La Paz – mountain megacity

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The drive from Copacabana to La Paz by tourist bus took us for hours because of traffic. The views on the way and the crossing of Lake Titicaca make up for the delay. 

Before La Paz you cross through the city El Alto, which is sitting on a hill above La Paz and counts about 1.5 million inhabitants. Most of the working class live there and commute with the newly built cable cars into town to avoid long traffic jams. What used to take 2 hours now takes 15 minutes. 

The center of La Paz features a cathedral, food market (with nice sandwiches), a witch market with potions and llama fetuses for sacrifices, El Prado avenue and the Presidential palace. 

Further South you can find San Pedro prison on one of the main squares. It is like a village inside with prisoners that have specific jobs and that pay rent for their cells. Families of prisoners can live there and freely exit and enter the prison at all times. The place was also renowned for cocaine production. 

Even further South the district of Sopocachi offers a mix of local and international hip restaurants and cafes within a safe environment. We chose a hotel in this area and spent almost every evening eating out in the surroundings.

We went for a day trip to Tiwanaku, the most important archeological site in Bolivia located close to Lake Titicaca.

There are two museums on site, one featuring impressive remains of monolith statutes. The other displays pottery, jewelry and tools found at the sites.

The tour then takes you to two excavations. The Sun Temple was probably used as a place for worship and sacrifices. you can also find a square with stone heads along the walls of which as few are believed to be alien heads. 

Tips:

  • City your for orientation with the red cap tour
  • Teleferico – only 3 Bob per ride
  • Sopocachi: Chez Moustache French restaurant and bakery, Hygge hotdogs and juices, Vinpho authentic Vietnamese cuisine. 
  • market next to San Francisco – get a Palta(avocado), onion, cheese sandwich for 6bob and frsh juices 
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