La Paz

by Lawrence Rubey and A. Bennett Hennessey

La Paz is found in a deep valley from the Highland Altiplano- travelling down from 4060 meters ( 13,100 feet)to 3300 meters ( 10,800 feet) in some of the wealthy southern suburbs (Zona Sur). has a wealth of hotels, something to fit every price range. Reservations are always advisable at the more popular hotels. The hotel Calacoto is a decent option found in the lower part of the city (32 USD for a single room- calle 13 #8009, esq. Sanchez Bustamante Telf 2792524, 2799335- Bennett recommends at the top level El Hotel Rey Palacio, middle level El Rosario ($35/night, an absolutely excellent little hotel! 591-2-245-1658, 591-2-245-1991), and a clean homey Hostel Republica (Calle Comercio 1455 esq. Bueno- Telf. 357966 356617- single room at 15 USD- ask for the 400 rooms). If you want a change of pace from Bolivian food, there is a great place Asain Restaurant called Maphraq on at Calle Hermanos Manchego #2586, Zona Sopocachi Telf. 243 4682. Also for an interesting taste of High Andes Bolivia cuisine try the restaurant La Casa tipica de la Pacena- near old La Paz and the musuem. We recommend IMBEX rent a car for very good service (Av. Montes # 522, telf. 316895).

Leaving the city of La Paz can often be a challenge. There are three principal roads out of the city: the Coroico road through the Miraflores and Villa Fatima neighborhoods to Coroico town; the road through El Alto, past the military airport, and northwest to Lake Titicaca; and the Oruro road through El Alto and south to the city of Oruro. As you exit the city of La Paz on one of these roads, near the outskirts you will encounter a combination toll booth (peaje) and police checkpoint (tranca). Most of the mileage readings to birding sites discussed in the text begin at these checkpoints. To aid drivers in reaching these toll booth/checkpoints and getting out of the city, the GPS coordinates for each are listed below:

Miraflores tranca for Coroico Road: S 16.27.177 W 68.05.750
El Alto tranca for road to Lake Titicaca: S 16 28.517 W 68 16.50
El Alto tranca for road to city of Oruro: S 16 43.435 W 68 11.104