Having spent a few days in El Alto I decided it’s time to actually explore La Paz. I take the bus back to the center where I meet up with my new couch surfing host close to Plaza del Estudiante. I had a full day exploring the city, among other days later on, and thought a nice way to summarize it would be in a list format.
- Mirador Killi Killi: At 3,650m above sea level this city offers oh-so-many viewpoints, many of which are accessible via teleféricos. I chose to go to a less-known spot, which turned out to be amazing as I was the only person there. And plus also, it was free.
- The joy when you’re actually being able to withdraw money from the ATM: Perhaps this should have been at the top of the list. Withdrawing money in La Paz can be a b*tch. So after bouncing around ATM to ATM, bank to bank asking the bank guards armed with machine guns where to try next, it is not surprising that you get almost teary-eyed when seeing your savings materialize before you.
- Namas Té: As a recent vegetarian I was challenged with finding a good spot for just that. Vegetarian food. This can be a bit tricky in a place where pretty much every dish involves meat. Nonetheless, I found my mecca in Namas Té. This tiny spot located in central La Paz offers vegetarian and vegan foods. Their recipes are extremely creative and just like any other Bolivian restaurant they too offer the set almuerzo menu. I was immediately hooked. The food is incredibly fresh, the staff is so friendly. And the flavors are amazing not to mention healthy.
- Hills: This may sound odd, especially in a place with such a high altitude prancing up and down hills is not necessarily that easy. But here’s why it’s great- it makes navigating that much easier. Since La Paz is pretty much located in a valley, its main street runs through the middle. That means that if you’re ever lost you just head down and you hit said street. Pretty easy, huh?
- The witch market: Running low on dried llama fetuses? Check out the witch market! This place has everything and you can spend hours wandering around trying to figure out what’s being sold and why it’s being sold.
- Artesanal shopping: Cheap and amazing. I decided to dedicate my very last day in La Paz to satisfy my hunger for fabrics and jewelry. This turned out to be a great decision.
- Breakfast at Mercado Lanza: This one shouldn’t necessarily be here. I actually didn’t find this place until later on. Whoops! Anyway, there is a market place in central La Paz that offers the best sandwiches. Ask the ladies to make you one with eggs, avocado, cheese, tomato and onion! Yum! It’s not on any given menu but it’s delicious. As this is a very local spot prices are very cheap. The whole place has a very interesting setup, it’s close to a transit terminal and each floor has a different theme in its offerings whether it be flowers, fruit stands food or clothes.
- The contrasts and protests in the city center: La Paz is always in a state of protest. During my first day there, the agenda was to give disabled people financial support from the government. Because of this, many streets are blocked off close to the governmental buildings. I still managed to sneak in and snap some pictures and was amazed to see some startling contrasts between the buildings there.
“Cool story, bro. But how much did it cost?”
Buses from El Alto to La Paz: 6 Bs
Namas Té 4-course lunch: 29 Bs
Mirador Killi Killi: 0 Bs
Breakfast at Mercado Lanza: 15 Bs
Lodging (couch surfing): 0 Bs
Groceries for one meal (three people): 20 Bs
Total: 70 Bs