La Paz 

La Paz, also known as ‘the city that touches the clouds’, sits at a whopping 3,600m above sea level and houses around 835,000 people. It is a concrete jungle of honking car horns, colourful market stools and cable cars sliding overhead to even higher perches. The city will engulf you, shock you and amaze you in a place where new meets old, the blinding sun meets cold quiet corners and sky scrapers meet the steep valley slopes of the surrounding mountains.

If you’re travelling through South America you’ll likely head to La Paz at some point, and you should, it is well worth a visit! From the spooky witches’ market to death road, there’s an activity for every adrenaline level.

We’ll give you a place to start your adventuring with a quick guide on what you can do, how to get there and the climate in the city.

Skip to: What to do | How to get here | Climate 

the houses of la paz


What to do in La Paz

The Cable Car:

The cable car system, known as ‘Mi Teleferico’, in La Paz is the best way to get around with four current lines and more underway. Seeing this crazy city from above really puts the landscape into perspective. You’ll be able to see the rickety homes clinging to the side of the steep valley slopes and a city dominated by gothic spires and modern office blocks, all dwarfed by the surrounding snowy peaks.

The best thing about these cable cars is that they run on electricity (in a city full of diesel chugging trucks) and make hardly any noise, they’re also moderately priced and will get you around the city in no time.

The Witches’ Market:

Unless you’re really into black magic and all things spooky, the witches’ market in La Paz will push your imagination with the weird and the wild at every turn. You’ll find lucky charms, enchanted trinkets, natural medicines and hallucinogenic plants and if you’re into the bizarre you can grab yourself a dehydrated llama fetus to bury under your house for good luck.

Death Road:

Until 2006 Death Road was the only connection between La Paz and the jungle, so if you needed to get back and forth, the risk was unavoidable. As the name suggests, this is the world’s most dangerous road with around 25 cars and two bikes per year falling over the edge (pre-2006). You can now cycle down here but it is not for the faint-hearted, it is steep and extremely narrow in places with sheer drops. If this is your kind of thing, make sure you choose a reputable company, you’ll be ascending 4650 meters so you’ll need decent equipment.

Valle de la Luna:

This translates to ‘The Moon Valley’ and lies just outside of the city, you can get here quickly via taxi. The landscape is dominated by huge stalagmites that have been eroded by wind and water to form a maze of trails and fascinating rock formations. You’ll want to spend about an hour here wondering through this lunar-like landscape and getting some photos.

Cholita Wrestling:

Every Sunday in the dizzy heights of El Alto you can watch Bolivian women, dressed head to toe in traditional clothing, battling it out in a wrestling ring. It's a lot of fun and quite a sight to behold, so if you get time to check it out you can support the locals with a small entry fee. 

 

Getting here

By air – El Alto International Airport is the main gateway to Bolivia and less than a 1 hour drive to La Paz. It sits at 4,058 meters above sea-level and to put it into perspective, it is almost half as high as a jetliners cruising altitude.

There are multiple South American and local airlines that serve El Alto airport so you wont have any trouble getting here via air.

By bus – you can get to La Paz via bus from multiple different locations; Lake Titicaca, Buenos Aires, Salta, Jujuy or La Quiaca in Argentina etc. There are heaps of routes to choose from, but none are fast. These routes are designed to pass through multiple locations in order to pick up/ drop off more passengers, so you’ll often spend a great deal of time stopping along your way. This is a much cheaper option than by air but as always, it is bumpy, uncomfortable and lengthy.

a bus on the streets of la paz

 

The climate

La Paz is 3,500m above sea level, so you’ll more than likely feel the cold once you arrive, especially if you’re arriving from the heat of Brazil. This is a country where the poor live at altitude and the rich live as low in the city as possible, it is also a city that allows prisoners to pay for their level of luxury based on which floor of the prison they’ll be bunking.

The average temperature has little variance, with May averaging at 15 °C and January being the coldest month of the year with an average of 14 °C. These temperatures drop to -1°C and 5°C respectively during the night. May – October are the rainy months with November – April remaining relatively dry. September is the wettest month of the year with an average of 224mm of rain and January is the driest with only 8mm. 


  • Titicaca and Bolivia Adventure - Chinchilla

    10 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    US$3999

    ACTIVE 2 - 3
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.45 out of 5 (from 22 reviews)

    There's so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu - the Chinchilla is our multi-activity, cultural immersion of Peru and its beautiful neighbour - Bolivia.

 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Amazing Trip

    My wife and I joined this tour as part of our honeymoon trip and we couldn't of been happier. Everything was unbelievably well organized, the accommodations exceeded our expectations, the size of the group was great and there was a good range of activities that enabled us to get a good feel of all the diversity found in the Galápagos Islands.

    We have never used a tour company before when travelling as we like to have flexibility, choose our own accommodations, avoid crowds and be active. However, I would definitely recommend Active Adventures to anybody and would definitely do another tour with them.

    Thanks for everything!!
    Mark Wong Review Image
    – Alberta, Canada
    Tortuga, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Patagonia Dreaming

    I had wanted to hike in Patagonia since the 1980's when I was heavy into mountaineering in Seattle, WA. I had lost this dream until we saw that Active Adventures offers the Condor trip. I loved every windy and even drippy step of the W trek. My first view of Grey Glacier took my breath away. And then we had Fitzroy and Cerro Torre in glorious sunshine. A dream of adventure come true!
    Marilyn Glenn Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Condor, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Thank You Active Adventures!

    Excellent trip, great guides and new friends!
    Marisa Magrino Weldon Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Condor, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    The trip of my dreams!

    The Iguana trip was better than was advertised! I had prepared for the trip to Peru by reading about the history of the area in the book, The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie. When we visited the many different Inca sites, the history came alive for me. I could picture the great battles, and the capture of the Inca rulers, and the narrow escapes. It was wonderful! Cuzco was a beautiful city surrounded by mountain peaks and full of many good places to eat. After Peru, going to the Galapagos was like a beach vacation in the most beautiful place in the world. We loved snorkeling and seeing the giant land tortoises. We saw every animal associated with the Galapagos and more! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to find this trip with Active Adventures. Top notch all the way around. Thank you to our wonderful guides who we loved!
    Brenda Peterson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Iguana, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    There is no way we could have planned all the adventures we had on this trip. The logistics and coordination efforts were well thought out. Our guide was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun to be with. The accommodations were wonderful, food fit for a king and animals to entertain us at every turn. It truly was a trip to remember!!
    Marianne Denniston Review Image
    – Georgia, United States
    Tortuga, January 2017

 previous

next 

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

Active Adventures Brochure
no thanks, i don't like free stuff
Get your FREE Brochure Now!
Active Adventures Brochure
close
close
no thanks, i don't like free stuff
close
close