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La Paz | © Miguel Canedo
La Paz | © Miguel Canedo

8 Reasons to Visit La Paz, Bolivia, in 2017

Picture of Harry Stewart
Updated: 7 February 2017
Bolivia is increasingly becoming an essential stop on the South American tourist trail. La Paz, its administrative capital and major tourism center, was declared one of the Seven Urban Wonder Cities in 2014, and its popularity has been skyrocketing ever since. With enchanting indigenous culture, stunning natural scenery and a myriad of nearby outdoor attractions, find out why La Paz is the place to visit in 2017.


Indigenous Culture

Ancient indigenous traditions and culture are alive and well in this highland Andean city. An eclectic mix of old and new is the cornerstone of La Paz’s charm, which continues to attract visitors year after year. Explore the bizarre Witches Market or mingle with colorfully dressed cholitas in a city that still preserves the intriguing cultural traditions of yesteryear.

Cholitas | © Senorhorst Jahnsen/Flickr

Cholitas in La Paz | © Senorhorst Jahnsen / Flickr

The Teleférico

This massive cable-car public transit system was built to ease traffic congestion in the city’s hectic downtown streets. For the traveler, it provides a wonderful opportunity to admire the city’s incredible topography from the air. At only BOB3 per ride ($0.40), it’s a pretty good deal too.

Teleferico | © Eneas De Troya/Flickr

The Teleferico is a great way to see the city | © Eneas De Troya / Flickr


La Paz was awarded a spot in the top 10 Ultimate Party Cities by Lonely Planet in 2009, and to be frank, it was onto something. With an array of crazy backpacker hostels, sophisticated cocktail bars, swanky hidden pubs and thumping live music venues, La Paz has drinking holes to suit every taste.

Nightlife | © Unsplash/pixabay

There’s plenty of nightlife in La Paz | © Unsplash / pixabay

The Death Road

A must-do activity on any thrill-seeking adventurer’s bucket list, the Death Road is an immensely popular mountain biking descent down a notoriously dangerous former highway. Just be careful not to fall off the edge, as it’s several hundred feet to the bottom.

The beginning of the Death Road | © bjaglin/Flickr

The beginning of the Death Road | © bjaglin / Flickr

Central Location

With easy road and air access to Bolivia’s best attractions such as the Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca, Sucre and beyond, it’s logical that this strategically located city would form part of any Bolivian itinerary. Many travelers pass through more than once while exploring this inspiring country.

La Paz | © Anthony Tong Lee/Flickr

La Paz’s central location is one of its greatest assets | © Anthony Tong Lee / Flickr

Outdoor Adventures

There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with Pachamama (mother nature) just a stone’s throw away from La Paz. Whether it’s climbing some of the continent’s most beautiful mountains or trekking through isolated villages, there are plenty of nearby adventures to choose from.

Huanya Potosi | © Justin Vidamo/Flickr

Huanya Potosi | © Justin Vidamo / Flickr


After a funky alpaca jumper, beanie or scarf? Calle Sarganaga and the surrounding area has some excellent quality alpaca goods at the cheapest prices available anywhere on the continent. After all, donning excessive amounts of colorful alpaca accessories is the quintessential South American traveler’s experience.

Alpaca store | © Rainbowasi

An Alpaca store | © Rainbowasi / Flickr


Bolivians love a good street parade. This is especially true in In La Paz, where there are literally more parades than days of the year. Some are huge events that bring the whole town to a standstill, while others consist of just a few friends from the neighborhood. Either way, there’ll be plenty of colorful costumes, music, dancing and merrymaking involved.

Parade in La Paz | © 677920/pixabay

One of the many parades in La Paz | © 677920 / pixabay