pass and finishing at Coroico- the notorious 'Death Road') which offer adrenalin-fuelled adventure, although if biking isn’t for you then it is also possible to do the same journey by vehicle. The dramatic scenery will change from jagged mountains and icy streams taking you right down to the coffee plantations.