La Paz

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For other places with the same name, see La Paz (disambiguation) La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia, while Sucre is the constitutional capital and the seat of the Supreme Court. La Paz was established in 1548, and is in the Andes. Altitude of the city ranges from about 4,058 m (13,313 ft) above sea level in El Alto (where the airport is located) to 3,100 m (10,170 ft) in the lower residential area. It is the highest national capital in the world. The sight from the air as one flies into La Paz is incredible. First, one sees the sprawling shantytowns of El Alto, slowly giving way to the sight of La Paz itself, clinging tenuously to the sides of what looks like a large gash in the earth. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest in La Paz

  • Sagarnaga Street, (just south of Plaza San Francisco). La Paz' main tourist strip. It's mainly a market street with artesano and souvenir stores, but you'll also find budget hostels, tour and travel agencies, cafes, and lots and lots of backpackers. Don't be suckered by the roving sellers of "trilobite-in-a-rock".
  • The Witches' Market, (Mercado de Hechiceria or Mercado de las Brujas). Calle Linares between Sagarnaga and Santa Cruz. Vendors sell llama fetuses and dried frogs for Aymara rituals, as well as soapstone figurines and aphrodisiac formulas. This street is also the best place to pick up a charango or other Bolivian musical instrument.
  • Eloy Salmon. Shops on this street sell cheap electronics.
  • Calle Jaen. One of the few places in the city with preserved colonial buildings, currently housing several interesting museums.
  • Plaza Murillo. Contains government buildings and the city cathedral.
  • The Valle de La Luna. Surreal, weathered rock. Just outside the city. Take a local bus to Mallasa (Bs2.30) or a taxi (Bs 35) or join a tour. The entrance to the park is located next to the flags and costs Bs15. If you want to see more eroded formations with glittering diamond like silver and pink sand, try going on a red bus to Alpacoma from Calle Buenos Aires, then take a Bs. 2.00 trufi to the brick ovens, then walk a few minutes over the pass to the upper Achocalla valley (towards the well-hidden municipal dump).
  • The Thursday & Sunday Market in El Alto or Feria de 16 de Julio. A huge market held in El Alto every Thursday and Sunday. This mostly Aimara market is one of the world's biggest, and a person can find just about anything. The latest software and DVDs are practically free as are high quality used clothes, jackets, sweaters and everything else imaginable. For newbies, stick to the railroad tracks starting at the ceja and ending at Plaza Ballivian. Do not bring anything valuable (like camera or iPhone) and keep your money (except small bills like 10's) inside your clothing. Bring sunblock. As a long time resident of Bolivia, this is one of my favorite pass times and the area where I have practically furnished my house, dressed my kids and bought plants for my garden. On fair days there are hundreds of mini buses leaving from the Prado.
  • The Self-guided Public Transport Tour. The best way to see the real La Paz is to jump on and off public transport minibuses and micros at random, go to the end of the line, turn around and jump off at any place that looks interesting. There is no way to get lost and each jump on and off costs about $US 0.15. Buy fruit and so on along the way and talk to people in the periferal zones. Quite safe.
  • Mercado Uruguay, A labyrinth of street market stalls on a steep slope. Best fish meals in the city ("Fish Alley"). From the corner of Santa Cruz and Illampu walk up hill about four blocks... othat is, two blocks will bring you to the round Plaza 14 de Septiembre. One block straight up will bring you to Eloy Salmon, and another block to the market.

Museums

  • CIRCULAR Circuit of Culture and Art: One ticket for three awesome museums. Visit La Paz museums, one ticket for three within a week! With the aim of promoting the cultural and historical heritage of La Paz and Bolivia, we launched a single ticket to access the circuit, which will be sold at tourist agencies, hotels and The museums of the circuit. The Three Museums of the Circuit are San Francisco Museum: a Catholic-indigenous face, the National Ethnographic and Folk Museum: a Trip through Bolivian Cultures, and the National Museum of Art: Exhibitions, collections, history and more.
  • Museum San Francisco. Plaza San Francisco. This restored religious complex has housed some of Bolivia's most important historical moments, including the birth of the Independence Revolution of 1809. Also, one can climb the church tower to get a panoramic view of both the indigenous and Mestiza quarters. Displays are in Spanish and English along with personal guides.
  • National Ethnographic and Folk Museum. Ingavi 916, esq. Jenaro Sanjinés. The MUSEF shows us the Bolivian cultures in their historic dimension and their current situation. These cultures are alive in the cities and the countryside, in markets, schools and churches, in streets, the jungle or a minibus. Not a single corner of Bolivia escapes its diversity. And to understand this complexity better, the MUSEF offers us an incomparable tour.
  • National Museum of Art. Calle Comercio esq. Socabaya. No doubt, the tour through the National Museum of Art is a ride through the history of Bolivian art, its paintings, sculptures, photos and other artistic expressions; a singular experience for both national and foreign visitors.
  • Tiwanaku Museum (Museo Tihuanaco)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo), Av. 16 de Julio 1698 (Prado). The permanent collection upstairs (Bs10) contain many works by renowned Aymara painter Mamani Mamani. The downstairs gallery containing work by students and up-and-comers is free.
  • Coca Museum, Calle Linares 906. M-Su 10AM-7PM. A favorite of foreign tourists, this small museum details the history and significance of the coca plant, including the effect of the U.S. War on Drugs. The displays are in Spanish, but booklets of complete translations in other languages are provided. According to the museum, crack cocaine is the greatest epidemic since the Plague in the Middle-Ages. And yes, there are free samples of coca leaf for visitors. Bs 10.
  • Musical Instrument Museum (Museo de Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia), Calle Jaen 711. Displays a huge collection of sound-producing devices from Bolivia and beyond, some of which you can play yourself. The museum was founded by charango master and inventor Ernesto Cavour, and some of his creations on display (such as multi-bodied guitars) are downright bizarre.
  • Museum of Precious Metals (Museo de Metales Preciosos Precolombinos), Calle Jaen 777. Pre-Columbian treasures in silver and gold.
  • Submerged Museum (Museo Subterraneo), in front of the city stadium. Hardly deserving the name "museum", it's essentially a small outdoor plaza sunk into the ground with a huge replica Tiwanaku monolith in the middle of it. The original one used to be there, but it was moved back to Tiwanaku for preservation.
  • Bolivian Andean Textile Museum (Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos). Plaza Benito Juarez 488. It exhibits a large variety of textiles and weavings from all the Bolivian andean communities. It's a must-see for weaving lovers. It also displays several garments, like ponchos, from all these regions. The museum also includes a shop (90% of your purchase belongs to the artists) and it is located at lovely house in Miraflores.

Views

La Paz is a city which can be a sight in itself, and there are several viewing places or miradores offering impressive panoramas.

  • Mirador Killi Killi, (from Avenida Sucre take Avenida La Bandera and then walk straight up, the mirador is on the right side). You can get the best view of La Paz from here. No entrance fee. You can either walk, take a taxi or bus to get there. Buses with sign "V. Pabon" go there, such as "micros" W, P, 22, 137.
  • Parque Laikacota, (at the top of Av. Ejercito west of the city center). The best panorama from within the bowl, with clear views of the city and the rugged terrain to the east, all the way to Mt. Illimani. Admission is Bs 3.50.
  • Mirador Monticulo, (next to Plaza España). This small park (free entry) has a church and lots of trees which block much of the city, but the clear view of Illimani makes it an evening hotspot for couples.
  • Av. Camacho, (In the heart of downtown). Points straight to Illimani, and from the intersection with the Prado it's framed by skyscrapers in an interesting juxtaposition.
  • Condor Samana, (Take a red bus from Calle Buenos Aires east towards Ciudad Satellite): Near Alpacoma, The most unknown of La Paz view sites, on top of some eroded cliffs belowe Ciudad Satellite, The condors used to nest here before the city moved up. If upu look out the left hand side of the bus you will spot the castle like formation a bit before getting to El Alto.

Plaza San Francisco

San Francisco Church

Museo de la Coca

National Museum of Art

Palacio Presidential

Plaza Murillo

La Paz Cathedral

Tambo Quirquincho Museum

Tiwanaku

Palacio Legislativo

Witches\' Market

Valle de la Luna

Plaza Monolito Bennett

Hernando Siles Stadium

Cementerio General

Huayna Potosi

Muela del Diablo

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About La Paz

Background

Orientation

La Paz was built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River (now mostly built over), which runs northwest to southeast. The city's main thoroughfare, which roughly follows the river, changes names over its length, but the central tree-lined section running through the downtown core is called the Prado.

La Paz geography, in particular the altitude, reflects the city's society: the lower you go, the more affluent. While many middle-class paceños live in high-rise condos near the center, the really rich houses are located in the lower neighborhoods southwest of the Prado. The reason for this division is that the lower you go in the city the milder the weather is. And looking up from the center, the surrounding hills are plastered with makeshift brick houses of those struggling in the hope of one day reaching the bottom.

The satellite city of El Alto, in which the airport is located, is spread over a broad area to the west of the canyon, on the altiplano.

Activities

Take it easy on your first day in La Paz if you arrive from low altitude. Even if you feel fine, resting and walking slowly will help. Try not to eat too much, at least the first day or so. And sleep as much as you can.

One good thing to do is to take any mini-bus or micro from near your hotel to the end of the line, walk down a bit and catch another one to the end of the line, walk down some more and catch another one and so on. Cheap, no danger and you will see the most fascinating things imaginable.

Peñas

One of the most recognizable aspects of Andean culture is its folk music, which you can enjoy at a number of peñas, or music clubs.

  • Huari, Calle Sagarnaga 329. Its location makes it the convenient choice for foreign tourists, so be prepared for extreme tourist prices and slightly tacky decor. (The ancient Incas probably didn't have black lighting.) Nonetheless, the music and dance performances are excellent.
  • Marka Tambo, Calle Jaen 710. Considered among the best for serious fans of the music.

Cinemas

  • MegaCenter, (in the entrance to Irpavi in the "Zona Sur"), From downtown you must go on public transportation.
  • MultiCine, 2631 Avenida Arce, (a couple of blocks south of Plaza Isabel de Catholica), [1]. Brand new multiplex cinema with 1 3D screen. Shows current Hollywood blockbusters.
  • The Cinemateca Boliviana, Guachalla and Federico Suazo St). Most modern movie theater in the city. You can see new mega-releases as well as local films and international festivals.
  • Monje Campero (at the beginning of Av. 16 de Julio).
  • 16 de Julio (near to Plaza del Estudiante).
  • Cine Azul, (at the beginning of Av.16 de julio). Despite the best efforts to censor it Latin America's premier underground bluey showhouse is still up and running. The steam is literally dripping off the walls, among other things.

Bank Holidays and special dates

16 July - Anniversary of La Paz

Food

For lunch try the little almuerzo-kitchens. You'll get a decent menu for under Bs10. Be careful with or avoid salads the first days. If you are on a budget it is always possible to eat in the local markets.

Most of the fancier restaurants in La Paz are at the bottom of the Prado, around the vicinity of Plaza Isabel La Catolica and Plaza Avaroa.

There's a string of inexpensive pizza and hamburger joints on the west side of Avenida 6 de Agosto south of Plaza del Estudiante. Sergio's is considered the best, and is good for checking upcoming music venues.

  • Chifa Puerta del Sol, Av. Ballivian #503 (Calacoto, Calle 11). Average Chinese. Not worth the 17 km drive out of the city.
  • El Consulado, Calle Bravo 299 (Behind Hotel Plaza (Prado)). New place in La Paz. Best brunch in town, gourmet food in beautiful surroundings. Wifi and garden. Working with the "New Andean Kitchen" and organic coffee.
  • Restaurant Sabrosa Taiwanesa, Calle Chichas No. 1208, Zona Miraflores, 2221186 (a short walk or quick taxi from Plaza Isabela Católica, just on the other side of the Puente de Las Americas). New family-run Taiwanese restaurant. Flavourful dishes and a good sized menu (veg and non-veg) in a clean setting. 30Bs for chicken with spicy peanut sauce (2-person portion). (Update 2 June 2011: Restaurant seemed to be closed today around 1PM...in fact, aside from the small Taiwanese decorative lantern hanging next to the front door, it was hard to tell if that was even the correct address. Maybe closed permanently?)
  • Utama, Av. 16 de Julio 1789 (Prado) (top floor of Plaza Hotel). With its fabulous view of the city, the Utama has served the likes of Fidel Castro and Alberto Fujimori (embattled former President of Peru), yet the main dishes (Bolivian and international, in portions ample for two) are only around Bs 50 (US$6.50).
  • Angelo Colonial, Calle Linares 922. A dark, bohemian cafe set in an old mansion decorated with scads of antiques. Serving Bolivian and mediocre international food. The best drip coffee in La Paz. Painfully slow service. Another location on the Prado. Serves llamas.
  • Tambo Colonial, in Hotel Rosario. Lavish breakfast buffet for Bs 20 (US$2.50), great international and local food from 12 noon-11PM. Try the Lake Titicaca trout with Beni almonds.
  • Naira, Calle Sagarnaga 161. Catering mostly to travelers (and guests of the hotel—see below), but a good sampling of Bolivian dishes. Expensive.
  • Alo Cubano, Av. Aniceto de Arce. Best place to pretend you're back in the 50s plotting a Pan-American revolution with Fidel and Che.
  • Contigo Peru, second floor of Edificio Alameda (on the Prado). Good ceviche and other seafood.
  • Eli's New York Deli (on the Prado). Try ordering with a thick New York accent and see what you get. Prices gone sky high this year.
  • Sultan, San Miguel, Zona Sur. Great Arabic fast food in a tiny setting. Try the falafel for 7 Bs. Order a "super" for 10 Bs if you're hungry and be there for lunch when the boss isn't around (bigger portions).
  • Pizzeria Italia, Calle Ilampu 809. Serves nice breakfasts with a friendly smile. Pizzas are not good, and also overpriced.
  • La Mia Pizzeria, Calle Ilampu (below one of the two). Cheaper than "Italia" with more American style pizzas. Take-away available.
  • Al amir, Murillo 824. has nice Arabic food.
  • 100% Natural, Calle Sagarnaga 345. Often full, especially around 11PM, but serves huge sandwiches and great vegetarian burgers in a cozy atmosphere. Good food, better juices.
  • The Star of India. Open from 9AM for breakfast, then lunch served Mon-Sa from 11:30AM and Sun from 4PM. The highest Curry House in the world!. This is one of the few places you can get curry in Bolivia (and also can deliver to your hostel). Good veggie and vegan options. The curries and side dishes are mediocre at best, if you're longing for a UK style curry you'll be disappointed. They offer a free "I survived the world's most dangerous vindaloo" T-shirt to anyone who finishes it - people generally don't. Portions are small for a curry house.
  • Café Ciudad, Plaza Estudiantes (Lower end of the Prado). Open 24 hr. Burgers 15-20 Bs, main courses 30-40 Bs.
  • Cafe Karlovy, Av. Claudio Aliaga Nº 1182 - Bloque J-47, San Miguel. 8AM-12PM. An elegant coffee shop in the hip southern part of La Paz. Serves fantastic food all day.
  • Sol y Luna, Calle Murillo and Cochabamba. Wide selection of international food, Dutch owned and operated. Excellent coctails and always a good atmosphere. Drink Coca Leaf Mojitos where the mint is replaced by Coca Leaves - top cocktail!
  • Yussef (closed down), cnr illampu and Sagarnaga (As you go up Sagarnaga it is on the right inside a building about 10 m before the corner). Lebanese food, with real authentic lebanese owners. Great platters for vegeterians and mea eaters alike. Also real quality Baklava. great hosts there and atmosphere. It is a little more pricey than the usual fare but definitely worth it.
  • Namas Te, Zoilo Flores #1334 (San Pedro). 8:30AM-7:00PM. In the heart of the city, San Pedro. Serving possibly the best homestyle vegetarian cookin w/much flavour and love. Deep fried vegan patties. Fixed lunch starts midday. Music w/your organic coffee/tea/food. If you want the menú del dia, be sure to reserve it in advance by calling! Bs 20.
  • La Terraza Cafe, Ave 16 de Julio 1615. On el Prado. Very nice restaurant-cafe for Bolivian standards. Try the personal size pizza. The one with extra cheese, pesto, tomato and caramelized onions is to die for.
  • Ken Chan, Batallon Colorados No.98. Esq.Federico Suazo (200 m on the right side of Batalíon Colorados from the round-about at the lower end of the Prado (the left street if coming from the direction of the bus station)),  +591 2 2442292. Authentic Japanese food in this restaurant run by the Japanese Society in La Paz. Japanese specialties such as ramen, chicken katsu and karaage in addition to the expected sushi. Set meals with miso soup, (Japanese) rice are available. Set meal main around Bs 40~50.
  • La Coca, Rosendo Gutiérrez Nº 482,  + 591 2 2410892. In the Sopocachi district, about a block and a half from Plaza Avaroa, La Coca is an almuerzo style restaurant offering a very good four course menu for the price. Choice of 3 soups and 5 main courses, at least one of each guaranteed to be vegetarian. Quiet, pleasant decor, friendly and competent staff. 20Bs.
  • Glam, Sanchez Lima Nº 2237,  + 591 2 2423446. High-end international cuisine at a price to match. The food is excellent, and the surroundings live up to the name, but you won't get much change from 400Bs for two people (including wine and dessert). Despite describing itself as a "jazz lounge", the resident DJ has never heard of Chet Baker, Miles Davis or John Coltrane, and seems to prefer elevator music ... though with a little prodding can be persuaded to put something more tolerable on. 85Bs.

Drinks

Local law prohibits serving alcohol after 4AM. There are a number of speakeasies defying this.

  • Paladar-Cozinha Brasileira, C. Ferrecio #B-28, San Miguel (On the right side of Alexander Coffee),  +591 2 2774337. Tu-Su 12noon-3:30PM/Tu-Sa 7PM-11:30PM. Traditional Brazilian cuisine. Feijoada (hot bean pot with smoked pork rib, smoked sausages, sun dried meat and bacon), moqueca de Peixe (pirarucu filet [white meat amazonian river fish] slowly cooked in coconut milk and spices). A caipirinha is the perfect cocktail for this meal or you can also have wine or beer if you aren't feeling that adventurous. Variety of grilled meats (not "rodizio" style), chicken and trout. Cozy and owned by a Brazilian and French Canadian couple. US$5-15 with drinks.

Cafes

  • Alexander The Great, Av. 16 de Julio 1832 and other locations. Many thought the legendary Macedonian slayer had long since died. Not so in fact, although he is considerably tamer after a rough encounter with a fiery cholita.
  • Blueberries, Av. 20 de Octubre 2475. This café serves very delicious coffee, and also has a very appealing breakfast menu. The café is situated at the east end of Plaza Avaroa, where you may also find an "Alexanders Coffee".
  • Cafe Confiteria La Paz, Avenida Camacho & Ayacucho (close to Obelisco). 8AM-midnight. Free WiFi for customers
  • Papaya's Cafe, Calle Jaen and Sucre (Cafe of the Museo Costumbrista),  +591 791 13 593. 9:30AM-midnight. Llama burgers, terrines, pates. Quinoa tabulets and salads, highland cheeses. Specialized in coca sours drinks. Saya home made beer. Bs 20-100.
  • Pepe's Coffee Bar, Jimenez 894. Decent coffee and a nice calm getaway close to the tourist ghetto. Sandwiches are disappointingly small, but tasty. The "Trekker´s Breakfast" is huge and delicious.

Coffee is not a popular drink in Bolivia. If you want a sweet hot drink try api, made of corn.

Bars

  • Blue Note Café/Wine Bar [closed down, as of April 2012], Plaza gaston Velasco, Viluyo esq. Linares (1 block from sagarnaga and illampu; at the top of the stairs when you exit Oliver's). Great vibe; it's a fantastic place to chill with friends, have a drink & a bite to eat. The people behind the bar know their stuff (from martinis to wine to local beer), and there's excellent chili, lamb chops and tapas on the menu. Good prices compared with other bars in the area; it's open from the late afternoon onwards.
  • Oliver's Travels, Calle Murillo (opposite Sol y Luna). Northern English owned backpackers bar serving standard English fare at mid-range prices. Under new management. Fun party atmosphere,and a warm welcome from Eglish speaking staff. Also has travel Has WiFi and TV for most sporting events and a book exchange (very good, but expensive). Tour agency and great happy hour Su-Th. Wednesday nights are theme orientated with fancy dress. Available for large bookings and tour groups. Great food, the breakfast is very nice and not too overpriced compared with the other local options.
  • Sol Y Luna, Calle Murillo. Dutch owned & managed traveller's hangout. Good atmosphere, different areas, live music, free WiFi, large screen TV for important football games. Pool table, serve coca leaf mojitos, where coca leaves are substituted for mint leaves.
  • Irish, Plaza Avoroa. Food is overpriced but good, and the cocktails are reasonable, though not as good as some from some of the other bars. Mostly frequented by Bolivians and is of course a themed bar.
  • Traffic, San Jorge. Bar with a good atmosphere and fairly good music. There is a large dance floor and a comfortable bar. Owner Asher has taken 6 steps back from managing the place after a sting operation codenamed 'superhuey' .
  • Antique Pub, Pichincha 662. Recorded rock music, and all sorts of old things including fob watches, photographs, a kid's tricycle and a six shooter to keep you amused. They serve food too.
  • Pomp Pomp Salty Man, Loayza and Comerceo. Known for its great clandestine happy sauces. ATM on premises.
  • Hard Rock Cafe, Calle santa-cruz #399 esq. illampu,  +591 2 211 9318. 10PM-4AM. Open all week long, great parties, all kind of music. The biggest bar in Bolivia serves almost every drink there is. Full of backpackers and locals, great music and atmosphere.
  • ¨BackStage¨, La Florida, Calacoto. Trendy karaoke lounge with a great ambience and an amazing variety of songs both in Spanish and English. A good option if you visit the Zona Sur.

Clubbing

  • Mongo's, Hermanos Manchego 2444. Since 1995 has remained one of the most popular places for travellers with a good mix of locals. It's a lively atmosphere every night of the week at this place. Open from 6PM-3:30AM. Serving the best in global cuisine, and well priced. Be careful, though, as many tourists (as of July 2009) have reported being duped by being charged much higher prices for drinks than listed on the menu. Check your bill carefully! Unfortunately because of its popularity with tourists, Mongos has attracted pick-pockets as of late. A common trick to for a Bolivian to 'drunkenly' hug you in the bar, while he takes your phone/wallet/valuables from your pockets.
  • Forum, (near Plaza Espana). Bolivian hangout and a proper disco venue, the other one is called Soundbar. Very dressed up Bolivians frequent the establishment. Worth a look if you're missing a big club with big pretensions.
  • La Gitana, Zona Sur, Calle 8 de Calacoto, is a bar/club hangout for upper class youth of La Paz's South Zone. Dress well.
  • Dry Law, Zona Sur, Cota Cota, is a pretty hip club in La Paz's rich South Zone that's slightly on the right side of pretentious. Good alternative to Mongo's or RamJam if you're sick of bumping into Gringos all the time. Dress well.

Shopping

Handicrafts

  • Fair trade shop, 958 Calle Linares. Weavings are upstairs, better quality than the stuff on the street with comparable prices. Nicely mounted with wood panels and ready for hanging.
  • A Manos, Calle Carlos Bravo 299 (Behind Hotel Plaza on el Prado). Good quality handicrafts. Has a café (Café El Consulado), travel agency; Topas Adventure Travel Bolivia, and 5 great rooms.
  •    Ayni Bolivia (Fair Trade handicrafts), Av. Illampu 704 (one block from witches market),  +591 2 279 2395, e-mail: ayni@aynibolivia.com. M-F 8AM-8:30PM, Sa 10AM-6:30PM. Fair trade store member of World Fair Trade Organization WFTO, has 26 different groups, with a wide variety of handicrafts (alpaca, wood, ceramics, native textiles, table cloth, greeting cards). One store is located inside Hotel Rosario and other at the street. US$2-50.

Gear & equipment

  • The Spitting Llama Bookstore & Outfitter, 947 Calle Linares (inside the Hostal Posada de la Abuela),  +591 79770312, e-mail: info@thespittingllama.com. M-Sa 10AM-7:30PM. Offers offers a wide range of trekking, camping equipment and similar requirements. They also rent things like tents and sleeping bags. Thousands of books in English and many other languages and have Bolivia's best book exchange. English-speaking staff available.

Maps

La Paz is a good place for buying maps of the country. Topographical maps are available in 1:50 000, 1:100 000 and 1:250 000. The most popular maps, including the 1:250 000 version of Cordillera Real and the 1:50 000 version of Volcan Sajama are sold by street vendors that roam Calle Sagarnaga and from stalls along el Prado. But the best place to buy maps is the "Instituto Geografico Militar", IGM. The instituto has two offices in town, listed below.

  • Edificio Murillo No. 100, Calle Juan XXIII Parallell to Calle Murillo at the end of Calle Rodríguez. This office is likely to be closest to where you stay and sometimes has as map or two on offer, but most often asks you to come back mañana when they still don't have the map you want. It's has a nice atmosphere though, and makes a nice visit for mapophiles needing that fix of fresh map air.
  • Oficina Central, Estado Mayor General, Av. Saavedra No. 2303. This is the place to go, but a little out of the way. It is said to be open afternoons, but it's best to visit between 9PM and 11PM Closed if there's a soccer game in the nearby Stadium. Take a micro marked "E. Mayor" from Plaza San Francisco. The unmarked entrance is 20 m down Av. Saavedra from the main car entrance to the Estado Mayor. Surrender your passport in the window marked IGM, get a number tag to hang around you neck and walk down the road and to the left. Many maps are only available in copies for Bs 30 a sheet. An original is Bs 40.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article La Paz on Wikivoyage.

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