Two days in La Paz give you the best of both worlds: You’ll have time to check out city sights and then ditch the pavement for soaring peaks, ancient ruins, and jungle roads. Some of Bolivia’s adventure highlights are an easy day trip away, making La Paz the ideal home base for an active excursion. Here’s how to make the most of two days in La Paz.
The compact historic center is best seen on foot, so start the day with a walking tour that includes the San Francisco Church, the Witches Market, and Plaza Murillo, where you’ll find the best shopping in La Paz, from alpaca wraps to textiles.
You’ll need an aerial view to take in the astounding scale of La Paz and the mountains, so spend the afternoon riding the city’s network of cable cars. If you hop a ride to the high-altitude area of El Alto, grab an uphill seat to maximize your view.
Because La Paz brings together people and cultures from all over Bolivia, you can taste your way across the country without leaving the city. Instead of sitting down to a single meal, try a little bit of everything on a food tour, with a guide to help identify unfamiliar dishes and ingredients.
Now that you’ve covered the basics, get out of the city to see Bolivia’s adventurous side. Favorite excursions include bike rides on the (surprisingly safe) Death Road, trips to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins of Tiwanaku, and hiking in Palca Canyon.
If you’ve got time and energy for another walk, catch the afternoon light at Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) on the south end of town. The orange spires and fins light up at sunset, so bring a camera to capture the valley from the trail.
With one last night in La Paz, dabble in the city’s energetic bar scene; pub or club tours include transportation and offer perks such as free shots and VIP entry, while supplying a ready-made party crew of fellow travelers.