A Modicum of Peace: La Paz Holidays
La Paz is literally translated into English as “The Peace” and this is quite an appropriate name for the capital and largest city found within Bolivia. While originally established as a colonial trading centre during the Spanish occupation, La Paz is now an internationally know city and its rich culture has proven to be attractive to to tourists from around the world. An amenable climate and a proximity to natural beauty only serve to further strengthen the appeal of this ancient (and yet modern) city. Let’s take a look at what you can expect during your stay so that you will be able to plan your trip accordingly.
What Attractions are Found Within La Paz?
As this city is considered to be the most important within Bolivia, there are a number of massive churches to experience. Perhaps the most majestic of these is the San Francisco Cathedral, as its architecture can be dated back to colonial times. However, the main attractions associated with La Paz tend to involve its wealth of museums. Some of these include (but are certainly not limited to):
• Museo Costumbrista
• The National Museum of Archaeology
• The Gold Museum (gold was an is an important export associated with Bolivia).
• The Museum of Charango
• The National Museum of Art
• The Ethnography and Folklore Museum (an amazing window into the past culture associated with La Paz and Bolivia as a whole).
It is also important to point out that much like the many other capitals associated with Latin American nations, La Paz is associated with several annual festivals. The most important of these is the Festival de Alasitas. This fiesta is celebrated for two weeks every year and it generally begins on or around 24 January. There are likewise many open-air fairs located within the city centre. These will provide you with means to purchase a few local souvenirs as well as to mingle with the local townspeople.
In terms of peace and tranquillity, there are many natural excursions which will be able to take you deep inside the nearby jungles. As the city itself is located within the valley of the Andes mountains, spectacular views are not far off. However, please note that travelling to the mountains themselves will normally require a guided tour; many of the regions are off limits. The same holds true for natural splendours such as Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) and the Altiplano region (a large expanse of high plains). Whether you have been looking for peace or cultural immersion, La Paz will not disappoint.
What Should You Take Into Account?
As with any city found within Latin America, it is always wise to learn a bit of basic Spanish. Even a few words will travel a long way and the locals will be appreciative of such an effort. The other main concern is the weather; it is best to avoid the rainy season (generally between September and January). The best time to visit is normally during the early spring (northern hemisphere). The temperatures are agreeable and the chances are high that you will not encounter much inclement weather during your stay.