La Paz has a fascinating history and was first impressively named La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz which freely translated means something like ‘The City of the Lady of Peace’.
The city’s origins can be traced back to 1548 and the traces of the first settlement are in Laja and Tiahuanaco Street, before the city was soon moved to its present location.
La Paz is something very special where it is located with a city center 3650 meters above sea level. El Alto and the international airport are over 4000 meters altitude.
Today, La Paz is a vibrant city that is expanding in almost every direction. More than 1 million people live in Bolivia’s most important city, and that number doubles if you include El Alto. But La Paz is not Bolivia’s capital, it’s called Sucre.
La Paz has hundreds of museums and attractions, and nature and culture enthusiasts have their little eldorado here.
And if you dream of Macchu Picchu, you should know that the Tiahuanacu ruins outside La Paz are both significantly older and certainly of the same historical importance. Add to Lake Titicaca and you will understand the possibilities of excursions when visiting La Paz in Bolivia.
Get to know La Paz
La Paz has around a million inhabitants, but the city is small in size. There are not many neighborhoods frequented by tourists, so here is a golden opportunity to enter the population.
La Paz has neighborhoods that differ significantly from each other. There is also a big difference between the poor living areas, such as El Alto, and the areas where the more affluent live. One rule is that the higher up you live, the more poor it becomes. Maybe not so strange. The climate here makes it most attractive, and thus the most expensive, to be able to live as few meters as possible over the sea.
- Abbreviation: LPB
- Country: Bolivia
Downtown and Soppocachi
The Prado is the center of the city. This is an avenue of about a mile that extends from the Plaza de Estudiante in the south to the Obelisk in the north. Here you go to meet people, give money to beggars and eat ice cream. Almost every day the Bolivians also do their favorite leisure activities here: demonstration. Soppocachi is located west of the prado and is an area with many eateries, especially in the street «20. Octubre “. There are also several hotels and apartment blocks here.
Zona Sur is a taxi ride of about 20 minutes south of downtown, outside rush hour. Zona Sur is a collective term for all the rich neighborhoods of the South which include: Florida, Mallasa, Calacoto, Cota Cota and San Miguel. In San Miguel and Calacoto, most of the good eateries are in La Paz and it is also the place to visit if you want to shop for well-known brands.
Miraflores is located east of downtown and is a small shopping center. Also located in Miraflores is La Paz’s largest football stadium. This district also contains many apartment complexes.
In fact, El Alto no longer belongs to La Paz, but resembles a suburb of the city. It is on El Alto that the poor Bolivians live, those who try their luck in La Paz. Here there is not much of interest for tourists outside the market on Thursday and Sunday. El Alto is called La Paz’s bedroom as many workers live in El Alto and work in La Paz.
La Paz Facts
La Paz – administrative headquarters in Bolivia.
|about 900,000 officially
|Spanish, Aymara and Quechua.
|Catholic (about 95%)
|5 hours later than in Norway, (6 hours in summer)
|Bolivianos (PDO). It is a good rule to remember that 1 BOB is approximately equal to 1 Norwegian krone!
|No set rules. Feel free to give some tips if you are satisfied with service, but remember that the price level is quite different from what you are used to, think about percent, about 10%.
|The embassy is in Argentina, Buenos Aires.
Consulate of La Paz, Calle Rene Moreno 1096 Esq. Claudio Aliago, piso 2, San Miguel (tel: +591 22 770 009)
|110 for police, 118 for ambulance, 119 for fire
|220 volts, the same two-pin contact system as in Norway. 110 volts may also occur.
|National Day and Holidays
|Independence Day August 6.
Public Holidays: 1 January, 2 rolling holidays in February (Carnival), 1 May, 16 July, 2 November and 25 December
|Not required for Norwegian nationals for holiday trips less than 90 days.
|It is recommended to talk to a doctor to examine the need for vaccines.
|You should not drink from the tap.
|Other major cities
|Santa Cruz (southeast of La Paz) which is the country’s second largest city and Sucre (south of La Paz) which is the country’s second headquarters (legal).
|Bolivia has been characterized by political turmoil. Keep away from demonstrations and avoid taking pictures. Pocket thieves often operate at larger public gatherings and typical tourist spots. Let the hotel help you with transportation and use the so-called “radio taxi”. Keep important documents in the hotel safe. Be careful with credit cards. Remember that La Paz is located at an altitude of 4000 meters. You may get altitude sickness!
List of La Paz Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about La Paz is LPB which stands for La Paz. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to La Paz, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.