When traveling to any city one of the most important questions travelers will ask themselves is in what neighborhood to stay. In a city as vast and varied as La Paz this can be a tricky question to answer. From the colorful Centro to well heeled Zona Sur, the neighborhoods in the Paz are as diverse as its people.
To help you navigate your way through the cascading Andean city we’ve put together a neighborhood guide to some our favorite spots in La Paz!
Centro: The “downtown” area of La Paz is actually located uptown, at the bustling center of this hectic city.
In Centro, you’ll find some of La Paz’s main attractions including the Church of San Francisco, the Witches Market and Plaza Murillo. Calle Jean, one of La Paz’s most scenic and historic streets is also located in the district as are some small but culturally important museums.
The area is quite popular during the day and offers a decent selection of restaurants for visitors to chose from from the morning hours until night. Most of the hotels in the area are centered on and around popular Sagarnaga Street with accommodations ranging from shared hostel rooms to more luxurious boutique hotel quarters.
Long the heart of La Paz’s literary and artistic culture, today, the district is one of La Paz’s most youthful and vibrant. Numerous cafes and shops meant to serve the young resident population have cropped up in recent years and because of this commercial expansion the neighborhood is one of the hottest in the city on weekend nights.
Restaurants and businesses here cater to all tastes; foreign flavors and Bolivian favorites are served up in the neighborhood many laid back cafes.
Sopocachi’s numerous parks and public squares are full of La Paz residents from across the city on sunny days. For those looking to stay in the neighborhood during their time in a La Paz, a few well-established business hotels are located in the area.
La Paz’s sports district, famous for its controversial mile-high stadium, Miraflores is a fun neighborhood to spend some time in, especially for those who enjoy a good soccer game.
One of La Paz’s main residential areas, the neighborhood is one of the safest and most traditional in La Paz. A center for sport and entertainment, Miraflores is also home to one of Bolivia’s top medical universities and a growing number of commercial enterprises including upscale shopping malls and movie theaters.
Accommodation options in Miraflores are very limited.
Zona Sur, the Southern Zone, is the place to be and be seen for Bolivianos and foreigners in the know. Upscale shopping centers and world class dining establishments line the neighborhoods streets along with high-end bars and clubs that stay open all through the night.
An increasingly important business district, the area is becoming the center of affluent La Paz life. Chef Claus Meyer’s Bolivian-inspired eatery Gustu, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Bolivia, is located here.
To let visitors know they are in the new hip center of the city, Zona Sur even looks visually different from the rest of La Paz and probably Bolivia. The streets are wide, tree-lined and paved; even on its busiest nights the commotion in the area is far more subdued than elsewhere within the city limits. Not the backpacker’s haven, most of the businesses and accommodations here cater to those with a little more padding in their budget.