Notes From: Bolivia

La Paz is the beautiful city in the clouds. It seems overlooked among the great South American cities but it can take your breath away in multiple ways. I was so happy to be back

Catching your breath

You can’t talk about La Paz without mentioning the altitude. It’s the highest major city in the world sitting at 12,000 feet above sea level. When you fly there it seems your plane goes all the way up to cruising level then only halfway back down. And you feel it. 

Luckily we had no sickness but you’re out of breath walking up stairs, putting on shoes, turning around too quickly, etc. (I know this makes me sound old, especially after the bran muffin celebrations, but it happens to everyone. I promise…)

Despite the adjustment, you can’t help but wander out and see the beautiful city. There is a pretty view from every angle. It’s especially fun to ride the telefericos. Built as transportation for the residents, it’s also an incredible gift to tourists. You can see the whole city at just 3 Bolivianos (40 cents) per ride.

Markets and Mountains

We enjoyed the markets including the famous Witch’s Market. As you make your way around, you just take little breather breaks and have plenty bags of water.

The La Paz valley has interesting mountains near and far. We travelled a bit to see Valle de la Luna. But I especially loved seeing the snow covered Huayna Potosi in the distance. It towers over an already high place. It seemed to grab the clouds from the sky and usher them to La Paz. “The City in the Clouds” indeed.

Church on a personal level

We were happy to be in Bolivia for a Sunday so we could attend church with a local ward. The members were so kind and welcoming. (They approached me before the meeting to have me write our family name so they could welcome us by name from the pulpit.)

My dad served a mission here in the late 1970s. I like to see that his work then is still going forward now. The Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to flourish in this country. A temple will soon be built here in La Paz. 

Perhaps that will be a good reason for a third visit…

Notes From” is a series where I share observations from recent adventures. You can read more of these in the “Notes From” category.