La Paz, in Bolivia, is the highest administrative capital in the world, resting on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau at more than 3,500m above sea level. It stretches to El Alto city in the highlands, with snow-capped, 6,438m-high Mt. Illimani as its backdrop. The city’s dramatic setting can be taken in during rides on Mi Teleférico, the aerial cable car system.
Chacaltaya Ski Resort
Chacaltaya Ski Resort was Bolivia’s only ski resort. Unfortunately, the 18,000-year-old glacier it sat on no longer exists. Little remains today of what was once the world’s highest ski resort because the glacier melted, a victim of global warming. There’s been no skiing here since 2005. But the resort had a glorious past, once that included the first funicular in South America to carry skiers to the top. Chacaltaya however does offer spectacular views of La Paz.
La Paz Golf Club
Bolivia is home to the La Paz Golf Club which, at 3,342 m (almost 11,000 ft.) above sea level is the highest grassy golf course in the world! If you’re an avid golfer, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to play 18 holes at this one-of-a-kind course. Weekday rates for tourists are 400 BOB (almost $60 USD) while weekend and holiday rates go up to 560 BOB (about $83 USD) and you will need to book your tee time in advance.
Experienced hikers and mountain climbers may want to give Huayna Potosi a try, but only if they’re fully acclimatized to high altitudes. Located about 24 km (15 miles) from La Paz, this is the most popular spot for hiking in the area. The trek over glaciers is not recommended for beginners, though some have done it. The hike takes two to three days, the first of which is spent practicing for the climb ahead. Mt. Potosi is 6,000 meters (nearly 20,000 feet) high.
Every Thursday and Sunday afternoon the neighboring city of El Alto puts on one of the continent’s most bizarre sporting events, Cholitas Wrestling. A group of hardy Aymara indigenous women jump in the ring and pull off a death defying array of WWE inspired theatrics in front of a roaring crowd. It really is quite the spectacle.
Cycle Death Road
One of the most popular activities in La Paz is the exhilarating and death-defying bike ride along one of the world’s most dangerous roads. If you’re looking for a truly exhilarating, world-class bike ride through some of Bolivia’s most beautiful scenery, don’t hesitate to book a Death Road Tour. Fingers crossed you’ll live to tell the tale!