Aiayu on tour: La Paz Bolivia

Aiayu on tour: La Paz Bolivia


Our Bolivian connection is more than a story about working with a remarkable material. It’s also the story about working in a unique country with unique people. Through the years Aiayu has made several trips to Bolivia, visiting our suppliers and talented artisans. We have been met by a beautiful country, that has managed to preserve its unique soul, natural treasures and charming cities, and we have loved every single trip.

Go with Aiayu on tour as our founder Maria Høgh Heilmann shares her best tips for the Bolivian pearl La Paz – a city located in 4000 meters height above sea level.

A city that will take your breath away.


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sleep tight

When choosing a hotel in La Paz, make sure to do your research. Due to the height difference and many impressions it’s worthwhile booking a nice hotel that you can look forward coming back to – it will be your oasis for the trip. That being said, everyone should make sure to go to La Paz – an inspiring city that stimulates all senses. Los Pacenos, as the residents are called, are the sweetest and most decent people.

New hotels are constantly emerging in La Paz, but we usually stay at Atix (Calle 16 No. 8052) or Casa Grande (Calle 16 No. 8009), both in the Calcoto area at 3,200 meters altitude – a little further down than downtown La Paz which helps if you are experiencing discomfort. At Casa Grande you they have great food and the atmosphere at Atix is also lovely. Both hotels are located close to the San Miguel neighborhood – a very cosy area with small authentic cafes and small local gems. Make sure to visit Crafted Burgers N’Beers (Jose Maria Zalles No. 910) within walking distance from Gusto.


eat & drink

Within the last 10 years, La Paz has gone from not having any restaurants worth writing home about to being home of many gastronomic gems. The front runner Gusto (Calle 10 No. 300) is worth a visit and the same goes for The Bronze Coffeebar (Plaza Tomas Frias 1570), where you can get the world’s best coffee – nothing less! Try a ‘Geisha’ or The Presidential’ served in cognac glasses. Downtown La Paz and close to the Bronze Coffeebar is another must-do; Ali Pacha (Calle Colon No. 1306) – a small aesthetic lunch place that serves local produced food.

on the road

In Bolivia all climate zones are represented, and the country is filled with places worth experiencing. You can travel to the jungle and experience rainforest and coffee plantations or go to Uyuni and experience the salt desert and the Atacamo desert. In the desert you will reach a 5,000 meters altitude and be far away from everything. Experiencing the vast salt marshes is a unique experience as well goes for driving around the world of the llamas. Arm yourself with patience and prepare for many hours of driving through rough terrain. I promise you will reach one of the most beautiful nature experiences out there!


do as the locals

  • Make sure to respect the altitude and drink lots of koka-tea! The tea has a mild taste and helps prevent the side effects from the height difference. The locals have chewed koka leaves for generations, which prevents discomfort and catching a cold.
  • La Paz is not the place to go on a shopping spree. However, the city contains so much more. It’s a very authentic, colourful and unspoiled destination. The best way to enjoy La Paz is to put your own needs a side, be present and look around you in order to discover the city, its people and many unique experiences. Make sure to go and watch the sun set over Lake Titicaca from the Altiplano.
  • Walk around the streets of La Paz or drive to one of the nearby towns and take in the many impressions; Go to a market in El Alto, visit the souvenir streets and Saganaga around the Baroque San Francisco Church (Plaza San Francisco).
  • Go with the ‘teleferico’ – a lift system that connects all areas and altitude zones of La Paz. The lift offers a great view of the city and its neighborhoods. Make sure to ride with all lines, so you will get the full experience. For instance, the purple line will give you the best view of the famous Cholets – houses built by the indigenous population the Choliths.