La Paz is the busy, quirky centre of Bolivia. With a population of nearly a million people it sits precariously on the side of a canyon and cascades down to the bottom – possibly the world’s most perpendicular city! At 3,600 metres above sea level it is also one of the highest, with temperatures to match. This is a truly fascinating place but exploring it may sometimes require an extra layer of clothing.
The extraordinary topography has resulted in the recent installation of the world’s longest urban cable-car network, Mi Teleferico. This is one of the great city rides and a must-do on if you are spending any length of time in La Paz. The cable-car views of this spectacular place and the snow-capped, 6,400m Mount Illiman in the background are breath-taking.
In true Spanish colonial style the historical centre is the main square, the Plaza Murillo. Here you will find the massive cathedral, finally finished in 1987 after 150 years of construction and uniquely built on a steep hillside. Next door is the Presidential Palace and opposite stands the Congress Building. This in its time has been a convent, a jail and a university.
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