My City - La Paz, Bolivia
Posted on June 05 2015
The highest international capital in the world and surrounded by the majestic Andes, Bolivia's largest city is something to experience..that is if you can catch your breath first! At an altitude of 12,000 feet this fascinating and bizarre city takes a few days for your body to acclimate, but once it does a host of culture, mysteries and discoveries await. I visited this South American city in August of last year.
While in La Paz, my respite was a lovely boutique hotel called Casa de Piedra. I was charmed by the renovated colonial home ambience, but its magic was in its staff - particularly one wonderful Bolivian, Jorge, who seemed to do everything in the hotel. Since I bookended my month long visit to Bolivia and Peru with stays at Casa de Piedra, Jorge became not only a helpful resource throughout the trip (sometimes even checking in with me while in the Uyuni Salt Flats or in the Amazon), but also my friend. I am excited to share his local tips on La Paz. Be sure you look up "cholita wrestling" when you are done!
Name: Jorge Aliaga Rojas
Occupation: Receptionist at Casa de Piedra Boutique Hotel
Hometown and Birth Place: La Paz, Bolivia
What is your favorite local hang out?
Hard Rock Pub
(Note from Jen: This is not a real Hard Rock Cafe, but La Paz's version of it. Apparently they have good hamburgers. Llama meat perhaps? Ha!)
What is the one thing first time visitors must-see in La Paz?
The cable cab - red/yellow/green line. All of these three have a nice view of the city!
Do you have an off the beaten path recommendation for visitors to La Paz?
Yes, take a mountain bike tour down "Death Road" - which is nearby, but outside the city - and go take pictures of the city from Killi Killi, a central viewing point in La Paz that is accessible by foot.
What is your favorite way to spend a day in the city?
Walking around the main touristic places in the downtown - visiting the witch market, Killi Killi vista point, museums and, on weekends, watching cholita wrestling.
Where do you go in the city to get a cultural fix?
The museums and witch market
What does La Paz pride itself on?
Being a "Cuidad Maravilla" (Marvelous City).
What surprises people about La Paz when they visit?
People who come here always are surprised about the culture and hospitality from our people.
What is your recommendation of restaurants for tourists?
Gustu Restaurant - only Bolivian ingredients used
Tambo Colonial - local ingredients and wines
Bella Vista Restaurant -it has a nice view of the city
Shop the pieces I curated while visiting La Paz (some of them with the help of Jorge)!
Cholitas in La Paz