La Paz

In spanish ‘la paz’ means peace but this capital undoubtedly is not a peaceful one. On the contrary, this city moves in all directions, is full of oppositions and never stops moving. It is situated on the altitude between 3500-4000m above sea level which makes it the world’s highest capital. While walking through this capital you all the time go up and down, up and down and so on. The city is the steepest city ever.  After walking up 10 minutes you have to stop for a little break cause the altitude makes you feel tired so fast, especially when you are not enough acclimatized.

La Paz was founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1548, the full name of the city was originally Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace).  The city was created in European style with full of cathedrals, churches, government buildings and plazas. Nowadays its population reaches around 1 million people.

La Paz is the capital with most amazing views I’ve ever seen. We walked up to about 4000m above the sea level to have the perfect spot on the city and that’s what we spotted:

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View on the mountain Illimani. The highest mountain in Bolivia 6462m above the sea level.
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From La Paz you can see the chain of mountains called Cordillera Real

As you can see, the city varies a lot. You have rich people who live in the centre and as you go higher you can see how the city changes, how the people change… If you go up the city the people are poorer and poorer. You can see drunk men sitting on the road who try to say  something to you in English but they can’t succeed, you see children who are running home from school or those children who are 5 years old and they work to gain some money for their families…

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You could get scared in La Paz as it comes to city’s architecture. In the centre you can admire colonial buildings from XVI and XVIIth century when the Spanish conquistadors arrived while in the upper part of La Paz you can see the buildings barely finished, without any structure which make the atmosphere of the city. This Peace City is full of rubbish  everywhere on the streets, full of old taxis and buses which pollute the city so much…

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Colonial La Paz

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how steep it is!

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And sometimes, as I said before, the upper city can get you scared. Why?

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“The thief who will be caught is going to be burned…”

But the city is full of Hope as well:

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La Paz is a paradise for photographers. All Bolivian women with theirs traditional clothes, selling food on the road, colonial buildings full of modern paintings on their walls, amazing nature which surrounds this city…

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In La Paz, I also saw the biggest food market in my life. We were walking and walking and we couldn’t see the end. Perfect place to take photos however you have to take photos in a way that people do not see you. I remarked that Bolivian and Peruvian people (usually women) they really do not like when you take them a photo. Thus, each time we were trying to do it we had to be like spies 😀

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That’s it about La Paz! Most diversified, amazing, cultural capital I have ever been…

Author: Izabela Handerek

Obecnie mieszkam w Peru, gdzie prowadzę biuro podróży Alpinca. Przez parę lat mieszkałam oraz studiowałam we Francji oraz Chinach, które stały się moim drugim domem. W Peru uwielbiam ceviche oraz Andy. We Francji wino, sery i język francuski. A W Chinach wszystko :D

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