La Paz, the political capital of more indigenous representation in Latin America, is the most unusual meeting point of national cultures in the Western world, symbiosis is present at all levels of social, political, economic and cultural.
Taking as guardian the Illimani Mountain, La Paz grows on a unique topography, acquiring an appearance that is unmatched by the other cities. It also has its own identity, an aura of legend and mystery, and a highly differentiated character geographically and culturally.
La Paz was founded in 1548 by Alonso de Mendoza in the town of Laja, as a resting point between transit Potosí and Cuzco three days later to be moved further east, to the edge of the plateau where streams start and a warm place called Choqueyapu (in Aymara Chuquiyapu, 'potato field or gold) because of the mild climate of this valley home, crops of potatoes and other gut reactions were magnanimous one hand, or the gold that dragged the river of upper hill.
The full name designated by the Spanish conquerors was Nuestra Señora de La Paz, constituting the 3rd city after Sucre (1538) and Potosi (1545). Its name commemorates the restoration of peace after the civil war that followed the insurrection of Gonzalo Pizarro against Blasco Núñez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru. La Paz, stands against the Spanish colony on July 16, 1809, with Pedro Domingo Murillo and other local martyrs and establishes the first free government of Spanish America, forming a Tuitiva Board on July 22, 1809. Later, after the "Federal War" of 1898 La Paz became the de facto seat of government (executive and legislative), being in the city of Sucre only the judiciary.
Murillo Square, is the kilometer "0", pays tribute to the hero of the 1809 Don Pedro Domingo Murillo. From this axis, there is an urban unit with neoclassical architecture and academic: The Cathedral of Our Lady of La Paz, the Legislative Palace and the Palace of Government.
San Francisco Basilica: the temple and monastery were built with stone and completed in mid-eighteenth century. The facade and the interior of the church of San Francisco is of Baroque style. Its altarpiece is famous for the fine fabric of its size, covered in gold leaf.
Jaén Street is one of the most representative of the history of the city, its homes dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth century and is named in honor of Jaén Apolinar libertarian hero, who fought with Pedro Domingo Murillo. On the street are located the Museum of Gold and Precious Metals and the Folk Instrument Museum. In this street you can also find several sites that offer everything from traditional folk shows and clubs with national an international food and drinks.
La Paz lives the ultimate expression of folklore on the Feast of the Great Power (Fiesta del Gran Poder), costumes, dances and customs, finding colorful traditional costumes brought to life at the sight of the spectators, the feast of the Great Power is made in the feast of the Holy Trinity, at this event one of the main representatives is the "Chola" historically shaped the outcome of the Spanish and Indian named "cholo".
One of the best examples of Bolivian folklore and culture is in the Ethnography and Folklore Museum is located one block from the Murillo Square.
The Alasita Fair is a fair where artisans offer a wide variety of miniature products that express everything you could wish for, is the feast of plenty around Ekeko, the lord of abundance. This festival is held every January 24, the start of the summer solstice and lasts officially until 4 February.
The Witchcraft Market offers an encounter with tradition, native produce, herbs, amulets, offerings, herbs, coca healers addition, yatiris, kallawayas, this market located in the intersection of Jimenez and Linares street.
In the south area of La Paz, rising to almost 4,000 meters up the "Apacheta" and from above begins a fascinating walk, to arrive at the unusual natural formations of the Animas Valley, place that offers rituals of Andean culture, then comes the great Palca Canyon where we discover the vagaries of nature in canyons formed by erosion of the land, all this atmosphere enjoying a mild climate and walking down the variety of agricultural plantations which has the population of Palca, from where you can take amazing photographs of Mount Illimani, peacekeeper. Returning to the city's rise again between mountain peaks and allows us to reach the Moon Valley, a very interesting geological formation, caused by soil erosion that has consumed the top of a mountain of clay, over the centuries the elements have created a masterpiece of lunar, desert-like stalagmites.
Regarding the viewpoints of La Paz, the topography of the city can be viewed from different angles because it is surrounded by natural viewpoints, the most visited: Jach'akollo located in the Nuevo Potosi; Alto Pampahasi, Sallahumani in the highway La Paz - El Alto; and also Killi Killi wich is the most visited.
Within the department of La Paz are natural wonders like Titicaca Lake and the Madidi National Park, and the most important archaeological site of Bolivia: Tiwanaku.
As for adventure tourism the most visited attraction is the "Death Road" to Los Yungas - Coroico, where you can ride a mountain bike in descent. The proximity of the city to the Cordillera de Los Andes can allowed to climbers to pass into snowy mountain as Huayna Potosi or Condoriri and hikers to Pre-Columbian Roads of Choro and Takesi.
Source: www.turismolapaz.travel (Mónica Mendienta, Juan Luis Alanes)
Location: City of western Bolivia, on Murillo province of La Paz department, being the provincial capital and seat of government of Bolivia.
Elevation: 3600 masl
Average temperature: 13 º C (winter arriving at -5 ° C in summer and 18 º C)
How to get to La Paz from Puno: There are public and tourist buses leaving from the city of Puno in the Puno - Copacabana - La Paz route, with a stop in Copacabana, this trip takes about six hours.
How to get to La Paz from Cusco: There are public and tourist buses leaving from the city of Puno on the route Cusco - Puno - Desaguadero - La Paz, this trip takes about 15 hours. You can also opt for a flight from Cusco International Airport bound for the city of La Paz, it takes 1 hour.
How to get to La Paz from Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Likethe two cities are part of the backbone of Bolivia, there are daily departures every 30 minutes from the bus terminal in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in a journey of approximately 14 hours, which passes through the city of Cochabamba. In the air to get to the city of La Paz flights are its two airports, the trip takes 40 minutes.