La Paz was declared as one of the New 7 Wonder Cities of the World so of course it is a very nice tourist destination for your family. We have to be sincere and say that it is crowded and at moments chaotic, but in the last years has beceme a bit more organized and it is still great to enjoy with the family and learn a lot of this city with the most representative population of Andean cultures of South America, the principal recommendation is not to spend too much time at the hotel, there is a lot to see out there!
Here are our tips for families heading to La Paz:
The cable car trip became as one of the most interesting activities to do in La Paz, the stations are well located easy to reach by walk, very comfortable and the landscape of the city is magnificent during the day and also at night.
The Yellow Line would be the most recommended (try to skip the peak hours from 12 to 2 and from 6 to 8 pm), it starts in the bohemian area of Sopocachi, "goes up" to the city of El Alto and returns to Sopocachi, if you decide to continue with the Green Line you will get to the Megacenter in the southern zone, which is the only mall located in La Paz. If you want to explore more, the Yellow Line connects with the Silver Line in the city of El Alto, whose route borders the spectacular border between El Alto and La Paz and has, no doubt about it, the best panoramic view of the city of La Paz, justifying it´s nickname of "La Hoyada Paceña". Once the Silver Line is over, you have the option of going down the Red Line towards the center of the city or continue on the Blue Line through the city of El Alto. The Blue Line will allow you to observe the well-known "cholets" or representative buildings of the new "Cohetillo Architecture", promoted by the upper classes of the city; this line ends in Río Seco, just 1 hour from the town of Tiwanaku.
This street maintains the colonial time design with beautiful houses and very interesting museums, here there are 7 small nice museums, the most interesting for the kids are the "Costumbrista" museum which has mockups that represent the local activities and republican history of the city. The other museum has a very nice collection and historical information of the musical instruments of the Andean zone of Bolivia, the owner of the museum is the brainchild of the "Charango".
It is a very important place to learn some of the history of the city, it is the political center of Bolivia, from there you can get to see the Congress, the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de La Paz.
Since the pre-Columbian time La Paz is well known as a very important point of commerce and exchange among communities, that is why most part of the city is occupied by local street markets, if you have kids from 6 years and up the Rodriguez market the best option, if they are minors the Sopocachi market it is also small and nice. If you decide to eat some delicious fruits there try to select the ones that you can easily remove the peel to avoid eating something that could not be well cleaned.
The "Salteña" it is the baked empanada from La Paz, the blend of meat, vegetables, and egg in a rich sauce are delicious, there are many local stores where you can buy them around Murillo Square, Abaroa Square (Sopocachi zone), El Prado and San Miguel. Somre restaurants have an special option for kids.
If you decide to somethig without meat Plato Paceño is a great option, cooked with andean corn, large lima beans, potato and fried cheese.
Tiwanaku or Tiahuanaco is one of the oldest cultures in America, its territory comprised the Altiplano in Bolivia, Peru, north of Chile and Argentina. The citadel of Tiwanaku is located 72 miles far from the city, but inside La Paz we can have an approximation the richness of this culture at the Archaeological Museum in the Tiwanaku street close to El Prado, at the Gold museum in the Jaen Street and the Monolith Square located in Miraflores next to the Siles Football Stadium.
The public transport system in the city has the name of "Puma Katari", it is very well organized, with defined stops and good frequencies. It starts in the Camacho Square in the center of the city and goes towards San Miguel and Cota Cota in the south zone of the city.
Unfortunately La Paz does not has many parks as other capital cities in South America, but as the one in the zone of "La Florida", the Cota Cota Lagoon Park is very nice to spend some time at, it has differenced playgrounds for kids and a small lagoon with ducks where you can have a ride with a pedal boat.
It is located in the south zone of La Paz, surrounded by many coffee shops, restaurants, jewelry stores and boutiques, has a relaxed and luxury atmosphere. It is a good place to select a nice place to spend tea time. Also it is good to know that close to San Miguel it is located the Gustu Restaurant owned by the world known Chef Claus Meyer, selected in the list of one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America.
Very nice alternative in the zone of Mallasa, it requires to take a taxi but the 20 minute trip worth it, you will get to see nice landscapes and a panoramic view of the "Muela del Diablo" another iconic mountain that surrounds the city.
Once in the Moon Valley you can choose to make a short circuit of 15 minutes or the one of 45 minutes, the paths are easy for a 5 year old kid, if they are minors the short circuit is the best alternative. It is a requirement that each kid has to be joined by an adult. The zone of Mallasa has lots of restaurants where the "paceños" massively arrive to experience the delicious bolivian typical food.