Altiplano: La Paz, Potosí and Oruro

Travel information


It is home to the world's highest government (is 3650 masl, 300 masl to the city of Cuzco - Peru) and is characterized by a personality unequaled among Andean cities, because the conjunction cultural, religious and political has marked throughout its history. Its location in a basin at the foot of Mount Illimani, the highest mountain and sexy Cordillera Real de los Andes, allows its inhabitants to enjoy incredible and diverse landscapes surrounded by mountains and buildings.

The city of La Paz was founded by Spanish colonists in 1548 under the name of "Nuestra señora de La Paz", referring to the end of a civil war developed between two Spanish sides. This foundation took place in the village of Laja, 35 km in what is today the city of La Paz. Due to inclement weather the Altiplano, three days after the city moved up the river valley Choqueyapu, warmer and populated.

Today La Paz is the most cosmopolitan city in the Andes, with nearly 1 million inhabitants, which in its agglomeration includes two cities, El Alto and La Paz, which coupled with its population of over one million and a half. The city of El Alto is a city record for being the youngest in the country, the high population growth, housing the largest informal fair country (The Fair July 16) and the most influential in recent policy years.

Attractions in the city of La Paz: The Murillo Square, the Witches Market and the Moon Valley, among the most important. Another facet of the city located in the bohemian neighborhood of Sopocachi, with a multitude of bars and cultural centers. Additionally, admire one of the central features of daily life in the city, visit fairs and markets, one of the most important is the Rodriguez market, in the district of San Pedro, very busy during the weekends.

From the city of La Paz are natural wonders like Titicaca Lake and the Madidi National Park, and the most important archaeological site of Bolivia: Tiwanaku. As for adventure tourism the most visited attraction is the "Death road" to Los Yungas - Coroico, where he performs on a mountain bike descent. The proximity of the city of La Paz to the Andes that allowed to pass into snowy mountain climbers as Huayna Potosi and the Group attracted hikers Condoriri and Pre-Columbian Roads of Choro and Takesi.


It is the capital of the department of Potosi, the city is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level making it the highest city in the world. It rests at the foot of the hill "Sumaj Orck'o 'or' Cerro Rico', argentiferous mountain that was the most important in the world of the colony, gave rise to most of the silver used by the Spanish crown. According to official records, extracted 45,000 tons of pure silver from Cerro Rico between 1556 and 1783.

Potosi was founded in 1546, generated enormous wealth rapidly, becoming one of the largest cities in the world at the time, with a population of over 200,000 inhabitants. Tradition says that the amount of silver that the Spanish conquistadors found was enough to build a bridge constructed completely silver from Potosi to Europe.

During the battles for the independence of Bolivia, much of the wealth was looted or transferred to Europe or other parts of Spanish rule. By then the population was no more than 10,000 inhabitants.

Like Sucre, Potosí is also on the list of World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Attractions: The mines of Cerro Rico, The Mint, Cloister of Santa Teresa.


During the colonial city founded in 1606 as a silver mining center in the Urus region, was originally called "Villa de San Felipe de Austria". Oruro in 1781 led to the first cry for freedom in Latin America, expelling the Spanish and declaring the town as an independent.

Today is one of the smaller cities of the country, however retains its attractive European design aspect of the time, the most important activity is the Carnival of Oruro, declared in 2001 as a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Huamanidad" by the great religious and cultural value that unfolds during two days of privateering.

Among the most imporant dances presented in the Carnival of Oruro to be mentioned is "La Diablada", which originated in ancient Andean cult to be malignant, which was later adapted to the devil from the colony, from the Catholic vision.

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