16 absolute BEST things to do in La Paz Bolivia

Did you know that La Paz in Bolivia is the highest capital in the world?

At 13,250 feet (4,100 meters) above sea level, it’s got its fair share of breathtaking views, but the best things to do in La Paz Bolivia are as diverse as the city itself.

La Paz is where you’ll find everything from a spiritual witches’ market to epic lunar landscapes and day trips to the Death Road.

I visited La Paz on my way to Salar de Uyuni, and it’s one of those places in South America that has stuck with me. Not so much the city itself, but the unique experiences I had there.

In this post, I’ll share what to do in La Paz so your experience can be just as great!

Let’s dig in!

This post contains referral links for products I love. Adventurous Miriam earns a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through my links. I appreciate your support ♡ Learn more

The best things to do in La Paz Bolivia

1. Explore the Witches’ Market for local crafts

I’m a spiritual person, and I love discovering the different cultures in the places I visit. So, naturally, I planned a trip to Bolivia’s Witches Market, when we arrived in the capital.

At the Witches’ Market or ‘Calleja de las Brujas’ in La Paz, things are a bit unusual.

You can buy all kinds of local things like herbs, potions, and crafts, but what really stands out are the dead llamas hanging around.

These dried llama fetuses are believed to bring good fortune. They’re the most important part of an offering to Pachamama, a goddess that many Bolivians and Peruvians call Mother Earth. 

Witches market, best things to do in La Paz Bolivia
El Mercado de las Brujas

2. Visit the colonial Jaén Street

Another interesting thing to do in La Paz is Jaén Street – at least if you like old, colonial architecture packed with history.

It’s lined with well-kept colonial buildings that are now home to small museums and art spots.

Read next: 24 Bolivia travel tips (to make visiting Bolivia easier!)

3. Tour the San Francisco Church

The San Francisco Church and Museum from the 1500s is famous for its baroque architecture.

Inside, you’ll find religious art, and you can even climb up to the roof to get a view of the whole city.

La Paz Bolivia

4. Bike down the Death Road

Oh, and if you’re up for a real heart-pounding adventure, you’ve got to bike down the Death Road.

It’s one of the craziest and most fun things I’ve ever tried, and I highly recommend it!

The Death Road is an infamous stretch of road that winds down from the chilly high altitudes into the lush rainforest. Trust me, it’s a total adrenaline rush.

When you’re looking for a tour, aim for a small group – it makes the whole thing feel more personal and the guides can really keep an eye on you.

This is the tour I took and recommend – Mountain Bike on the World’s Most Dangerous Road

La Paz Bolivia
Standing on the Yungas Road

5. See pre-Columbian artifacts at the Tiwanaku Museum

At the Tiwanaku Museum, you’ll find artifacts from the ancient Tiwanaku civilization, including ceramics, textiles, and precious metal items.

This museum gives you a glimpse into the societies that existed in pre-Hispanic times.

The Tiwanaku were an important cultural and political force in the Andes region from about 500 to 1000 CE, known for their impressive architectural and artistic achievements.

6. Attend a folkloric Peña for traditional music and dance

If you want to experience Bolivian culture, you should attend a Peña.

A peña is basically a cozy gathering spot where you can relax and soak in live Bolivian folk music and other cultural performances.

Peña Marka Tambo has been a go-to peña in La Paz since 1978.

7. Visit Moon Valley for its unique geological formations

Moon Valley, or Valle de la Luna, is a place just outside of La Paz with some really unusual rock formations.

It’s all these tall spires and deep canyons that have been shaped by erosion over time.

It’s got a moon-like look to it, hence the name and it’s a great place to visit if you’re into seeing what nature can do.

Book here – Valle de las Animas, Moon Valley, La Paz day tour Private

La Paz Bolivia

8. Visit the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore

If you’re curious about Bolivia’s cultural diversity, I recommend visiting the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore.

Here, you can see traditional clothing, musical instruments, and artwork, which can help understand the indigenous groups that contribute to Bolivia’s culture and customs.

9. Take a day trip to Lake Titicaca

Then there’s Lake Titicaca, which is way up there at 3,812 meters.

It’s actually the highest lake you can sail on in the world. Bolivia and Peru share it, and it’s got a ton of history, especially with Incan legends.

You can take a full-day tour from La Paz – it’s one of the best culture trips and worth it for how deep blue the water is and how amazing it looks against the mountains.

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia and Peru

10. Hike Chacaltaya Mountain for panoramic views

For a good hike with awesome views, Chacaltaya Mountain is the spot.

It’s no longer a ski resort, but an excellent place for the panoramic scenes you get of the Andes mountains.

It’s a hefty hike up to 5,421 meters, but when the weather’s clear, you can see all the way to Lake Titicaca from the top.

Book here – Chacaltaya + Moon Valley

La Paz Bolivia
La Paz is the highest capital city in the world

11. See the rock formations at Valle de las Ánimas

Valle de las Ánimas is off the beaten path compared to other tourist attractions, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

You’ll find these tall, thin rock formations that locals say look like ‘souls,’ which is pretty eerie.

Walking through the valley, you also get some great views of Illimani, which is a massive mountain in La Paz.

Book here – Valle de las Animas, Moon Valley, La Paz day tour Private

12. Take a tour of the ancient Tiwanaku ruins

The Tiwanaku ruins are located about 70 kilometers from La Paz, and they’re older than the Inca Empire, with origins that go back to around 1200 BC.

Tiwanaku is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason.

The site has impressive artifacts such as the Gateway of the Sun, massive stone monoliths, and the Akapana Pyramid.

Book here – Tiwanaku & Puma Punku – Everything included

13. Ride the Mi Teleférico cable car

For a different look at La Paz, take a ride on Mi Teleférico.

It’s the highest cable car system in the world and gives you this amazing bird’s-eye view of the city, stretching all the way to El Alto.

Since it’s part of the public transport system, it’s a practical choice too, especially if you want to avoid getting hit by altitude sickness from walking up steep streets.

14. Dine and go out in Zona Sur

You’ll find the best nightlife in the Zona Sur area.

It’s a bit more upscale, and places like Selina La Paz are known to be safe and comfy to stay in – always make sure to get a cab from somewhere you trust.

Sopocachi is a neighborhood in this district that’s full of life, with lots of restaurants and bars to check out.

15. Eat at Popular Cocina Restaurant for traditional Bolivian cuisine

And for a taste of Bolivian food, you’ve got to try Popular Cocina Boliviana.

It’s getting lots of good buzz for putting a new spin on traditional dishes. It’s a great place to really dig into Bolivian flavors in a more modern, chic setting.

16. Join a local food tour

If you want to dive a little deeper into Bolivian food, you should join a food tour. I love taking these and do one every time I can.

These tours are great because they take you around to try the best street food and local brews, and you’ve got a guide who knows exactly where to go for the good stuff.

It’s a fun way to eat your way through the city and learn about what you’re eating and drinking too.

Book here – La Paz Food and Beer Tour

FAQ – What to do in La Paz Bolivia

Is La Paz worth visiting Bolivia?

Yes, La Paz is worth a visit, although it’s not my favorite city in Latin America.

One of the reasons to visit La Paz is that it’s one of the highest capitals in the world, there is indigenous culture, you can visit the Death Road, and much more.

What is La Paz best known for?

La Paz is known for its dramatic location—it’s basically in a canyon with the Illimani mountain in the background.

The city is also famous for its colorful markets, like the Witches’ Market, and for being the place where you can jump on the world’s highest urban cable car system.

La Paz Bolivia

How many days should I spend in La Paz Bolivia?

I’d recommend spending around three to four days in La Paz. That gives you enough time to check out the city without rushing and lets your body adjust to the high altitude, which can be a bit of a challenge for some.

How do you spend a day in La Paz?

If you’ve only got a single day, start with a ride on Mi Teleférico to catch those awesome views early in the morning.

Then, hit the streets and explore the Witches’ Market and the historic San Francisco Church. For lunch, try some salteñas (they’re like the Bolivian version of empanadas).

If you’ve still got energy, wrap up your day with a visit to the Valley of the Moon, which is just outside the city and has these wild, moon-like landscapes.

La Paz Bolivia

More posts you might like

Save it!

Explore our curated list of the best things to do in La Paz Bolivia, complete with stunning photos to capture the La Paz Bolivia aesthetic. From breathtaking landscapes to vibrant street life, this guide has it all. #LaPazBolivia #TravelInspiration #BoliviaGuide

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *