One of the best decisions Susan and I made was to come two days early to La Paz. The hotel was a lovely place to stay and we were able to walk to any place we wanted to visit. By the time the rest our group arrived, we were well rested and starting to acclimate to climbing the steep hills in high altitude (almost 12,000') La Paz.
The month-long Alasitas Festival started January 24 and we were almost crushed by the crowds. This "Festival of Miniatures" honors Amymara the God of Abundance. It is said that the recipient of a miniature will manifest that in the following year. The streets were packed with people buying miniature cars, houses, passports, and stacks of bills. We stopped for lunch at La Catita and the owner gave me a miniature for prosperity and a return visit to Bolivia.
We enjoyed many coffee breaks but we also visited several museums. Our favorite was the Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore. Exhibits included textiles, masks, ceramics, plumes, coins, metals and mining.
Many residents of La Paz have built their homes on the sides of mountains. One of my favorite excursions was on one of the telefericos used by commuters. We paid 35 cents to take the Yellow Line to its summit at 12,260'. There we enjoyed coffee and donuts with a view.
On our first full tour day in La Paz, we were taken to the outskirts of La Paz to hike in the other-worldly Valle de la Luna.
|Entrance - Enter at your own risk|
|Boardwalks and winding trails|
|Viscacha - related to chinchillas|
|Views of the highest golf course in the world|
|Musical entertainment and yes, the tip jar was more conveniently located|