From the moment you get to La Paz, the striking beauty of the city’s landscape is undeniable. Cascading down a steep mountain valley, the city lights up against a natural canvas that is immediately alluring and intoxicating. The city of La Paz lays on top clay bedrock, over time which has been mostly covered with Bolivia’s iconic brick construction. However, in the south of the city, about 10 kilometers from the heart of La Paz, the Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley, remains a preserved piece of the incredible natural landscape upon which La Paz rests.
The surreal landscape of the valley seems as if its been stripped from the canvas of a Salvador Dali painting, but luckily for visitors to La Paz, the amazing geological area is very much real. Over the centuries and due to the highly erosive properties of the clay rock, the Valle de la Luna has transformed from a mountain into a breathtaking valley resembling more a work of art than anything else.
Bolivia’s Moon Valley is comprised of hundreds of odd monolithic formations piled high on top one another. In these formations, people claim to see the shapes of various animals and human faces.
In a city known for storied culture and lively markets, the geological wonderland is a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of hectic La Paz. Marked paths throughout the protected area take visitors on walks varying from 15 to 45 minutes in length, traipsing across the crater-like landscape. Remember to bring good walking shoes no matter which trail you decide to explore; the crags that form the Valle de la Luna can be slippery even though they are clearly marked.
So, should you visit Valley de la Luna?
There are unique formations and a nice little walk through the park. You’ll have a chance to take some cool photos and see an unusual landscape, but be sure to manage your expectations. Don’t expect to spend all day there; you can explore and be done with Valle de la Luna in about an hour. A visit to the Valle de la Luna is usually offered as a stop on a more comprehensive city tour. If you get to see it, great; if not, there’s plenty of other great places to see in Bolivia.