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Bolivia

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My wife is from La Paz, and we try to visit the family in Bolivia at least once every two years. The first thing that strikes most visitors to La Paz is the altitude, of course. The city sits in a bowl high in the Andes mountains, and the altitude ranges from 10-13,000 feet above sea level. Denver may be the Mile High City, but La Paz is the Two Mile High City. The lowlands of Bolivia, including places like Santa Cruz, are much more tropical.
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Distrito 2, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
The Guembé Biocenter is a 60-acre environmental resort/preserve (if that's a thing) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It has a restaurant and swimming pools, as well as extensive grounds that contain a lake, tropical plants, an aviary, and a butterfly...
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San Miguel, La Paz, Bolivia
Okay, so it's hard to find a bad cup of coffee in Bolivia. But if you're in the San Miguel area of La Paz, you can check out the Roaster Boutique. Not only can you get a cup of coffee and a slice of cheesecake, but you can also sign up for classes...
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La Paz, Bolivia, Genaro Sanjines, La Paz, Bolivia
Carnaval will be here soon, and Bolivian Carnaval has a slightly different flavor than what you'll find in Rio, Venice, or New Orleans. Each year schools of dancers take to the streets wearing the traditional costumes of the different departments...
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Jaén, La Paz, Bolivia
Calle Jaén is a pedestrian-only colonial street close to the Plaza Murillo, containing a number of museums and artist workshops. The Marka Tambo peña is also here (Calle Jaén 710) if you'd like to catch live performances of traditional Bolivian...
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San Miguel, La Paz, Bolivia
Ever had Bolivian wine? The Capotraste Wine Bar offers a tasting room downstairs where you can sample their selection of both domestic and imported wines. If you find something you like, you can head upstairs to order a full bottle and some...
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Av. la Bandera, La Paz, Bolivia
From Avenida Sucre, take Avenida La Bandera and then head uphill. Climb the flight of stairs, take a few minutes to catch your breath, and enjoy the panoramic view of La Paz. Be sure to wear sunblock! The sun is strong at this altitude. No...
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Sector "B" Alto Obrajes, La Paz, Bolivia
For some reason, Mexican mariachi bands are very popular at Bolivian weddings these days, which struck me as a bit odd. Then again, people in my country do the chicken dance at weddings, so who am I to judge? On Saturdays you can go to los Puentes...
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Av Montenegro 1560, La Paz, Bolivia
Even if I didn't have family in Bolivia I might fly to La Paz every so often just to eat salteñas, a meat or chicken pie. You can find them just about anywhere in the city, and the only bad salteñas I've had are the ones I tried to make myself....
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Belisario Salinas, La Paz, Bolivia
On weekends paceña families bring their kids to the Plaza Abaroa, a park dedicated to Eduardo Abaroa, a martyr of Bolivia's War of the Pacific. You can pick up a few salteñas at Salteñaria Romero, then cross the street to the park, buy a small bag...
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Belén, La Paz, Bolivia
The San Francisco cathedral was originally constructed in 1549. Take the guided tour of the church (20 Bolivianos per person, or about USD $3) even if you don't speak Spanish. The guide will lead you up to the roof for some great views of La Paz....
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Federico Zuazo 1771, La Paz, Bolivia
One of Bolivia's leading artists, Mamani Mamani, painted this mural on the exterior wall of the Lanza shopping center (close to the Plaza San Francisco). You can also view some of his original paintings in the VIP lounge of the movie theater in...
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La Paz, Bolivia
El Valle de la Luna features an almost extra-terrestrial landscape caused by erosion. There are two circuits through the park, one that takes about 15 minutes, and a longer one that takes about 45 minutes. Both are easy hikes, but hang on tight to...
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Calle 16 No.8009, La Paz, Bolivia
For traditional Bolivian food, the residents around the San Miguel area of La Paz like El Vagón del Sur. I started out with the tucumanas (empanadas with a spicy garlic sauce) and surubi (an Amazon river fish), followed by the picante de pollo...