La Paz Tour
Las Paz or Nuestra Señora de la Paz since 1898 is the de facto capital of the state and the administrative center of the department of the same name. Located at an altitude of 3200 meters. It is believed that this capital is located above all others in the world. The official capital of Bolivia is the city of Sucre. But most of Bolivian government offices are in La Paz. The city was formed in 1548 in the crater of an extinct volcano.
Piazza Murillo is located in the old part of La Paz. From here you can begin a tour of the old town, after having had a snack on the saltya – delicious meat and meat pies. The Square houses the Parliament and National Congress buildings, as well as the Cathedral, which was built in 1865.
Parliament building. It should be noted that Bolivia is a republic. The president is elected every 5 years. As for politics, this is an interesting fact. On election day, offices, shops and even schools are closed. Children play football all day on empty streets. Everything “dies out” until the next day, when everything returns to its place and the city is immersed in the daily bustle and filled with sounds.
Colonial Quarter or Salle Jaen Street (Calle Jaen). Very nice to walk along this quiet street. The architecture shows the influence of the Spanish Empire. After the Spaniards conquered the Incas in the 16th century, the natives of Bolivia fell into “slavery”. The country gained independence only in 1825. Bolivia was named after a national hero, Bolivar, who liberated the country from the colonialists.
The market of sorcerers. Here you can find any cure for any disease and predict the future of plant leaves. The wizard market is a very unusual place where you can see a lot of weird things and even unpleasant things. Bolivian sorcerers sell various amulets and talismans.
Toads bring wealth, dried armadillos bring good luck and health. People buy and then bury the skulls of llamas (animals) under the foundations of houses to preserve family happiness. Wizards also make traditional medicines that are sold in small bottles. La Paz is at a high altitude, and therefore not only foreign tourists, but also Bolivians living in the valleys, often have a headache due to lack of oxygen. In the market of sorcerers, they can immediately understand what a person suffers from and give out the medicine that he needs at the moment.
Having walked through the streets of La Paz, it would be nice to have a bite to eat in some cozy little restaurant where you can order traditional Bolivian dishes (“comidas tipicas”). For starters, you can drink makachinchi – a drink made from dried peach. The main dishes that are served in such small restaurants are: pakamuto – a mixture of beef, sausage, eggs and potatoes with pepper, covered with cheese, chicharron – a dish that is made from roasted pork skin, or chicken, lamb, beef. You can order chanku – grilled meat platter. Sunday dinner Bolivians traditionally eat in such small restaurants, if there are no guests. When friends or relatives are invited, then all the comidas tipicas are prepared at home.
In La Paz, you can stroll through the Moon Valley – a small canyon with stone peaks. Some call them stone pipes. It is located 10 kilometers from the center of La Paz.
Municipal Zoo. Llamas are famous animals from the high Andes. In the zoo will show how to safely approach these animals. Llamas love carrots, and therefore they can be fed without frightening, coming up in front, so that the animal can see you and not be nervous. Here you can pet the vicunas – the relatives of the llamas. Vicuña is similar to guanaco (one of the llama species), but smaller and more elegant. There is also a big birdhouse. Condors live here. These birds are the national symbol of Bolivia. They live in the cold, mountainous regions of the Andes. Toucans are also found in Bolivia. This is a bird with large, colored beaks.
In the zoo, you can also look at the tapir. The nose of a tapir is adapted for collecting fruits, leaves and various plants. This is a protected species, as it is on the verge of extinction.
Arce Street. There are shops selling traditional Bolivian clothing. At the end of the year you can meet Bolivian children here. They buy national costumes for a school party and try on colorful clothes right on the street. Exciting sight! The small shops sell scarves that Bolivians bring to Pachamame on Lake Titicaca, which is located near La Paz.