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La Paz Holidays

La Paz holidays

Founded by the colonial Spanish, La Paz became the political capital of Bolivia in 1899 after a short civil war with Sucre, the constitutional capital.  Built at 3,500mon the steep sides of the Choqueyapu River, overlooked by highmountains, (including the snow capped Mount Illimani at 6,439m), La Paz has a stunning setting. An ever expanding city, the area around the airport at 4,000m, known as El Alto, recently became a city in its own right.

La Paz, Bolivia

Holidays In La Paz

La Paz is a city of contrasts. In the centre both old colonial and faceless commercial buildings provide the back drop to a vibrant and colourful street life, where markets and street trading are still an important feature of daily life. The ‘Witches Market’ provides a fascinating insight into the indigenous rituals and beliefs that have become part of urban life.

At the heart of the city centre is Plaza Murillo, the site of the Presidential Palace, the National Congress, the city’s cathedral and the National Art Gallery. Nearby is Calle Jaen, a wonderfully preserved narrow street of elegant colonial houses with wooden balconies, and home to 4 small cultural museums. The area around the Church of San Francisco is a more lively area, popular with local people, and the site of the famous ‘Witches Market’. A few blocks further is the huge local open air market ‘Mercado Buenos Aires’.

To the south of the city, beyond the sophisticated suburb of Sopacachi, lies the new upmarket suburb of Zona Sur some 500m lower than the centre of the city and a stark contrast to the sprawling new city of El Alto nearly 1000m higher. Beyond Zona Sur lies the area known as the Valley of the Moon, an area of fascinating rock and clay formations.

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