Blogs from La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America - page 12


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Copacabana January 13th 2013

My travelling seems to be prompted subconsciously by my school geography lessons and projects I have taught. Lake Titicaca and its relevance to the indigenous Indians was fun to teach, yet again though it is the vastness of the lake that is so striking When I actually saw it - or rather part of it! We had two ferry crossings to make, the first one from Copacabana involved a separate pontoon crossing for the bus, I told my guide that I had photos of my father crossing the river in Africa in an identical manner, Daniel's comment was that the pontoons were very old, they were built in 1950. I didn't say a word! The indigenous leader was the first king - he is seen showing strength with his gesture. There are two islands in the ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Lake Titicaca December 11th 2012

We were not incredibly excited about visiting Copacabana but we had to pass through this highly touristy place to get to the amazing Isla del Sol. We have to admit, we underestimated this little town, although we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. We arrived in the afternoon and it was already too late for a boat to the island. We could not even be bothered with looking for accommodation and we took a room in a very reasonably priced Hotel Colonial just because it was next to the bus stop (100B/15$ with breakfast). We took a stroll around the main road filled with restaurants, bars and souvenir stalls and we were not impressed. We don’t quite understand how people can stay there for a week but hey, it is ... read more
in Copacabana
stunning scenery
very traditional

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol December 8th 2012

After departing Sucre on a shocking bus (don't book with Copacabana 1 Mem, go with Copacabana) overnight we ended up in La Paz again! We were warned by an American couple that they had nearly been robbed, "60 seconds" before we got off the bus. I found this hard to believe as he had his expensive camera dangling from his neck and she had a day pack limply hanging from her hand. They were either idiots or lying, we didn't stick around to inquire further. We headed inside to grab a surprisingly good coffee, papaya/banana milkshake and cake breakfast in the terminal before catching a taxi across town to the collectivio station and promptly juming in a Minivan destined for Coroico. This town is at the bottom of the death road, but thankfully the driver took ... read more
Coca Fields
Northern Isla del Sol

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department December 7th 2012

From Cochabamba to La Paz Let’s admit it. There are loads of stories going around travelers’ world with regards to all the danger waiting for you in South America. Some of the things really happened and some stories were ‘improved’ when passed from traveler to traveler - just like any other good gossip. Safety on night buses might be just one of those things. People are scared to take them, it is a fact and when you hear all these ‘dos and don’ts’ you create an image of danger in your mind immediately. We had already taken night buses in Brazil and Paraguay and they were just fine. I guess it is different in Bolivia because of the rough terrain and road conditions so in Uyuni we faced a tough decision. We contemplated if we should ... read more
Plaza de 14 Septiembre
beautiful colonial church
us and Christo

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz December 2nd 2012

After arriving so early in the morning and with so little sleep the last few nights, we had everything crossed we would be able to check into our hotel! Luckily for us, they were brilliant and we were checked in our room before 7am! So we went back to bed for a few hours to give us some sight seeing energy. La Paz is a city built at high altitude, 3660m! It is built into the hill sides and is really quite fantastic to behold! There are just thousands of houses up the mountain as far as you can see. Although there are specific sights to see in La Paz, a lot of the interest lies in just walking around the streets. It's a really busy market town, and we spent a couple of hours just ... read more
From the bell tower
the La Paz sprawl
local buses


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Coroico November 30th 2012

After a day recovering from the night before and some time spent exploring the city, wandering through the countless markets, steep windy streets and taking in the sights and sounds it was time for some adrenalin. It was time to saddle up and ride death road. The road from La Cumbre to Coroico in Bolivia is known as ‘The World’s Most dangerous Road’, the 64km narrow (just over 3.2meters wide) gravel road runs downhill along precipitous cliffs with up to 600m drops and few safety barriers. In March 2007 a new replacement road opened, this means the old road (the one we would be riding) is now used almost exclusively for cyclists, support vehicles and the odd tourist bus. Prior to this, the roads nickname was well deserved: an average of 26 vehicles per year disappeared ... read more
Road, Winding, Down
1st Landslide
Kitted Up

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz November 28th 2012

After Copacabana the next stop in Bolivia brought us to the country’s largest city; La Paz. Driving into the bustling city on Wednesday afternoon excitement was in the air, back to city life and the possibility of letting our hair down, some drinks and some dancing for later on that evening. La Paz is a massive sprawling city but the centre is quite easy to navigate as it’s pretty much in a grid system, with each street selling a different product, its fascinating to wander down one road where every shop and stall will be selling kitchen equipment, turn a corner and you’ll be faced with stall after stall of hair products…. Makes shopping very easy! The hotel was across from a street devoted to fancy dress shops, so it seemed only right that the evening’s ... read more
Smurf It!
Smurfs Fishing
Smurfs Yodalling

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz November 25th 2012

We ended up in La Paz ahead of schedule (not that we have much of a schedule to speak of to start with) as we had planned to meet with friends of mine here. Ann-Marie and Andrea were on a 3 week holiday and were planning to head to Rurrenabaque via La Paz. We had a couple of days until they arrived and figured we'd follow almost every tourist who comes through here and attempt the death road on mountian bikes. The road runs from La Paz to Coroico and plunges from 4600m to 1600m in around 80km. It was built by 10,000 Paraguayan prisoners of war in the 1930's (Bolivia started a war with it's neighbour to gain access to the ocean, having lost it's costal region to Chile in a previous war. Bolivia lost ... read more
Death Road
Death Road
Cheeky Monkey

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz November 21st 2012

La Paz.. A city at dazzling height, as it spreads out from 3,100m (for the suburbs) until 4,000m. Apparently the UEFA has even made an exception to allow the football stadium used by the 3 local clubs (at 3,637 m) to be used for official international games. The maximum is apparently usually 3,000m, but most of Bolivia is well above that altitude. How I know this? Our hotel happened to be right next to the stadium, and we were considering to go see a game :). However, the 2012 census in Bolivia meant our original plans had to be adjusted a bit.. During the census, everyone needed to stay inside for the full 24 hrs, so no travel was allowed. Therefore, we had needed to push our trip to Uyuni forward, and had another 5 days ... read more
...but completely abandoned for the census
View from our hotel room - the "mile high" stadium

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz October 29th 2012

Puuuh too much to tell... So the first place I visited was Lake Titicaca, with James. Arriving in Puno, we visited the local market to get some breakfast, as this is the only place thats open at 5.30 in the morning (surely will miss that when I return home...)!! Our tour finally started at 7.30am and the first stop was a floating island. Its weird, they are built on floating roots, covered with plants and very soft to walk on, they have to put new grass on them every short while, as it would be too muddy otherwise. The island hosts 10 families, in total about 32 people. There are about 70 floating islands on the lake! And each one of them lasts about 15 years I seem to remember. The president of the island that ... read more
isla de taquile
floating islands
the death road

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