Enriched with many unforgettable moments and invaluable experience, we bid our farewells to the wonderful land of Peru.
After several successful Perviam treks (Rajucolta laguna – Churp Laguna – Vinicunca – Machu Picchu) we gained some climbing confidence…and we were steadily heading to a land where some of the most challenging and highest peaks in the Southern Hemisphere were waiting to be conquered and marveled upon – Bolivia!
Welcome to La Paz !
However, Bolivia isn’t just famous for its high peaks…
This country hosts the higest capital in the world, La Paz, which stands at an impressive 3640m (some parts reach almost 3900m).
If you were to fly from, let’s say, Lima to La Paz, you would definitely need a few days to acclimatize before you strat exploring and enjoying this intriguing and unique city.
Fortunately enough, we have spent most of our time in Peru usually above 3000m so we were more than prepared for La Paz.
We have arrived to La Paz in the evening so we didn’t quite get the feeling and the proper impression of it’s natural surrounding. But after we woke up, boom:
No matter if it’s in Peru or Bolivia, the Andes never cease to amaze us.
These mountains constantly evoke inspiration and after each climb we feel as if we have matured in a certain way.
In this respect, we consider the mountains to be great teachers…and we have certainly learned a great lot from the Andes.
Exploration of the Andes was the greatest trekking adventure we’ve had so far.
I usually don’t like to over analyze and do a detailed search of an upcoming and unknown destination, but we just had to look into several portals and blogs about La Paz, as we were really excited to see how the highest capital in the world will look and feel like.
Needles to say, we were blown away by the immense natural surrounding of La Paz.
Some of the surrounding mountains look almost unreal…
However, I must admit that the city of La Paz is one of the strangest cities that we’ve ever been to.
For those who didn’t read some of my previous articles from Peru, I’ve talked about the unusually “unfinished” architecture that we came across during our time in several Peruvian cities.
La Paz takes the grand prize of being “the most unfinished of them all” – by far.
The most “unfinished” city we’ve ever been to…
In all our previous travels, no matter the country or the continent, never have we witnessed a town so big (1mil. population) and yet so unfinished.
Literally 90% of the town is made out of “naked” and unpainted buildings.
It’s like being at mega construction site, with 1 million workers that never finish but constantly expand the site.
Some of the buildings did have their front side finished, but they looked so bizarre that it was quite interesting to imagine how the whole city would have looked like, if it ever got finished…
We literally had no idea where did the architects get their ideas from…
To make things even stranger, among all these strange looking and unfinished buildings, La Paz hosts one of the longest cable car systems (10km long) in the world, called Mi Teleférico.
The absolutely best way to explore La Paz!
This system was put in motion in the spring of 2014. and the whole project had costed about 500 million dollars.
It was very interesting to see this high-tech transport system standing in such strong contrast with it’s undeveloped and somehow chaotic urban surrounding.
High tech VS No tech
Once we discovered these cable cars, we just couldn’t get of them.
They offered the absolutely best view of the entire city and “flying” from one neighborhood to another was loads of fun.
We could easily spend an entire day in these cable cars…
We remember thinking “How come this kind of transportation isn’t used more globally and frequently ?” – especially because it took only 30min. to go from one side of the city to another (which would take at least 60min. by car and much more if it was in the middle of the busy day).
Ok, building this kind of transportation isn’t cheap…but if you were to compare this cost with the amount needed for building a metro (almost a billion dollars per mile!)– than 500mil. doesn’t sound too bad…
In our opinion, this was the most elegant version of public transport that we’ve ever came across.
The system is almost noiseless, cheap (0,5 $ per one way ticket !), fast, traffic-jam free, and it offers the wonderful view of the entire city.
Just look at that view…
I realize that I sound like the cable car salesman, but honestly, this beats all kind of different public transportations by a long shot.
Isn’t it better to enjoy a wonderful view and enjoy some fresh air instead of the dark and somehow morbid underground feeling of the metro ?
As we were cable car “jumping” from one part of the town to another, we have noticed a strange rock formation located in the nearby mountains.
Those hills looks interesting…
The formation had looked quite unusual and we have quickly found out that it also had a name, Valle de la Luna – the truly magical and authentic natural wonder in which we’ll dive into in my next article!
See you out there !