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« Bolivia Itinerary

Day 2 – La Paz

 
 
Day 1
La Paz
First day in the capital city.
  Day 2
La Paz
This section
« Thirteen days in Bolivia
  Day 3
Uyuni, Colchani, Salar de Uyuni
Tour across world’s largest salt flats.

Feeling tired and a bit sick from the altitude, I pulled myself out of the bed late for breakfast at Loki Hostel. And a quick shower later, I was ready to explore the world’s highest capital city.

Altitude sickness is real
Yes, even I was one of those who didn’t really believe it when they said that. But feeling nauseous and having a headache from altitude sickness is something you should not ignore. And as the locals say, “walk slow and drink lots of water”, I just did that, with some help of the medications I carried along from home.

Even if you have a few days in La Paz, and if this is your starting point in Bolivia, don’t rush yourself into seeing everything the city has to offer, because it’s not worth the awful feeling. Take it easy because this is just another big city with not many touristy sights to offer.

 

Download free travel guide to La Paz

 

Avenida 16 de Julio (El Prado)

As I mentioned in Day 1, this street is the main drag of the city and sort-of-the-lowest-point from where all the streets go uphill. But the street itself is lively and energetic with some portions on the central and south side having benches to sit in the center median. Statues and sculptures line up this area of this street and on weekdays too you’ll see locals gathered on the benches.

El Prado El Prado

 

Calle Jaen

This street resides on a 5-minute north-west, uphill walk from Plaza Murillo, and is a must visit for it’s colonial-preserved, vibrantly colored houses. The narrow and short Calle Jaen is home to six museums – Museo Murillo, Museo de Litoral, Museo Nacional de Arte, Museo Nacional de Etnograpfia y Folklore, Museo de Arquelogica and Museo de Instrumentales Musicales de Bolivia.

Calle Jaen
Calle Jaen Calle Jaen
Museums & cathedrals in Bolivia
There are a lot of museums and cathedrals across the country and one very important to remember is that they have different opening timings – for example, some cathedrals will be open only for two hours in the morning and afternoon, each, on specific days only.

Most museums are closed between 12:30pm-3pm, but these timings vary by city and museums. It’s always advisable to check the timings from your hotel before visiting museums and cathedrals.

 

Museo Murillo is an old mansion, once owned by Pedro Domingo Murillo, a hero of the Bolivian republic, and now houses furniture and items from colonial times.

Museo de Litoral displays items from the War of the Pacific (1879-1884) in which Bolivia lost its seaboard territory to Chile. You’ll note the sign that says in translation: Bolivia has not lost and will never lose its right to the Pacific.

Museo Nacional de Arte and the Museo Nacional de Etnograpfia y Folklore exhibit colonial and local paintings and cultural collections.

Museo de Arquelogia houses some of the ruins from Tihuanaco.

Museo de Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia displays range of Bolivian instruments, old and new, conventional and curious; and also has some unusual one-off instruments, and a range of ‘try yourself’ installations.

Ekeko Ekeko[/caption]The entire section of the town from Plaza Perez Velasco to the cemetery, past Mercado Lanza and Plazas Eguinoand Garita de Lima has a largely indigenous population and is always bustling. The streets are crowded and noisy with traffic honking its way through the narrow cobbled streets, cholitas – Quechua and Aymara women living in the city but wearing traditional dress – rushing about socializing and making purchases, and pedestrians jostling with sidewalk vendors. The focus on activity is near the intersection of Buenos Aires and Max Paredes, especially on Saturdays.

Weekend markets are an excellent way to see daily life along various streets. More interesting markets, targeted for tourists are those around the streets of Graneros (for designer clothes), Tumusla (for almost anything and everything) and Isaac Tamayo between Santa Cruz and Sagarnaga (for tools and building materials). North of Plaza San Francisco, on Calle Figueroa is Mercado Lanza for foodstuff and flowers.

If you want to purchase any Bolivian souvenirs, then get an Ekeko – who is the household god and the keeper and distributor of material possessions. During Alasitas, his devotees collect miniatures of those items they’d like to acquire for the following year and heap them onto small plaster images of the god. He’s loaded down with household utensils, baskets of coca, wallets full of money, lottery tickets, liquor, chocolate and other luxury items.

 

Museo de La Coca

After sprawling through some markets and watching simple, daily life of the locals, I headed to the most visited Coca Museum (Museo de La Coca), that explores the sacred leaf’s role in traditional societies, its use by the soft-drink and pharma industries, and the growth of cocaine as an illicit drug.

It’s a very boring, yet informative museum displaying items that are educational, provocative and evenhanded.

Museo de La Coca

Museo de La Coca

 

Mirador Killi Killi

For great, panoramic views of La Paz, head to one of the many lookout points in the city and walking to any one of those is the fun part! I climbed Mirador Killi Killi… phew!

[slideshow_deploy id=’14005’]

 
Post sunset, made my way downhill to the hostel and ordered dinner in-house. Still suffering from altitude sickness, I realized I had an early morning flight to Uyuni, so called it a day.

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. The exchange rate at the time of publishing is assumed to be USD 1= BOB 6.9.
 

What Cost Notes
Calle Jaen Museums Bs 5 or $0.72 Combo entrance fee Bs 5
Museo de La Coca Bs 10 or $1.45 Entrance fee
Ekeko souvenir Bs 28 or $4.05
Lunch Bs 45 or $6.50 One of the cafes on Calle Potosi
Dinner at Loki Hostel Bs 70 or $10.14
Snacks & water Bs 20 or $2.90
Toilets Bs 5 or $0.72
Total Costs $26.48 Per person
Overall Costs $1,107.43 Per person

 

 
 
Day 1
La Paz
First day in the capital city.
  Day 2
La Paz
This section
« Thirteen days in Bolivia
  Day 3
Uyuni, Colchani, Salar de Uyuni
Tour across world’s largest salt flats.

THIRTEEN DAYS IN BOLIVIA

 

 
Planning
Itinerary, Planning & Information

 
Day 1
La Paz
First day in the capital city.

 
Day 2
La Paz
Second day in the capital city.

 
Day 3
Uyuni, Colchani, Salar de Uyuni
Tour across world's largest salt flats.

 
Day 4
Salar de Uyuni, Laguna Colorada
Salt flats, red lagoon.

 
Day 5
San Cristobal, Sol de Mañana to Uyuni
Volcano, thermal baths & back to Uyuni.

 
Day 6
Uyuni to Potosi
Visiting silver town.

 
Day 7
Potosi
Silver mines and around the town.

 
Day 8
Potosi to Sucre
Traveling from Potosi to Sucre & day there.

 
Day 9
Sucre
Most preserved Spanish Colonial town.

 
Day 10
Sucre to La Paz to Copacabana
Traveling from Sucre to La Paz, connecting to Copacabana.

 
Day 11
Copacabana, Lake Titicaca
Small coastal town at Lake Titicaca.

 
Day 12
Isla del Sol
Boat trip to island of sun in Lake Titicaca.

 
Day 13
Copacabana to La Paz
Travel from Copacabana to La Paz and fly out.

Expenses
How much did it cost?
List of all the expenses.
  * Currency exchange rate is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and may be delayed. © Yahoo! Finance

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