Urban Trek 1/2-day
URBAN TREK 1/2-DAY
START TIME: 8:30amDURATION: 4 hours
COMBINES WELL WITH: Living History Walk, Hampaturi Ramble, Palca Canyon
Our Urban Trek covers the "top half" of the city of La Paz, beginning in Satellite City, El Alto and descending all the way to the city center. We meet up in the morning at the Plaza San Pedro and head up like sardines, crammed into one of La Paz's trufis.
Once in El Alto, your guides begins the trek with a history of El Alto and its role in the modern-day social, economic and political landscape. Called by some the "Aymara Capital of the World" and by others Boliviaīs biggest problem, El Alto is a dynamic place with surprisingly far reaching influence. Depending on your guide, you may also visit El Alto's new art museum, creatively installed in an old water tower with incredible views.
From Satellite City, the tour descends on foot (of course!) into La Paz, passing through the precarious "hanging neighborhoods" built on the unstable and steep slopes of the valley. As you take in the stunning views of La Paz and the Cordillera Real in the distance (enjoy the glaciers while you can, they are predicted to disappear within 50 years) your guide will explain how La Paz is organized and governed and point out signs of several development projects benefitting at-risk neighborhoods.
Next, after a brief ride on one of those tank-like painted school buses with upholstered ceilings, you are off La Pazīs colorful and complex markets. The market section begins in the black market (no taxes, don't even ask for a receipt) and then passes through the beautiful flower and fruit sections (and just about everything else).
The handicraft section is next and we briefly take you to two Fair Trade craft shops, where you can have a (quick, please!) look at the incredible textiles produced by Bolivian artesans. We do not receive a commission for suggesting the shops we share with you, however we do recommend picking up a few items before you leave, as greater benefits reach the producers.
We finish up near the Plaza San Francisco, unless you care to join us for a Full-day Urban Trek. Check out the description for more details!
*Please see our FAQs for an explanation of our difficulty ranking.