La Paz Airport, also commonly referred to as El Alto International Airport, is situated in La Paz, Bolivia. It is an international airport, operating scheduled flights to destinations worldwide. Many carriers serve the airport, including American Airlines, Boliviana de Aviación, LAN Airlines, and more.
The airport is found 13 kilometres southwest of La Paz. To reach the city centre, visitors can board taxis from the airport, which require about 25 minutes travelling time. Otherwise, minibuses take you to central La Paz at less expensive rates; however, note that these minibuses are normally packed, meaning passengers will have to squeeze with their luggage into the vehicle. Stick to taxis for a more comfortable ride, especially if you are travelling with bulky baggage.
In La Paz, many modes of transport help passengers get around. Commute by trufis (minibuses), the locals’ preferred way to travel. It is definitely cheaper than a taxi, but note that routes may seem convoluted to first-timers, as there are no designated stops in the city. Remember to shout the words “Bajo” or “Me quedo aqui” – and pay the driver – when you intend to alight. Alternatively, flag down a taxi from reputable cab companies. Reliable taxis typically display brightly illuminated signs, with their telephone numbers, on the roof of their vehicles. Although drivers do not use meters, rates are quite standard for trips to places within the city centre. Travellers can also explore the city on foot, but this is not recommended for those with altitude sickness.
What to See & Do
At an altitude of approximately 3,650 metres, La Paz is one of the highest cities on earth. For one of the best ways to view the city from above, hop on the Mi Teleferico. The smooth cable car ride, from the centre of La Paz to El Alto, boasts breath-taking views of the city. Passengers can also spot the lovely snow-capped mountains of La Paz from the gondola. An added bonus is that both one-way and round trips are value for money.
For daredevils, the famed Death Road is not to be missed. Mountain biking downhill on this precarious mountain road is truly an unforgettable experience! Judder down gravel tracks, cycle past precipices, and soak in the awe-inspiring landscapes of the valley. Embark on the journey with professional guides, and follow their instructions closely to stay safe on the biking trails.
Another adrenaline pumping activity, sans muscle aches from mountain biking, is going on a 50-metre descent down the Urban Rush Bolivia. Scale down the building, situated at the heart of the city, and glance down at the bustling traffic below you. Here, you can realise your dreams of becoming Spider-Man, as you descend face first using the Rap Jumping method. You can even let go, push yourself off the building, and free fall 6 floors from the bottom.
For a taste of culture and history, visit notable landmarks in La Paz, such as the Iglesia de San Francisco. The ancient church, featuring a mix of Spanish and native architectural styles, dates back centuries. There are also many museums, including the National Folklore Museum and Museum of Musical Instruments, awaiting your exploration.
Plan a trip to La Paz, and enjoy the “highs” this city brings.
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