La Paz (/lɑː ˈpɑːz/), officially known as Nuestra Señora de
La Paz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnwestɾa seˈɲoɾa ðe la
ˈpas]; English: Our Lady of Peace), also named Chuqi Yapu
(Chuquiago) in Aymara, is the seat of government and the de facto
national capital of the Plurinational State of
constitutional capital of
Bolivia is Sucre). With an estimated 789,541
residents as of 2015,
La Paz is the third-most populous city in
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto).
Its metropolitan area, which is formed by La Paz,
El Alto and Viacha,
makes up the most populous urban area in Bolivia, with a population of
2.3 million. It is also the capital of the
La Paz Department.
The city, located in west-central
Bolivia 68 km (42 mi)
southeast of Lake Titicaca, is set in a canyon created by the
Choqueyapu River. It is located in a bowl-like depression surrounded
by the high mountains of the Altiplano. Overlooking the city is the
towering, triple-peaked Illimani. Its peaks are always snow covered
and can be seen from many parts of the city. At an elevation of
roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) above sea level,
La Paz is the
highest capital city in the world. Due to its altitude, La Paz
has an unusual subtropical highland climate, with rainy summers and
La Paz was founded on October 20, 1548 by the Spanish conquistador
Alonso de Mendoza at the site of the
Inca settlement of Laja
as a connecting point between the commercial routes that led from
Potosí and Oruro to Lima; the full name of the city was originally
Nuestra Señora de
La Paz (meaning Our Lady of Peace) in commemoration
of the restoration of peace following the insurrection of Gonzalo
Pizarro and fellow conquistadors against the first viceroy of Peru.
The city was later moved to its present location in the valley of
La Paz was under Spanish colonial rule as part of
the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, before
independence. Since its founding, the city was the site of numerous
revolts. In 1781, the indigenous leader and independence activist
Túpac Katari laid siege to the city for a total of six months, but
was finally defeated. On July 16, 1809 the Bolivian patriot Pedro
Domingo Murillo ignited a revolution for independence, marking the
beginning of the Spanish American Wars of Independence, which gained
the freedom of South American states in 1821.
As the seat of the government of Bolivia,
La Paz is the site of the
Palacio Quemado, the presidential palace. It is also the seat of the
Bolivian legislature, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, and
numerous government departments and agencies. The constitutional
capital of Bolivia, Sucre, retains the judicial power. The city
hosts numerous foreign embassies as well as international missions in
La Paz is an important political, administrative,
economic, and sports center of Bolivia; it generates 25% of Bolivia's
Gross Domestic Product and serves as the headquarters for numerous
Bolivian companies and industries.
La Paz is also an important cultural center of Latin America, as it
hosts several landmarks belonging to the colonial times, such as the
San Francisco Church, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Plaza Murillo
and the Jaén Street. The city is renowned for its unique markets,
particularly the Witches' Market, and for its vibrant
nightlife. Its unusual topography offers unique views of the
city and the surrounding mountains of the Cordillera Real from
numerous natural viewing points.
La Paz is also home to both the
longest and highest urban cable car network in the world. In May
2015, it was officially recognized as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities
together with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana,
Kuala Lumpur and
La Paz is listed on the Global Cities Index 2015, and is
considered a global city type "Gamma" by Globalization and World
Cities Research Network (GaWC).
3 Districts and neighborhoods
3.1 Main neighborhoods and zones
5 Colonial architecture
9.1 Principal attractions
9.1.1 Museums and cultural centers
9.1.2 Churches and cathedrals
9.1.3 Other attractions
10 Local festivals
11.4 Cable car system
12 Communications and media
13 Water supply
14 International relations
14.1 Twin towns and sister cities
15 Notable people
16 Image gallery
18 See also
20 External links
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Main article: History of La Paz
Government Palace of
Bolivia in downtown La Paz
This area had been the site of an
Inca city, located on a major
Although the Spanish conquistadors entered the area in 1535, they did
La Paz until 1548. Originally it was to be at the site of
the Native American settlement, Laja, with the full name of the city
being Nuestra Señora de
La Paz (meaning Our Lady of Peace). The name
commemorated the restoration of peace following the insurrection of
Gonzalo Pizarro and fellow conquistadors four years earlier against
Blasco Núñez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru. The town site was
moved a few days later to its present location in the valley of
Chuquiago, which is more clement.
Control over the former
Inca lands had been entrusted to Pedro de la
Gasca by the Spanish king (and Holy Roman Emperor) Emperor Charles V.
Alonso de Mendoza to found a new city commemorating
the end of the civil wars in Peru; the city of
La Paz was founded on
October 20, 1548 by Alonzo de Mendoza, with Juan de Vargas appointed
as its first mayor.
In 1549, Juan Gutierrez Paniagua was commanded to design an urban plan
that would designate sites for public areas, plazas, official
buildings, and a cathedral. These were meant to express the ideals and
relationships of Spanish colonial society. La Plaza de los Españoles,
which is known today as the Plaza Murillo, was chosen as the location
for government buildings as well as the Metropolitan Cathedral.
La Paz with a firm grip and the Spanish king had the
last word in all matters political, but consultation was extended,
taking months or longer by sea. Indigenous and other unrest was
repeated around the turn of the nineteenth century. In 1781, for a
total of six months, a group of
Aymara people laid siege to La Paz.
Under the leadership of Tupac Katari, they destroyed churches and
government property. Thirty years later Indians conducted a two-month
siege against La Paz. This incident was the setting for the origin of
the legend of the Ekeko. In 1809 the struggle for independence from
the Spanish rule brought uprisings against the royalist forces. On
July 16, 1809
Pedro Domingo Murillo
Pedro Domingo Murillo said that the Bolivian revolution
was igniting a lamp that nobody would be able to turn off. This
uprising formally marked the beginning of the liberation of South
America from Spain. The first open rebellions against the Spanish
Crown took place in
La Paz and the city of
Sucre simultaneously. This
event is known as the Primer Grito Libertario de América.
Pedro Domingo Murillo
Pedro Domingo Murillo was hanged at the Plaza de los Españoles that
Bolivia gained independence,
La Paz named this plaza
after him, to commemorate him always. He is remembered as the voice of
revolution across South America.
In 1825, after the decisive victory of the republicans at Ayacucho
over the Spanish army in the course of the Spanish American wars of
independence, the city's full name was changed to
La Paz de Ayacucho
Peace of Ayacucho).
Legislative Palace of Bolivia
La Paz was made the de facto seat of the national government,
Sucre remaining the nominal historical as well as judiciary
capital. This change reflected the shift of the Bolivian economy away
from the largely exhausted silver mines of
Potosí to the exploitation
of tin near Oruro, and resulting shifts in the distribution of
economic and political power among various national elites.
The city in winter, with
Illimani in the background.
Valle de la Luna ("moon valley")
Located at 16°30′0″S 68°08′0″W / 16.50000°S
68.13333°W / -16.50000; -68.13333 (−16.5, −68.1333), La
Paz is built in a canyon created by the
Choqueyapu River (now mostly
built over), which runs northwest to southeast. The city's main
thoroughfare, which roughly follows the river, changes names over its
length, but the central tree-lined section running through the
downtown core is called the Prado.
The geography of
La Paz (in particular the altitude) is marked by
social differences. The more affluent residents live in the lower,
central areas of the city southwest of the Prado. Many middle-class
residents live in high-rise condos near the center. Lower-income
residents live in makeshift brick houses in the surrounding hills.
The satellite city of El Alto, in which the airport is located, is
spread over a broad area to the west of the canyon, on the Altiplano.
La Paz is renowned for its unique markets, unusual and dramatic
topography, and traditional culture.
La Paz is located in the valleys of the Andes, close to the Eastern
split of the
Altiplano region. It is closer to such notable mountains
Illimani (guardian of La Paz), Huayna Potosi, Mururata, and
Illampu. On the Western side of the
Altiplano divide, about an hour to
the west of the La Paz, is the Sajama Volcano, the tallest mountain in
Bolivia and ninth-tallest mountain in the Andes.
In July 1994, an earthquake rated at 8.2 struck just 200 miles
(322 km) north of La Paz. It could be felt near
La Paz and caused
damage throughout the villages of the area.
La Paz (elevation 4,058 m)
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Deutscher Wetterdienst
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
At more than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level, higher
La Paz have an unusual subtropical highland climate (Cwc,
according to the Köppen climate classification), with subpolar
oceanic characteristics (less than 4 months have a mean temperature
above 10 °C), bordering on a tundra climate (ET). The whole city
has rainy summers and dry winters. Night-time temperatures range from
cold to very cold. Snow flurries can occur in winter, especially at
dawn and it usually melts before noon. At these high altitudes despite
being located only 16 degrees from the equator, the city's average
temperature is similar to that of cities such as Bergen,
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, located as far as 60 and 62 degrees from the
The temperatures in the central La Paz, at 3,600 metres (11,811 feet),
and in the
Zona Sur (Southern Zone), at 3,250 m (10,663 ft)
above sea level, are warmer (subtropical highland climate Cwb,
according to the Köppen classification).
Owing to the altitude of the city, temperatures are consistently cool
to mild throughout the year, though the diurnal temperature variation
is typically large. The city has a relatively dry climate, with
rainfall occurring mainly in the slightly warmer months of November to
At 4,012 metres, February and March, the two cloudiest months of the
year, both in late summer, receive a low daily average of around 5
hours of sunshine. Conversely, June and July, the two sunniest months
of the year, both in winter, receive an abundant daily average of
around 8 hours of sunshine.
The seasonally uneven distribution of the year's annual precipitation
often results in destructive mudslides experienced in summer, due to
the excessive amount of precipitation typically observed throughout
the season. At 3,250 metres, the wettest month is January with a
monthly average of 114 mm (4.5 in) and the driest is July
with 8 mm (0.3 in).
The warmest temperature recorded was 27.0 °C (80.6 °F) and
the coldest was −12.5 °C (9.5 °F).
Climate data for La Paz,
El Alto International Airport,
elevation 4,058 m)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst, Meteo Climat (extremes
Source #2: Climatemps.com (sunshine)
Climate data for La Paz,
Bolivia (elevation 3,250 m)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source: BBC Weather
Districts and neighborhoods
La Paz's districts
La Paz's neighborhoods
Amor de Dios • Mallasa • Muela del Diablo • Mallasilla •
Carretera principal Rio abajo
Obrajes • Bella Vista • Bolonia • Irpavi •
Calacoto • Cota
Cota • Achumani • Ovejuyo • Koani • La Florida • Seguencoma
• San Miguel
San Antonio • Villa Copacabana • Pampahasi • Valle Hermoso •
Kupini • Villa Armonía • Callapa, •San Isidro
Avenida cd del niño
Achachicala • Chuquiaguillo • Villa Fátima • Vino Tinto •5
Santiago de Lacaya • Rosasani
Avenida Grl Juan Jose Torres
Munaypata • La Portada • El Tejar • Gran Poder • Obispo
Indaburu • Chamoco Chico • Munaypata • Pura Pura • Ciudadela
Avenida Naciones Unidas
Casco Urbano Central • San Jorge • Miraflores • Barrio Gráfico
• San Sebastián • Santa Bárbara • Parque Urbano Central
Avenida Arce • Avenida 16 de Julio
Sopocachi • Alto
Sopocachi • Pasankeri • Tembladerani •
Alpacoma • Belén • Tacagua • San Pedro • Bajo Llojeta
Avenida Buenos Aires
Main neighborhoods and zones
Buildings in San Jorge, on the 1st District (Cotahuma).
San Jorge, a bustling and modern neighborhood, has the highest HDI of
La Paz skyline from the "Via Balcón".
The Southern District is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in La
Located in the district known as Cotahuma and near Sopocachi, is one
of the main residential and diplomatic areas of the city. San Jorge is
one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of
La Paz and the financial
center of the metropolis, housing international firms like Deloitte,
Bank of America, Ernst & Young,
BBVA and the famous Ritz Hotel. It
is now home of Bolivia's tallest building known as Torre Girasoles,
and the only intelligent building of the country, known as Torre Azul.
The neighborhood is also populated with expensive offices, renowned
restaurants, museums and bookstores. Its Avenida Arce, one of the main
streets of the city, is the highest-priced street in the country and
the one with the most upscale boutiques in Bolivia. San Jorge is home
to the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil,
Germany and Spain. The offices of the World Bank, the
Inter-American Development Bank, the CAF – Development Bank of Latin
America, the Goethe Institut, the
Alliance Française and the Dante
Alighieri Society are also located in this modern neighborhood.
Located in the 1st District (Cotahuma),
Sopocachi is probably one of
the oldest residential neighborhoods, 10 minutes from the center of
the city. Despite the expansion and development of the area, this
quarter maintained its residential property. In the last years, there
has been an important commercial expansion, mainly on the surroundings
of Abaroa Square, one of the many squares and parks of the zone.
Located in the 1st District (Cotahuma), on the right bank of the
Choqueyapu River and built around the "Plaza de San Pedro" (official
name: Plaza Sucre,
Sucre Square), is home to numerous shops,
businesses and small enterprises, especially printing, spare parts and
auto maintenance and repair shops. San Pedro's "Rodriguez Market"
remains as one of the most popular middle-class and oldest of the
San Pedro prison
San Pedro prison is here.
The city's downtown area, in the 7th District, comprising the center
La Paz and principal roads of the city, like Arce Avenue, July 16
Avenue (also known as "Prado Avenue"), Mariscal Santa Cruz Avenue and
Camacho Avenue — the last one being the home of the headquarters of
the principal banks and companies of the country.
Located in the 7th District, is the historic and ancient center of La
Paz. It now houses museums, hotels, shops and buildings as the Mayor
La Paz and the Central Bank of Bolivia. In the Old Quarter is
the Plaza Murillo, which is home to the Government Palace and the
In the 7th District, Miraflores district is separated from downtown by
a long barrel (Parque Urbano Central, "Central Urban Park") and
connected by the Bridge of the Americas and two avenues. Originally a
residential zone, its growth has led it to become a major recreational
center. It houses universities (including the Universidad Mayor de San
Andrés's faculty of medicine), hospitals and the Estadio Hernando
Siles (capacity of 45,000 people).
Located in the 2nd and 3rd districts, it has a significant industrial
activity (mainly food), being the Cervecería Boliviana Nacional
(Bolivian National Brewery) the most significant industry founded by
Germans, and one of the city's biggest companies in the country. It
La Paz with the city of
El Alto by the autopista (highway).
In the 5th district; has less height than the rest of
La Paz (3,200 to
2,800 meters). This area houses some of the most affluent and
exclusive neighborhoods of the city, like Obrajes, Irpavi, Calacoto,
La Florida and Achumani, among others. It has been benefited from
steady economic growth and is now the second commercial and financial
center of the city, housing international firms like Moody's,
Citibank, Aon Corporation, Huawei,
Millicom International Cellular,
Nissan Motor Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Pan American Silver
Sumitomo Corporation branch, Ernst & Young, and the
"MegaCenter", La Paz's biggest shopping mall.
La Paz at sunset, from the "Killi Killi" lookout.
The city of
La Paz has a consistently decreasing volume of colonial
buildings, mostly centered around the vicinity of the Plaza Murillo.
Due to a lack of funds and the inability of property owners to pay for
restorations to colonial buildings, many have been torn down, or are
in a dilapidated state. As historic buildings are more expensive to
keep, land owners find it less of a burden to construct more modern
buildings as opposed to keeping the old ones. Although there has been
an increasing number of projects and propositions to restore some of
the city's colonial buildings, the future of these historic edifices
Central Bank building
The economy of
La Paz has improved greatly in recent years, mainly as
a result of improved political stability. Due to the long period of
high inflation and economic struggle faced by Bolivians in the 1980s
and early 1990s, a large informal economy developed. Evidence of this
is provided by the markets found all around the city. While there are
stable markets, almost every street in the downtown area and
surrounding neighborhoods has at least one vendor on it. La Paz
remains the principal center of manufacturing enterprises that produce
finished-product goods for the country, with about two-thirds of
Bolivia's manufacturing located nearby. Historically, industry in
Bolivia has been dominated by mineral processing and the preparation
of agricultural products. However, in the urban centre of La Paz,
small plants carry out a large portion of the industry. Food, tobacco
products, clothing, various consumer goods, building materials, and
agricultural tools are produced. "The tin quotations from
La Paz with close interest as an index of the country's
prosperity; a third of the national revenue and more than half of the
total customs in 1925 were derived from tin; in short, that humble but
indispensable metal is the hub around which Bolivia's economic life
revolves. The tin deposits of Bolivia, second largest in the world,
... invite development."
La Paz is the home of some of the biggest football teams in Bolivia.
The Strongest : Founded in 1908 the club hosts some of its games
and trains on their home stadium named Rafael Mendoza after Don Rafael
Mendoza, one of the most important presidents of the club. In 1968 an
airplane accident took the life of almost all the players, but Rafael
Mendoza made many efforts that allowed the team to rise again as one
of the most important in the country.
Club Bolivar : Founded in 1925, it was named in honor of the
Libertador Simón Bolívar, the team has won most of the tournaments
national and international championships in the last 20 years. In the
year 1964 was a bad year, and it lost the category, playing the next
year in the second category.
Estadio Hernando Siles
La Paz F.C. : Founded in 1989, the club quickly rose through the
ranks to become the third major club in the capital, only behind in
popularity to the two well-established city rivals.
The city is host to several other teams that play in the first and
second divisions such as:
Academia de Balompié Boliviano
Club 31 de Octubre
Deportivo Municipal de La Paz
Universitario de La Paz
With the exception of Deportivo Municipal and Unión Maestranza, all
the other teams play the majority of their games in the city stadium,
the Estadio Hernando Siles, which also hosts the national football
team and international games. Always Ready frequently play at the
Estadio Rafael Mendoza which belongs to The Strongest, who rarely use
the stadium due to its relatively small capacity.
The city hosts some of the most important universities of the country:
World Ranking 2012 (CSIC Webometrics)
Latin American Ranking 2012 (CSIC Webometrics)
Academic Production(Ranking Scimago Lab)
Universidad Mayor de San Andrés
Universidad Católica Boliviana
Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo
Universidad Central de Bolivia
Universidad Privada del Valle
Universidad Privada Boliviana
Escuela Militar de Ingeniería
Universidad Salesiana de Bolivia
Universidad Nur Bolivia
Simón Bolívar Bolivia
Tiwanaku Square in front of the football stadium
La Paz is an important cultural center of Bolivia. The city hosts
several cathedrals belonging to the colonial times, such as the San
Francisco Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral, this last one
located on Murillo Square, which is also home of the political and
administrative power of the country. Hundreds of different museums can
be found across the city, the most notable ones on Jaén Street, which
street design has been preserved from the Spanish days and is home of
10 different museums.
The home of the Bolivian government is located on Murillo Square and
is known as "Palacio Quemado" (Burnt Palace) as it has been on fire
several times. The palace has been restored many times since, but the
name has remained untouched.
Museums and cultural centers
The former home of Pedro Domingo Murillo, martyr of the independence
revolution of 1809, has been preserved and is now a museum. The house
displays a collection of furniture, textiles, and art from colonial
Museo Costumbrista: Displays ceramic dolls wearing traditional customs
that show how was life in the early 19th century. Also on display are
photos of old La Paz.
Museo Nacional de Arqueología (National Museum of Archeology):
Depicts a collection of artifacts of the
Museo del Litoral (Museum of the Litoral Coastal Region): Displays
objects from the 1879 war in which
Bolivia lost its sea coast to
Museo del Oro (Gold Museum): Depicts pre-Conquest works made of gold,
silver and copper.
Museo de Etnografía y Folklore (Ethnography and Folkolore Museum):
Located in a house built during the late 18th century, it exhibits
customs and art of two ethnic groups: Chipayas and Ayoreos.
Museo del Charango (Museum of Charango): Located in Calle Linares, the
museum displays an important variety of charangos. Other native
instruments are displayed as well.
Museo de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum): Exhibits on
Bolivian paleontology, geology, zoology and botanical elements of
Casa Museo Marina Nuñez del Prado (Marina Nuñez del Prado House
Museum): Displays Quechua and Aymara-theme sculptures by Bolivian
artist Marina Nuñez del Prado.
Museo Nacional de Arte (National Art Museum): Located in Calle
Comercio, on a former palace built in 1775, displays works by Melchor
Perez de Holguín and Marina Nuñez del Prado, among others.
Mercado de Brujas (Witches' Market): Merchandise sold here includes
herbs, remedies as well as other ingredients used in Aymara
Feria de Alasitas: This fair is celebrated for two weeks each year,
beginning January 24. The central figure is a little god of abundance
known as Ekeko, which means dwarf in Aymara.
Museo San Francisco Cultural Center
Churches and cathedrals
San Francisco Church
Metropolitan Cathedral, built in 1835 and located next to the
Presidential Palace, on Murillo Square;
San Francisco Church, founded in 1548 and rebuilt 1784.
Bolivian Presidential Palace, also known as "Burned Palace".
Parque Urbano Central (Central Urban Park)
Achocalla Festival: Occurs during the first week of January.
The city of
La Paz comes together to celebrate this religious festival
with traditional dances, music, and a parade. In Bolivia’s harvest
Achocalla marks the time when potato fields begin to bloom.
People dance the traditional folklore dance known as “tarqueada”
during the festival.
Alasitas is a yearly fair where people buy miniature gifts
and praise the god of prosperity, Ekeko. The fair begins every January
24 and lasts for a month.
February 2: Virgen de Copacabana, (Villa Copacabana)
May 1: San José Obrero (V. Nuevo Potosí)
May 3: Señor de la Santa Cruz (Calvario, Tacagua, Calacoto)
May 13: Virgen de Fátima (Villa Fátima)
May 14: San Isidro, Labrador (San Isidro)
May 17: Señor de la Sentencia (Villa Armonía)
May: Jesus, Señor del Gran Poder (movible, Gran Poder) La Fiesta del
Gran Poder occurs according to the Saint’s calendar. Therefore, it
happens on different dates every year. But the festival typically
occurs during late May to early June. This festival pays homage to El
Señor del Gran Poder. During the festival, over 30,000 dancers take
the streets of
La Paz performing dances with themes that represent
both Aymara folktales and Catholic traditions. The dancers wear
colorful homemade costumes. The Parade lasts all day throughout the
June 13: San Antonio de Padua (San Antonio)
June 24: San Juan Bautista (Valle Hermoso, San Juan)
June 29: San Pedro Apóstol (San Pedro)
July 16: Virgen del Carmen, Patroness of
Bolivia and the Armed Forces
of the Nation Efemerides of La Paz
July 25: Apóstol
Santiago (Munaypata, Pampahasi, Pasankeri,
Periférica, Alto Delicias)
August 15: Virgen de Urqupiña (Urkupiña)
August 15: Virgen de la
Asunción (Villa Victoria)
September 8: Virgen de las Nieves (V. Copacabana, M. Paredes, La
Portada, Achachicala, Alto Irpavi, Cotahuma, Las Nieves)
Virgen de los Remedios
Virgen de los Remedios (Miraflores)
September 14: Señor de la Exaltación (Obrajes, G. de Lima, Bajo
Tejar, Vino Tinto)
September 24: Virgen de la Merced (Cota Cota)
October 7: Virgen del Rosario (El Rosario)
November: Cristo Rey (Pura Pura)
December 4: Santa Barbara (Santa Bárbara, Llojeta)
December 8: Virgen de la Concepción (Kupini, Sopocachi, Achumani)
Automobiles and public transportation are still the main means to get
into the city. In March 2012, more than 1.5 million vehicles were
registered. Heavy traffic is common in the city center and traffic
jams occur on peak hours.
To create awareness of traffic rules, a group of young people known as
traffic zebras dress as zebras to encourage people and vehicles to
obey traffic lights.
The La Paz-
El Alto Highway is a toll road that connects the city of La
Paz with the neighboring city of El Alto. It is the city's main
highway. It allows easy access to
El Alto International Airport. The
highway runs 11,7 km and crosses the city of El Alto:
Autopista La Paz-El Alto/RN-3 (La Paz-
El Alto Highway) - Connects La
Paz with El Alto.
La Paz Oruro/A-1 (La Paz-Oruro Highway) - Connects La Paz
with the cities of Oruro,
Patacamaya and Caracollo. It then connects
with Ruta Nacional 1/RN-1 (National Highway 1) heading south to the
cities of Potosí, Camargo, Tarija.
The Southern District, one of La Paz's most affluent and commercial
neighborhoods, is relatively separated from the rest of the city,
including the CBD. The Avenida Costanera and Avenida Kantutani
(Costanera and Kantutani Avenues) connect the southern district with
the rest of the metropolitan area.
El Alto International Airport.
El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB) is La Paz's national
and international airport and a principal hub for Línea Aérea
Amaszonas and Transporte Aéreo Militar. It also serves as a focus
city for Boliviana de Aviación, Bolivia's flag-carrier and largest
airline. The airport is located in the city of
El Alto and is
(13 km) south-west of La Paz's city center. At an elevation of
4,061 metres (13,323 feet), it is the highest international airport
and fifth highest commercial airport in the world. The runway has
a length of 4,000 metres (2.5 mi). It is one of Bolivia's three
main international gateways, along with Jorge Wilstermann
International Airport and Viru Viru International Airport.
International carriers serving
El Alto International Airport include
American Airlines, Avianca,
Avianca Ecuador, LAN Airlines, LAN Perú,
Peruvian Airlines and Sky Airline, which offer direct flights from La
Paz to cities such as Miami, Bogotá, Lima, Iquique,
Cusco. However, most international traffic, including flights to
Europe, operates out of
Viru Viru International Airport
Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz
de la Sierra which is at a much lower altitude and is capable of
handling larger aircraft.
Airport facilities include ATMs, cafés and restaurants, car rentals,
duty-free shops, and free
Wi-Fi internet. Additionally, the airport
supplies travelers with oxygen for those who suffer from altitude
La Paz Bus Station, originally a bus and train station, was built by
the French architect Gustave Eiffel. It is the main gateway for
inter-city buses with several daily departures to all the main
Bolivian cities, and routes to
Chile and Peru. The city is connected
by road with the city of Oruro from where there are routes to Sucre,
Potosí and the south of the country. Another highway branches off
before Oruro to reach
Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Roads to the west go
to Copacabana and Tiwanaku, near Lake Titicaca, and continue to Cuzco,
Peru via the border town of Desaguadero. There are also roads north to
Yungas crossing the Andes Mountains.
Departures to smaller cities and towns within the department use
informal stations located in Villa Fátima (departures to Los Yungas,
Beni and Pando), Upper San Pedro (for Apolo) and near the General
Cemetery (for Copacabana, Lake Titicaca, or via
Desaguadero on the Peruvian border).
Cable car system
Red line cable car connecting
La Paz and El Alto
Main article: Mi Teleférico
A system of urban transit aerial cable cars called
Mi Teleférico ("My
Cable Car") was opened in 2014. Currently three lines are in
operation, and six more lines are in the planning stage. The initial
three lines were built by the Austrian company Doppelmayr. The first
two lines (Red and Yellow) connect
La Paz with El Alto.
Cable car system La Paz
Communications and media
The postal service is run by ECOBOL (National Company) which has its
headquarters in La Paz. There are other companies offering courier and
transport logistics courier nationally and internationally.
The private telecommunications company 'Entel' is located in the city
and provides telephony, Internet, cell phone, data and voice services.
The telephone cooperative Cotel is responsible for managing much of
their phones and now offers Internet services and cable television
Area Code: 2
Country Code: 591
The main daily newspapers in circulation are: Página Siete, La Razon,
El Diario, La Prensa, Jornada and El Alteño. Other papers of local
importance are: Extra and Gente. There are also several other
publications and weekly magazines.
There are 18 television channels with offices in La Paz. Channel 7 is
state property. The main ones are: Unitel, ATB Bolivia, Red Uno,
Bolivision, Red PAT. Channel 13 is managed by the Universidad Mayor de
San Andres. Two local companies offer cable television service as
Multivision and Cotel TV.
The water supply of
La Paz is threatened by the impact of climate
change through the melting of glaciers. The city receives its drinking
water from three water systems: El Alto, Achachicala and Pampahasi. La
Paz shares the first and largest of these systems with its sister city
El Alto. All three systems are fed by glaciers and rivers in the
Cordillera mountain range. 20-28 % of its water is fed by
glaciers, the remainder coming from rainfall and snowmelt. The
glaciers recede as a result of climate change, initially increasing
water availability during the dry season, but ultimately threatening a
substantial decrease in dry season run-off when they completely
disappear. A small glacier, the
Chacaltaya near El Alto, already
disappeared in 2008. The
El Alto system receives its water from the
Tuni Dam and two water channels. These channels divert water that
flows from the Zongo Glacier on the slopes of
Huayna Potosi and from
Condoriri North of El Alto. The 2.9 km long Zongo glacier
retreats at a rate of about 18 meters per year. The Tuni and
Condoriri glaciers have lost 39% of their area between 1983 and 2006.
According to a study by the
Stockholm Environment Institute
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), the
El Alto system is the least resilient against the impact of climate
change among the three systems. The study says that reducing water
distribution losses is the most effective short-term strategy to deal
with water scarcity. New water sources further to the North in
the Cordillera include the Khara Kota and Taypicacha, but they are
expensive to develop and their water supply is also affected by
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in South America
Twin towns and sister cities
La Paz is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities from
October 12, 1982 establishing brotherly relations with the following
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mexico City, Mexico
Panama City, Panama
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Salvador, El Salvador
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Additionally, agreement was reached by Twin Cities with:
Denver, United States
London, United Kingdom
Santa Ana de Coro, Venezuela
Washington D.C., USA
La Paz is also a member of Merco Ciudades, a group of 180 cities
within Mercosur, since 1999.
Alcides Arguedas (1879-1946), writer and philosopher
Yolanda Bedregal (1916-1999), poet and poet, known as Yolanda de
Rodolfo Illanes (1958-2016), lawyer and politician
Carlos Mesa (born 1953), former president of Bolivia
Víctor Montoya (born 1958), writer
Daniel Nuñez del Prado
Daniel Nuñez del Prado (1840-1891), Secretary of State, freedom
fighter and doctor
Daniel Nunez del Prado 1865
Wilfred von Oven (1912-2008), press officer at the Reich Propaganda
Verona Pooth born, Feldbusch (born 1968), German presenter and
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (born 1930), former president of Bolivia
Andrés de Santa Cruz
Andrés de Santa Cruz (1792-1865), President of
Peru and Bolivia
Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas (1925-2005), lawyer, politician and former
President of Bolivia
Alberto Villalpando (born 1940), composer
Emilio Villanueva (1882-1970), architect
Plaza Murillo with Government and Legislative Palaces in the
Titicaca Lake near
La Paz with the Andes in the background
La Paz view.
La Paz has the highest elevation of any government city in the world.
El Alto International Airport is the highest international airport in
the world (13,325 feet, or 4061 metres, above mean sea level).
Passengers may notice the drop in pressure when the aircraft doors are
Water boils in
La Paz at 88 °C (190 °F).
La Paz has the highest certified Olympic stadium.
FIFA issued a rule
forbidding the organization of official matches in stadiums with an
altitude of more than 2,500 meters because players may be at greater
health risk due to decreased oxygen pressure, but excluded La Paz's
Hernando Siles Stadium from that regulation after intense lobbying by
La Paz central bus station was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the
designer of the Eiffel Tower.
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La Paz (de facto)
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La Paz Department
Capital: La Paz
José Manuel Pando
Alto Beni (Caserío Nueve)
Ayo Ayo (Ayo Ayo)
Coro Coro (Coro Coro)
El Alto (El Alto)
General Juan José Pérez (Charazani)
Jesús de Machaca
Jesús de Machaca (Jesús de Machaca)
La Asunta (La Asunta)
La Paz (La Paz)
Licoma Pampa (Licoma)
Nazacara de Pacajes (Nazacara)
Palos Blancos (Palos Blancos)
Papel Pampa (Papel Pampa)
Puerto Acosta (Puerto Acosta)
Puerto Carabuco (Puerto Carabuco)
Puerto Pérez (Puerto Perez)
San Andrés de Machaca
San Andrés de Machaca (San Andrés de Machaca)
San Buenaventura (San Buenaventura)
San Pedro de Curahuara (San Pedro de Curahuara de Carangas)
San Pedro de Tiquina
San Pedro de Tiquina (San Pedro de Tiquina)
Santiago de Huata (
Santiago de Huata)
Santiago de Machaca (
Santiago de Machaca)
Sica Sica (Sica Sica)
Tito Yupanqui (Tito Yupanqui)
Waldo Ballivián (Tumarapi)
Jach'a Khunu Qullu
Kunturiri (Los Andes)
Machu Such'i Qhuchi
Wayna Khunu Qullu
Wiluyu Janq'u Uma