Have you been to Bolivia? I travelled from Cusco to La Paz and spent a few days there before heading back to Peru via the Titi Caca Lake. I spent half a year in Lima quite some years back and my expectation of La Paz was that it would be similar to the Lima back then when I lived there. But wow, was I wrong. La Paz is not even close to the level of development of Lima 10 years ago. During a city sightseeing tour I spoke with a Peruvian gentlemen in his 60s or so. When I asked him about his impression of La Paz vs Lima, he said that La Paz is similar to a Lima 20 to 25 years ago. After having visited more of La Paz I entirely understood why.
There are not many modern restaurants and bars, shops and the overall population seems poorer than in a lot of other Latin American countries that I have been to. Also the general infrastructure and buildings are a lot less developed. I knew La Paz wouldn’t necessarily be a ‘pretty’ experience with a cosmopolitan lifestyle, I expected it to offer a bit more. I usually wouldn’t care as I love developing countries full of culture and life. But we visited Bolivia at the end of our Americas trip after having already travelled through North, Central and South America for 4 months and all I wanted was a pretty hotel with a SPA, nice bars and good restaurants. Obviously I didn’t find plenty of that in La Paz and I accepted that I had to wait until we were back in Lima for that. It didn’t take me long to get back in my ‘I love South America’ mood and I did enjoy our days in La Paz. They were not really that relaxing and rather a bit rough but very interesting and I am happy we added a few days in La Paz rather than going straight from Cusco to Arequipa (both Peru).
During our La Paz stay we explored different places of the city, to the Moon Valley and went up to the Chicaltaya Mountain which is almost 5,400m (!) high, already for that it was worth coming here :) I will write about that experience in a separate post. One day we drove up to the Mirador Killi Killi from where you have a beautiful panorama view of La Paz. You can go their own your own, e.g. by taxi or you just join the city bus tour that brings you there, too. Below some impressions of La Paz’s scenic views, so you know what to expect when visiting :)
MIRADOR KILLI KILLI
PANORAMIC VIEW OF LA PAZ
And this one is my favourite photo of La Paz’s panorama view. I love it how you can see the bad weather developing up on the mountain. Reminds me on our trip up to the Chacaltaya Mountain… more about this in the next post :)