La Paz Introduction Walking Tour, La Paz

La Paz Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), La Paz

Set amid the Andes over 3,500 m above sea level, La Paz is the most elevated capital in the world. Complementing the city's dramatic setting is the large number of historic, cultural and architectural attractions. This orientation walk comprises several landmarks dating back to the colonial era, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo, the city's unique Witches' Market, and many other notable sights.
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La Paz Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: La Paz Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Bolivia » La Paz (See other walking tours in La Paz)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: valery
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz
  • Sagarnaga Street
  • Coca Museum
  • Witches' Market
  • Museo Tambo Quirquincho
  • Museo Nacional del Arte
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of La Paz
  • Palacio Quemado (Palacio de Gobierno)
  • Palacio Legislativo
  • Plaza de Murillo
  • Iglesia Santo Domingo
  • Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore
  • Museo de Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia
  • Casa Murillo
  • Museo del Litoral Boliviano
Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz

1) Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz (must see)

This building has as its core - the original San Francisco Church - started in 1548, one year before La Paz was established. The church collapsed under a heavy snowfall in 1610 and was renovated in 1784. This church's Baroque frontage is a unification of local and Catholic art, and is abundantly ornamented with original figures, such as dragons and tropical birds. Several traditions and styles merge in the Plaza de San Francisco, which is opposite the church. A contemporary statue of rock columns and limestone in the square facade honors three large civilizations of Bolivia.
Sagarnaga Street

2) Sagarnaga Street

Sightseers enjoy Sagarnaga Street, because they can purchase distinctive Bolivian souvenirs, particularly merchandises made from the wool of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. There is an immense variety of silver jewelry, handicrafts, etc. Wood sculptures are few and far between, as they take a lot of time to carve. A photo mosaic from Sagarnaga Street entrance provides a guide to what all of the shops stock.
Coca Museum

3) Coca Museum

The Coca Museum, as its name suggests, is all about coca and its use and cultivation. The museum provides guides, who will talk about many interesting facts regarding the coca plant, beginning with a poem about the its origin, and explaining the importance of Kokas in the mines of Bolivia during the colonial era. They will also explain the beginning of the coca boom in Europe, the prohibition law of 1914, and tell about the fight against coca cultivation from the 1950s and the consequences of drug use.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 to 18:00
Witches' Market

4) Witches' Market (must see)

The Witches' Market is the most common gathering spot for all locals in La Paz. Situated on Calle Jiminez and Linares, locals go to the Witches' Market to get llama fetuses and dried frogs for Aymara ceremonies, and little soapstone sculptures and aphrodisiacs. Placed amidst the dynamic traveler's market, the Witches' Market displays its clients' herbs, folk medications and a diversity of unique items used to control the many spirits that occupy the Aymara world.
Museo Tambo Quirquincho

5) Museo Tambo Quirquincho (must see)

Museo Tambo Quirquincho is in the oldest building in the city. It has permanent and temporary expositions. Some of the most interesting are the very old carnival masks and silver jewels, as well as contemporary paintings and statues. Also on display are anthologies of colonial silver and Republican old images of the city. Within the museum there is "Amalia Garcia". The courtyard serves as a stage for concerts, trade fairs and other activities related to the Bolivian culture.
Museo Nacional del Arte

6) Museo Nacional del Arte (must see)

The National Museum of Art is one of the most important museums and cultural institutions in Bolivia. The museum was built in 1775, made from pink Viacha stone; it has now been renovated to its former glory. Its floors are devoted to a series of artists: Marina Núñez del Prado's modern statues, the late-Renaissance works of art of Melchor Pérez de Holguín and art works of different and famous Latin American artists. The visiting contemporary shows are displayed outside.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 9:30 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 19:00; Saturday: 10:00 to 17:30; Sunday: 10:00 to 13:30
Metropolitan Cathedral of La Paz

7) Metropolitan Cathedral of La Paz (must see)

Constructed in 1835, the cathedral is an extraordinary edifice well worth visiting. The Cathedral of La Paz is located in the central square, which is Plaza Murillo, named after Pedro Domingo Murrillo, who led a revolution against the Spanish. At the corner of the yellow edifice, adjacent to the cathedral, is the Presidential Palace. The tradition of clustering main edifices around the central square comes from the colonial period. The cathedral was built in 1720, and has both historical and architectural significance for La Paz.
Palacio Quemado (Palacio de Gobierno)

8) Palacio Quemado (Palacio de Gobierno) (must see)

The Palacio Quemado is a commonly used name to denote the Bolivian Government Palace. It is located in the Plaza Pedro Domingo Murillo in downtown La Paz. The building has had many names throughout its history. Its nickname originated from the Presidential Palace that was burned in 1875 during the uprising in the government of Tomás Frías. He had rebuilt and improved it many times since then, but the name has remained rooted in the town of La Paz. The Presidential Palace is located next to the Catedral Nuestra Señora, right of the Legislative Palace, where the Congress of Bolivia is housed.
Palacio Legislativo

9) Palacio Legislativo

This is the legislative center of La Paz and a large, palace-like building close to the Plaza Murillo. This governmental area is adjacent to Palacio Quemado and other historic structures. Along with the many other old buildings and areas, such as churches, streets, and museums, visiting this large government body will help you to understand the culture, traditions, and customs of the Bolivian people.
Plaza de Murillo

10) Plaza de Murillo (must see)

The Plaza Murillo is a romantic, tranquil place to hang out for couples and locals that appreciate the beauty of the colonial architecture, which includes the Palacio Quemado and the Congreso Nacional. There are also several eating places around the plaza and even a theatre. From time to time, you may see exhibitions by local painters, and you meet a lot of native street sellers, shoe shiners, etc. There are always various older Bolivians here, relaxing and having their daily chit-chats.
Iglesia Santo Domingo

11) Iglesia Santo Domingo

The splendid Iglesia de Santo Domingo was built in 1575. It is to be found five buildings North of the central plaza. You can see several statues at the front of this remarkable Baroque structure. The building is more of a bastion than a church. The painted statues are in the pastoral style and give a sense of Mexican architecture. You may appreciate the intricate stonework, which reflects the Baroque style.
Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore

12) Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore (must see)

The Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore is committed to the rich local traditions in Bolivia. They are portrayed as stunning and fascinating dioramas and will make it easy to understand the traditions of the Inca civilization. The best part of this museum is the 3,000 Years of Textiles show, a demonstration of intensely painted skirts, coverlets and wraps used by women to carry their children - each of them being a work of intrinsic value in itself.
Museo de Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia

13) Museo de Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia

This museum houses an impressive, practical assortment of musical instruments and would be of great interest to modern day musicians. This is the pet project of charango-skilled artist Ernesto Cavour and it showcases all types of this Bolivian instrument, which resembles a small guitar. There are other original Bolivian musical instruments here as well. Seven categories include percussion, string, and wind instruments.
Casa Murillo

14) Casa Murillo (must see)

This museum is the former home of the most important freedom fighter in Bolivia, Don Pedro Domingo Murillo. He was hanged in 1810 by the Spaniards. The museum currently houses an exhibition with items from those times. On the ground floor, you can see a glass paneled display case "Plantas Los Calientes", containing Wira Wira and Manzanilla. In addition, there are native costumes and puppets displayed alongside everyday objects. Five beautiful paintings are showcased in upstairs rooms, plus crowns and various objects used daily, and from this time period.
Museo del Litoral Boliviano

15) Museo del Litoral Boliviano (must see)

In this museum you can learn about the lost war against Chile, the so-called "War of the Pacific" (1879-1883). The consequence of the lost war against Chile was a huge loss of land of Bolivia. In addition, Bolivia also had to cede its important sea access to Chile. Bolivia's demands for a separate access to the sea since 1904 in a signed contract remain unclear. In the "Sala de Mapas" you can see old maps with the original borders of that time, as well as books from that period. In the "Sala de Uniformes y Fotografias" are displayed old chests, pictures and uniforms. On the first floor you will also find showcases filled with rifles, pistols and sabers.

Walking Tours in La Paz, Bolivia

Create Your Own Walk in La Paz

Create Your Own Walk in La Paz

Creating your own self-guided walk in La Paz is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
La Paz Monuments Tour

La Paz Monuments Tour

La Paz has a large number of monuments, plaques, water fountains and busts distributed along the main streets of the city, roundabouts and squares. The figures in bronze, marble, stone or other materials, which are placed in plazas, avenues, streets and sometimes in the most improbable corners, can be viewed or photographed at anytime, despite the time of year. A few of the top landmarks of La Paz...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles