Warning: this post is biased because I fell in love with La Paz. Read with caution.
Death Road: If there’s one thing you should do in La Paz it’s Death Road. Speeding down a dirt road for 42km, the edge of a cliff just a few feet away from you, while concentrating on avoiding “baby heads” (rocks the size of a baby’s head) on the road is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. But I highly recommend it. The views were beautiful, with waterfalls cascading over the trail and lush green paths appearing on part of the road. I would love to do it again.
I rode with a company called Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking and although they were a bit pricier, I really enjoyed their guides. Their pictures weren’t great but were included in the price.
Witches Market: if you haven’t heard about the witches market in La Paz, google it. They have tons of small shops filled with dried llama fetuses (used at weddings as signs of fertility), love potions, inscents and herbs and spices used to cast spells. While it was a bit hard to swallow it was also pretty cool.
Cable Cars: La Paz has recently installed Cable Cars that take you to the top of the city to see the beautiful view.
We also saw what was apprently a “pet cemetery” which was the biggest cemetery I ever seen and looked liked apartment complexes filled with deceased people/pets. This is definitely one of the interesting things I’ve ever seen.
San Pedro Prison: I’d never heard of San Pedro prison until Chelsea told me about the book Marching Powder. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s about an English guy who gets caught trying to smuggle drugs out of Bolivia and ends up having to spend time in the most corrupt jail in South America which so happens to be in La Paz, Bolivia. We saw prisoners coming out of the front door (blocked by a very thin wall of officers) taking bricks into the prison as a form of payment as you have to pay for your own cell and food in the prison. After taking a mini tour around the prison on our own, we were stopped by a man named “Magic Mike” who asked if we wanted a little history lesson from his friend “Crazy Dave” about the prison. Turns out Crazy Dave is from Miami and got caught trying to smuggle drugs out of the country and has been locked up for 15 years. His stories included people being able to party in the prison, make their own cocaine and the 3 people who have escaped the prison most recently. If you’re ever in La Paz head to San Pedro square at 1 and look for the crazy guy with the bandana.
The city in itself: the city in itself was beautiful and quaint but at the same time full of life. The loveliest small market stalls lined the streets, selling everything from soccer jerseys to fried chicken to confetti and fireworks. The night life was pretty cool as well including many English pubs (yum Shepards pie) and the Wild Rover hostel. I would love to go back.