The Best Things to Do in La Paz in One Day

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La Paz, (one of) the capitals of Bolivia, is one of the most interesting cities you can encounter. There are so many unique things to do in La Paz, and it should definitely be added to your bucket list for South America.

The country of Bolivia has so much to offer, with incredible landscapes. So we recommend La Paz as a quick stop, rather than spending a significant amount of time here. That being said though, it is definitely not to be missed.

If you look up places to go, chances you will walk around and see some places that will just waste your time. Here are some ways how you can really use your time well, and enjoy this unusual capital city. We suggest spending 24-48 hours here. Here are the top 6 things you can do to enjoy a day (or two) in La Paz.

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Where is La Paz, Bolivia?

La Paz is located in west central Bolivia. It is one of two capitals that are in the country, and is the administrative capital of the country. It is situated 42 miles (68 km) south east of Lake Titicaca, and the border of Peru.

where is La Paz Bolivia

La Paz is located in the central western region of Bolivia.

How to Get to La Paz, Bolivia

As one of the capitals of Bolivia, La Paz is also one of the most visited cities in the country. There is an international airport that is just 13 km west of the city of La Paz, which is El Alto International Airport.

Domestic flights include Cobija, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Sucre, Tarija, Trinidad, and Uyuni. International cities include Cusco, Lima, and Bogota. There are also plenty of surrounding cities in Bolivia, as well as other South American cities that have buses to La Paz. 

Look for a flight to La Paz:

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "Bolivia". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the area to fly. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for each.

Search for a flight to La Paz:

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Entry Requirements for Bolivia

One of the most important things before planning your trip is to make sure that you cover all requirements to enter. Here are the different entry requirements for visiting Bolivia.

Visa Entry Requirements for Bolivia

There are many countries that do in fact need a visa to visit Bolivia. Those from the US need a visa to enter, and one can be applied for the Bolivian embassy for $160. The stay can be up to 30 days at a time, and the visa is valid for 10 years. Additionally, it is mandatory to have your yellow fever vaccine. Those from the UK and Australia do not need a visa, and can stay up to 90 days without obtaining one.

Covid Entry Requirements for Bolivia

In order to enter the country you will need to present one of the following:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • A negative PCR test within 72 hours of flying
  • A negative Antigen test within 48 hours of flying
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Local Adjustments fro Visiting La Paz, Bolivia

Whenever traveling there are things that you may forget about, that may differ from where you're coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to have in mind while traveling to Bolivia.

What Language is Spoken in La Paz?

The official language in Bolivia is Spanish. While there are some people that do speak English in La Paz, we highly suggest brushing up on your Spanish so that you don't get ripped off or taken advantage of.

What is Bolivia's Currency?

The currency used in Bolivia is the Bolivian Boliviano. Currently (January 2024) you receive a little under 7 bolivianos for every USD or euro, and 8 for each British pound. It is important to note that credit cards are rarely accepted around Bolivia, so make sure to take out plenty of cash from a local ATM.

What Kind of Adapter Do I Need for Bolivia?

Bolivia uses the same plug types as those in North America, which are types A & C. Bolivia operates on a 230 V supply voltage and 50 Hz.

Can You Drink the Water in La Paz?

The water is not suitable for drinking in Bolivia. We highly suggest buying plenty of bottled water, and then using a refillable water bottle to fill it back up.

Tipping Culture in La Paz, Bolivia

The tipping culture in Bolivia is not very present. It is really only necessary to leave a bit of a cash tip for those that go out of their way to help you, for example in a hotel. If you have extremely great service, you can always leave around 5-10% extra as a tip for the waiter/waitress.

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The Best Things to Do in La Paz, Bolivia

Now that you know all the basics for visiting, let's start the fun part. Here are the top 6 things to do in La Paz, Bolivia.

Best Things to Do in La Paz #1: Visit Valle de La Luna (Moon Valley)

Right outside the city is this very unusual rock formation located right off the side of the highway. It is a natural formation created from erosion of the surrounding mountain, and it is seriously worth a visit. Hop on a local bus toward Mallasa and leave yourself a half hour to an hour to explore the paths throughout this marvelous site.

La Valle de Luna is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and until 5 pm on the weekends. Tickets cost 15 bolivianos (about $3 USD) for foreigners, and 3 bolivianos for locals.

Valle de La Luna, things to do in La Paz

Valle de La Luna is a unique landscape right outside the city center.

Want to take a private tour to Valle de La Luna? Here are a few that you can choose from:

Best Things to Do in La Paz #2: Ride the Cable Cars

In La Paz cable cars are not a touristic point, but actually a way of life. The cable car system in La Paz is one of the biggest in the world, and covers the entire city.

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They are so efficient, dodging the traffic and having so many connections. They make it fast and easy to get anywhere, which is why this is how most people actually commute to work or home on a daily basis.

A metro system is also another way to get around, but why go underground when you can pay the same price to get gorgeous views and a fun ride to where you need to go? 

Cable cars in La Paz

Cable cars are a great way to get around while enjoying the views of the city.

Best Things to Do in La Paz #3: Shop at Mercado de Las Brujas (The Witches' Market

The Witches' Market is really fun for your shopping and souvenir needs. This market has dozens of small local shops lined on colorful streets in downtown La Paz. Grab yourself a gorgeous handmade poncho or intricate luggage piece, and get them for great prices to boot!

Best Things to Do in La Paz #4: Check Out the Views at Mirador Killi Killi

Head up this hill to get some of the best views of city. We recommend heading over for sunset to get the most picturesque photo opportunities. From the Witches' market it is just a 25 minute walk.

Mirador Killi Killi, things to do in La Paz

Mirador Killi Killi offers some of the best views of La Paz.

Best Things to Do in La Paz #5: Bike Down Death Road

Yungas road, also known as death road, is considered to be the most dangerous road in the world. Stretching 61 km from La Paz to Coica, this windy road will give you some of the most breathtaking views, and exhilarating ride of your life.

Want to do a tour on Death Road? Here are a few that you can choose from:

Can you handle it? Well we couldn’t (because Danni isn’t a strong cyclist) but we definitely think it would have been an exciting ride. Most hostels, hotels, and travel agencies will promote this excursion.

We suggest booking for the first thing in the morning if you aren't spending much time in La Paz. If you have limited time this is something you will want to do earlier, so you can enjoy downtown La Paz later.

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Best Things to Do in La Paz #6: Watch Cholitas Wrestling

This is seriously something not to miss! Cholitas are the women dressed in traditional clothes in Bolivia. Now picture these ladies wrestling- cultural, entertaining, and mind blowing all at once. We suggest making sure that you rearrange your travel plans around this, because it only happens a few days out of the week.

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The official show is only on Sundays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. We have also heard there is another company that offers a show on Mondays and Thursdays, but we don’t have all of the details on that one.

The official show on Sundays is held in El Alto, which is about 30 minutes from downtown La Paz. It can be reached by local bus, or by numerous tour companies.

Want to book a visit to see the Cholitas Wresting Show? Here are a few sites you can get tickets:

Getting Around La Paz, Bolivia

The city of La Paz is quite walkable, with a lot of hills. When it comes to highlights within the city, we suggest walking as much as you can, and to wear comfortable shoes. If you'd like to cross the city or visit the attractions on the outskirts, there are plenty of buses. Our favorite though is definitely the cable car system. It is faster, cheap, fun, and has great views!

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Where to Stay in La Paz, Bolivia

We stayed in downtown in La Paz, which we found to be convenient to see the majority of attractions. However, we think that Sopocachi is another great area to stay in La Paz, as it has a bigger variety of cafes and restaurants, and is still close enough to most of the attractions in the city.

Here are a few particular accommodation options in La Paz we recommend:

  • Selina Hostel: a chic hostel that has both private and shared options, as well as a yoga studio, library, bar, kitchen, and cinema room
  • Patio de Piedra Boutique Hotel: a great mid-range option inside of a colonial house
  • Hotel Rosario La Paz: a beautiful hotel in the museum district with a restaurant serving local specialties
  • Sky Suites: beautiful apartments in a great location

Is La Paz, Bolivia Safe?

South America is one of those areas where you'll want to play it extra safe, especially in Bolivia. La Paz is super chaotic, and it's very easy to be targeted for petty theft. Make sure that you are extra careful with your belongings, and try to walk around in groups, and especially not alone at night. It's totally fine to solo travel, but if you do it's best to stay in hostels and take organized tours.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting La Paz, Bolivia

Now that you know the best things to do in La Paz, how to get around, and more, we have just a few other things to share.

Weather in La Paz, Bolivia

While La Paz is close to the equator, it's actually much colder than other cities along this latitude. Due to its high altitude, La Paz experiences cool temperatures and cloudy weather mostly. The coolest months are from May to August, and the hottest are December- February. It usually stays in between the forties and fifties Fahrenheit at its coldest, and in the sixties and seventies during the hotter months.


The Best Time to Visit La Paz, Bolivia

If you want warm and sunny days, the best time to visit La Paz would be in the summer months of December and January. The dry months are from May to October though, so if you want warm and dry days your best bet will be to visit in April or November.


Packing For a Trip to La Paz, Bolivia

When it comes to packing for La Paz, we highly suggest layers and comfortable shoes. The altitude can also be super intense, so we suggest purchasing altitude sickness pills as soon as you arrive, and staying extra hydrated. Make sure to always carry water with you, and have small chocolates to keep your energy up, as the altitude can really make you dizzy and have a bad headache.

La Paz may not be the most appealing to the eye in many areas, but it definitely has its own charm. Being the capital and main hub of Bolivia, we definitely think it is worth the stop!

This city is all about diving into the local culture, and going a little bit outside your comfort zone. It's wild and adventurous, which makes it a great place to add to your itinerary in South America. We hope you will leave here amazed by this unique city, leaving with the most interesting memories.

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