La Paz is Bolivia’s administrative capital and situated high in the valleys of Andes at an elevation of 3,660 meters, it is the world’s highest capital city.
Officially known as Nuestra Senora de La Paz, the city was built in a canyon created by the Choqueapu River and founded on October 20,1548 by Spanish settlers as a commercial city with its strategic position on trade routes to the coast for gold and silver. In 1898 it became the seat of the government and paved the way for its robust development as the prime city of the country.
Busy and populous, La Paz can be said to be at the heart of Bolivia’s culture and commerce – it has the big businesses, production plants, indigenous markets, hotels, restaurants, universities, museums and other sites of historical significance. It is home to the world’s highest golf course, football stadium and landing strip. Casco Viejo is La Paz’s historic and ancient center where the Central Bank of Bolivia is situated, and home to the Government Palace and the National Congress.
The Northern District is predominantly an industrial zone where most plants are located, including the Cerveceria Boliviana National (Bolivian National Brewery). The Southern District houses the more affluent businesses and residential areas such as Calacoto, La Florida and Achumani. It is also where Mega Center, Bolivia’s biggest shopping mall can be found.
Visitors to La Paz will not be lacking of things to do or places to see. There’s the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), the well-preserved Calle Jaen where one can visit 10 museums, the Muela del Diablo (Devil’s Tooth), along with its numerous interesting local markets like the Mercado de Brujas (Witches’ Market).