La Paz Journals

Resting in La Paz

A September 2005 trip to La Paz by WitlessWanderer

The Approach Photo, La Paz, Bolivia More Photos
Quote: Okay, so I didn't actually rest in La Paz, but...

Resting in La Paz

Overview

La Paz Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
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La Paz is a thrillingly vast city. Definitely try and arrive during the day by bus. This is because after crawling through the subsidiary city of El Alto, you suddenly hit the edge and see the proper city of La Paz sprawled out in the bowl under Mount Illimai. It's an awesome sight. The city itself is also thrillingly active. It's full of people milling around, doing whatever they do. Sights-wise, there isn't much to do in La Paz, but it's a fantastic place just to exist for a while. Stroll down the main street (Prado) and see old men playing chess in the Sunday market. Pop into a coffee shop and watch the world go by.And then go out. Nightlife is one of the strengths...Read More
The Approach Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
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Done it! I´ve climbed Huayna Potosi, which at 6,088m is the 6th highest peak in Bolivia and the 75th highest in the whole of the Andes! It´s a little higher than Mont Blanc with Snowdon balanced on top. The journey turned out to be a bit of an epic. First day, we go to the camp site at 5,130m, which was easy enough (you get to 4,700m by car). Then at 1am the next morning we got up to start the ascent. First thing I notice is a flash of light from outside the tent. Surely a torch? A rumble of thunder a few moments later dispells this thought. There´s a spectacular thunderstorm in the valley next door. It was below us, so wouldn´t cause any problems but all the time we're cli...Read More
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Your intrepid correspondent decided, at great personal risk, to discover the best coffee shops in La Paz. Cafe Ciudad(Plaza del Estudiante). Cappuccino BOB9/$1. Fantastic for people-watching, with big glass windows over the end of the Prado. Reasonable coffee. Rating: 3/5 Cafe Alexander(Av 16 de Julio 1832 through narrow doorway, Potosi 1091). Cappuccino BOB10/$1. The nearest to a Western chain of coffee shops. The large cappuccino (BOB18) revels in being the largest coffee in La Paz. It has great caffe cortado and overall the best quality coffee. I preferred the Potosi outlet, as it had sofas and better potential for people-watching. Rating: 4/5 ...Read More

The Witless Guide to Bars

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

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Displaying no thought for personal safety, your intrepid correspondent studied the bars of central La Paz. Cafe Sol y Luna (Murillo 999): Something of a curious jack of all trades, this one does coffee, meals, and beer, but none of them outstandingly well. The selection of meals by this Dutch-run establishment is impressive, but quality is distinctly variable. It serves a good pint of local microbrewed beer, Saya. The ground floor is a classy place to hangout, with frequent live music. The basement is rather dingy. Opening hours are short, from 6pm to 11pm Monday to Saturday. Oliver´s Travels (Second floor diagonally opposite Cafe Sol y Luna): Set up in early 2005 by slig...Read More

Huayna Potosi - the facts

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

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1. Don’t even think about this unless you’re acclimatised. Just don’t. The agencies will tell you to make sure you’ve had at least a few days in La Paz, but given that you’re going to go to over 2,000m higher, I’d go for a few days trekking in Sorata first. 2. It’s difficult. Even with all the acclimatisation, it’s going to be a long, difficult slog. 3. Choose your agency carefully. The mountains are not a place to play cowboys. I went with Azimut Tours but wouldn’t recommend them because of their relaxed attitude towards safety. 4. Check all details, particularly equipment. Do you need to buy or rent anything (e.g gloves, sleeping bag)? 5. Don’t assume everything ...Read More