Like everywhere in Latin America, listening to live music and dancing is a popular pastime in Bolivia. Unsurprisingly, reggaeton and cumbia reign supreme. However, those in the know can find just about any genre imaginable in La Paz. Most of the action happens on Friday and Saturday nights, so put on your dancing shoes and keep reading to find the best live music the city has to offer.
TTKOS is something of a La Paz institution. This alternative live music venue has been making punters bounce with a variety of different music genres for as long as anyone can remember. Musical styles include reggae, ska, acoustic, classic rock and even drum ‘n’ bass – if it’s alternative, it can be found at TTKOS. Up for a big night? Try out their signature drink, the Tutumba, which is a powerful mix of Singani (locally-made grape brandy) and various tropical fruits, served in a huge coconut bowl.
TTKOS, Calle Mexico 1555, La Paz, Bolivia, +591 7011 5660
Gota de Agua
Those looking for a bit of local culture with their night out should pay a visit to the boisterous Gota de Agua. This thumping live music club has an impressive array of bands who exclusively play Bolivian folk music. The music is great, but it gets pretty rowdy as the night goes on, so it’s not for the faint of heart. To hear some traditional folk music in a more relaxed atmosphere, check out one of the many Peñas that the city has to offer.
A little on the touristy side, but great fun nonetheless. Sabor Cubano, as the name implies, is a Cuban-themed restaurant which doubles as a lively bar on Friday and Saturday nights. The food is good and surprisingly authentic while the mojitos go down a treat. But what really makes this place stand out is the live band that belts out Cuban classics on weekends. There’s no better way to accompany a Cuban meal and some drink than live covers of Buena Vista Social Club.
Sabor Cubano, 357 Calle Sagárnaga, La Paz, Bolivia, +591 2245 1797
Feeling lonely? Mongos has something of a reputation of being La Paz’s best hookup haunt. This upmarket resto-bar has been a favorite among locals and tourists since the 1990s for its excellent variety of cocktails and international food. The place puts on some pretty good live music too, with Tuesday being salsa night, while Thursday has live jazz.
Mongos, Hermanos Manchego, La Paz, Bolivia, +591 2244 0714
This smoky little underground den is La Paz’s most famous and long-lasting rock bar. Most weekends feature cover bands doing a damn fine job of playing the best classic rock anthems from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Every so often, a legendary Bolivian band, such as Atajo or Octavia, graces the club with their presence, which is when things start to get really unruly.
Equinoccio, Sanchez Lima 2191, La Paz, Bolivia, +591 7019 4508