La Paz is 3632 m above sea level. i.e. M., making it the highest seat of government in the world. In the background rises the imposing silhouette of the snow-covered, 6402 m high Monte Illimani. Many museums, the cathedral and the baroque basilica Menor de San Francisco invite you to visit. A stroll along Avenida 16 de Julio, the city’s boulevard, is also interesting.
Popular destinations include Lake Titicaca, the Yungas Valleys, the ski resort of Chacaltaya and the fascinating rock formations of Valle de la Luna (“Moon Valley”). Located near Lake Titicaca Tiahuanaco, Bolivia’s most important archaeological site.
The 2558 m above sea level i.e. M. located “garden city” Cochabamba is rightly proud of its vibrant folklore and culture. The Archaeological Museum has an interesting collection of ancient Indian characters.
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Departments of Beni and Pando
The departments of Beni and Pando are located in the middle of the Bolivian jungle. The “golden” Pantiti has many navigable rivers and is ideal for hiking, fishing and boat trips. The two largest cities are Trinidad and Cobija. Excursions into the tropical rainforest with local guides give a good insight into the flora and fauna.
Tarija, 1957 m above sea level i.e. M. is a welcoming city with a pleasant climate, flowers and good regional wines.
Sucre in the Department of Chuquisaca played
an important role in the struggle for independence.
In addition to many impressive churches and beautiful buildings, the capital offers numerous museums,
libraries and historical archives such as the Cathedral Museum, the National Library, the Colonial Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Natural History Museum. The city ‘s monasteries, most notably the Recoleta Nunnery, are very impressive.
The imperial city of Potosí lies at the foot of the famous Monte Cerro Rico,
which means “mountain rich in ore”. The huge
mineral deposits (especially silver) helped the city prosper.
The number of Indians who died as slaves in Potosí’s mines is
legendary. Many mines are still in operation and worth visiting. At
the beginning of the colonial period, Potosí was the most important and
populous city on the continent, today it is one of the
most important historical cities in South America. The »House of Coins«,
the old mint, is just one of the many buildings of cultural and historical interest.
The department of Santa Cruz is known for its wealth of
The town of the same name has seen a construction boom in recent years, but many colonial-era
buildings remain. Here, too, the residents have
preserved their folk traditions.
Oruro is a mining town with many traces of
colonial times. During Carnival (February/March) one can see one of the most
expressive religious folklore performances in South America.
Popular souvenirs include wood carvings, jewelry, llama and alpaca blankets, Native American handicrafts, and gold and silver jewelry. Shop opening hours: Mon-Fri 09.30-12.30 and 15.00-19.30, Sat 10.00-15.00.
There are numerous nightclubs in La Paz, which usually open around midnight, and countless whiskerias, as the local bars are called. Folk music and dance performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays from around 8 p.m. There are nightclubs in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
Bolivian cuisine is unmistakably good. National dishes include empanada salteña (meat, chives, raisins, potatoes, hot sauce and peppers baked in batter), lomo montado (tender steak with two eggs, topped with rice and a side of fried banana), picante de pollo (chicken, hash browns, rice). and salad with chili), chuño (freeze-dried potatoes cooked in chairo soup) and lechón al horno (suckling pig with sweet potatoes and plantains). Beverages: Bolivian beer, especially Cruzena, is highly recommended among South American beers. Chicha is brewed from fermented grain and corn and is very strong. Bottled water and other non-alcoholic beverages are readily available.
There are several luxury and high-end hotels. Service and taxes (about 25-27% in total) will be added to the bill. Unless otherwise stated, rates are for overnight stays only. Inexpensive good hotels are everywhere. Information from the Bolivian Chamber of Hotel Management, Calle Panamá, esquina Plaza Uyuni, edificio Shoppig Miraflores, 3°, oficina 303, BO-La Paz. (Tel: (02) 222 26 18, (02) 222 62 90)
Campsites are rare. For a fee you can usually find a place to camp. Mallasa, Valencia and Palca in the river valley below La Florida and Chinguihue (10 km from the city) are particularly recommended.
Catholicism (95%) is the state religion; Protestants (about 50,000), Bahai.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: The usual forms of politeness apply. Traditions should be respected. The Bolivian rural population calls themselves Campesinos, not Indios. Clothing: Western clothing and eating habits are also slowly being adopted by the campesinos. Smarter attire is appropriate for social occasions, otherwise casual attire is acceptable. Non-smoking zones are marked. Tipping: 5-10% is common in hotels and restaurants, although 25% is charged for service. Porters also expect tips.
Best travel time
Temperate climate with big differences between day and night. Most precipitation falls between November and March. The northeastern slopes of the Andes are subtropical. La Paz is often perceived as uncomfortable because the air is very thin due to the altitude. In the mountains it gets very cold at night.
Area (sq km)
11,673,021 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number