South America’s reputation for growing the world’s best coffee is second to none, so it should be easy enough to find a decent cappuccino, right? In reality, most locals consume instant Nescafé because the best beans are exported to wealthier markets. But, don’t worry. Cafe culture is starting to catch on in La Paz, so with a little bit of insider information, it’s easy to obtain a great cup of caffeinated goodness. Here are some of Culture Trip’s local insiders’ favorite spots.
Opened by four friends in a small house in 2017, Cafe Typica has fast grown to be a real contender on the La Paz coffee scene. Iit’s open from dawn for your morning caffeine fix and freshly squeezed juice right through to your evening wine. With quirky interiors filled with retro finds and stacks of books to leaf through, this is the kind of spot you could hang out in all day. The avocado sandwich is a hit for lunch and the passion-fruit cheesecake also hits the top notes. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
In Sopocachi you’ll find MagicK, heralded as one of Bolivia’s coolest cafes. The team here are dedicated to using local and national ingredients to create a balanced menu of Bolivian and international dishes. What’s more, the menu is as colorful and thoughtful as the laid-back, fun decor. The food is spot-on, with sourdough bread making up the sandwiches, and salads with quinoa and amaranth to make you feel good. Don’t be surprised if you swing by for an evening drink and find a flamenco troupe or local band performing. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
The Roaster Boutique is at the forefront of the Bolivian coffee revolution. The team are passionate and know their Chemex from their French press and their AeroPress from their espresso. Whatever your preference, they’ll make your coffee to spec. Supporting local farms around La Paz, the beans come from the Yungas and are grown at a high altitude in subtropical forests. With a bakery onsite and sourdough and pastries available, you’re always going to be happy here. The living wall makes a pretty backdrop too. Recommended by local insider Shaina Brassard
Popular in Bolivia for many years, coffee is seeing a cultural renaissance, and the crew at Sultana Café Arte dream up delicious ways to serve it to you, hot or cold or as a literary-inspired cocktail. Art adorns the walls with exhibitions from local artists, the ambience is laid-back and the rest of the folk here don’t seem as if they’re in much of a rush. Join them. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
Owner Enrique has dedicated years to learning all things coffee, and he has created a welcoming and relaxing spot in the heart of the San Pedro neighborhood. Find locals and tourists munching on fresh sandwiches, slurping on fruit juices and, of course, knocking back some great coffee. Recommended by local insider Shaina Brassard
Tucked away off the main street in Calacoto, Epico brushes off stiff competition with its cheery bicycle decor and standout coffee. If you’re on a health kick, they’ve got your back with fresh juices, zingy salads and an unbeatable quinoa brownie. For the less virtuous, do not fear, they also stock a range of beers and sandwiches served with fries. All dietary requirements are catered for here. Recommended by local insider Andrea Puente Mancilla
Coffee and books; a beautiful union that’s simply meant to be. In a match made in heaven in La Paz’s old neighborhood, the Writer’s Coffee can be found in the Gilbert bookstore. A wall of vintage typewriters, stacks of books and the waft of coffee surrounds you. The owners are dedicated to Bolivian coffee and only use the good stuff from the Yungas, supporting both local farmers and the economy. Recommended by local insider Sabrina Morreale
With several branches across Bolivia, a stop-off at Alexander Coffee is reassuringly familiar. An expansive menu that features all the greats – pastries, sandwiches, salads – as well as Mexican specials of quesadilla, flautas and burritos. Friendly and quick service make this the perfect spot to meet with friends for a good old catch-up. It’s in a handy location too, just off Student Square. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
Café Munaipata is the small and perfectly formed answer to the big coffee chains popping up in Bolivia. Only serving coffee from an organic coffee farm in Coroico – on the outskirts of La Paz – ask them about a tour of the farm. Tasty food on the menu and a selection of events are held, so check their socials before you go for the latest offerings. Recommended by local insider Lucas Cosentino
This is an update of the article by Harry Stewart
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
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