Last Updated on June 19, 2023
At over 10,000 feet above sea level, La Paz is the most elevated capital city in the world. Founded in the 1500s, the beautiful city sits in the Andes mountain range.
La Paz has a population of roughly 800,000 people and is the administrative capital of Bolivia. The city is well known for its high culture and is one of the main capitals of culture in South America.
If you are planning to visit this incredible Bolivian city, then you will want to know what there is to see and do.
Here are the 15 Best Things to Do in La Paz, Bolivia:
1. The Witches Market
In a country steeped in mysticism, there is no better place to start than the La Paz Witches Market. Here one can find an array of potions, trinkets, and…llama fetuses?
It might sound unpleasant but this is one of the best places to go to get a true feel for the culture. The llama fetuses are buried underneath residents’ homes as a sacrifice.
The market is run by local witch doctors who are easily picked out of a crowd with their black hats and pouches.
If you’re an adventurer, then you should visit Illimani for some mountain climbing. Illimani is famed for its excellent climbing, and at an astonishing 15,000 feet above sea level, the location guarantees breathtaking views. Even if climbing isn’t your thing, the scenery certainly will be.
3. Coca Museum
Whether justified or not, people often associate South America with cocaine. The simple reason for this is that the coca plant is native and has developed a lucrative illegal trade. In La Paz they do not dwell on the negative side of things and have opened the Coca Museum dedicated to the plant and its uses.
This is a chance to get a greater education on the subject and find out some of the research that is being completed around the plant. The museum also has a traveling exhibition giving more people the chance to take part.
4. San Pedro Prison
San Pedro Prison is the biggest prison in all of Bolivia, but it serves as more than a detention center. There are a lot of interesting things for visitors to see, such as how the economy of this facility works. Inmates here live a life similar to what you might find on the outside, with jobs, homes, and family life. This is an interesting way of running a prison, and it is a major draw for tourists who want to learn more.
5. Cholitas Wrestling
Another thing that often comes to mind when thinking about this corner of the world is wrestling. If you want to catch one of the most popular wrestling competitions in the country, then why not check out one of the Cholitas wrestling shows?
Shows can be caught three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 5 p.m., but it is best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment. On top of the great show, guests are treated to tasty food and a pick-up service.
6. Cotapata National Park
If you are willing to travel slightly out of La Paz, you can visit Cotapata National Park and see the most amazing scenery. Located 30 miles outside the city, the park has stunning mountains and excellent hiking trails. It is not difficult to see why so many people are attracted here.
7. Museum of Musical Instruments
For those who have a passion for music, a trip to the Museum of Musical Instruments could prove to be very interesting. This small museum features a range of musical instruments from around the world. The museum was founded in the 1960s by a Bolivian musician and has remained a very popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.
8. Mercado Lanza
One of the best ways of learning about a new city is to visit the local market.
The mercado (market) is colorful, vibrant, and full of life. Here you can purchase a selection of produce as well as sample some delicious meals at the various food outlets.
9. National Museum of Archaeology
If you want to find out more about the pre-Columbian era in Bolivia, then this is a great place to start. The museum is one of the most popular in the country. There are a good variety of exhibitions from paintings and sculptures to artifacts made from stones and metals. This is definitely one of the best educational institutions around for older kids and adults alike.
10. Zoological Municipal de La Paz
If you are travelling with children, then you are going to be looking for something interesting to keep them occupied. What better place is there than the zoo? There is a great selection of animals here with a wealth of information to go along with them.
There are some excellent play areas for kids, so this is the perfect location for a day in the sun with the family.
11. Siete Lagunas
This beautiful green lake, set in the mountains surrounding the city, is the ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. There are some great walking trails as well as plenty of opportunities to take the perfect photograph.
Once at the top of the hillside, you are treated to a phenomenal view over the city. The vantage point isn’t widely known, so it is certainly worth taking advantage of.
12. Cota Cota Lagoon
This eco park is perfect for relaxing and spending an afternoon with the family. There are some excellent water activities such as paddle boats and duck feeding.
There is a nautical theme throughout the park which adds to the fun atmosphere. There are also plenty of places perfect for a picnic lunch and for the kids to run around.
If you are looking for the perfect place to eat whilst staying in La Paz, then why not try out Gustu, a renowned eatery founded by a world-famous chef.
The restaurant has a chic atmosphere and a welcoming staff. Try the experience menu to sample a wide range of the items including a good selection of local produce.
14. Jardin Japones
This exquisite Japanese water garden provides visitors with a tranquil place to spend a relaxing afternoon. With stunning water features and beautiful plant life, this is the perfect opportunity to gain some perspective while in the city.
Various events are held at the function spaces scattered throughout the park. You can even hire out a space for your own event, with catering and entertainment, perfect for those who are celebrating a birthday or wedding.
15. Diverland Park
For those who are traveling with children, this incredible indoor play area is a great local attractions. The park features slides, ball ponds, climbing frames, and more. There is also a bowling alley for a family game to pass the time on a rainy afternoon.
There’s a little cafe where you can fuel up to keep energy levels high for even more play time.
La Paz is a diverse city with plenty to offer anyone who visits. There are activities from food and nature to hiking and adventure. This is the ideal location for any type of traveler, whether going solo or with a family. The city is sure to give everyone a memorable experience.