When leaving Cuzco last year whe had an awesome flight to La Paz in Bolivia. While flying above the Andes you cannot believe all the beauty you see from this height. And the most spectacular is perhaps not the beautiful stewardesses but the landing in La Paz at about 4000 m above sea level. La Paz was established by the Spanish in 1548 in a high valley in the Andes. The city is surrounded by snowy peaks, and its houses cover the mountain slopes. The city’s population is about 1.000.000. La Paz is the biggest city in Bolivia, and is the administrative capital of the country. All the main governmental institutes of Bolivia are located here. A common mistake is to think that La Paz is the capital city of Bolivia. It is not – Sucre is the official capital. The city of La Paz is located over 3600 meters above sea level, which makes it the highest big city in the world. The visit to La Paz requires acclimatization to new altitudes due to the thin air in this height. If you are still not used to heights, then you should spend the first few days in La Paz resting and acclimatizing. Incas deemed this spot the belly button of the world. A visit to Cuzco tumbles you back into the cosmic realm of ancient Andean culture – knocked down and fused with the colonial splendors of Spanish conquest, only to be repackaged as a thriving tourist mecca. Yet Cuzco is only the gateway. Beyond lies the Sacred Valley, Andean countryside dotted with villages, high altitude hamlets and ruins linked by trail and railway tracks to the continent's biggest draw – Machu Picchu.
Play the video made of the flight from Cusco to La paz :
The witch market
At first, La Paz may seems likes a modern city, but after a short walk through the narrow streets this impression vanishes. Different stands full of every item that a witch might need fill La Paz’s little witch market. In case you are looking for dried llama’s embryos, armadillo’s bodies or frog powder, then you reached the right place. What are those things used for? The llama’s embryos are thrown into the foundations of every new house (99% of the houses!) in order to protect the house and those who lives in it. Burnt llama’s embryos on a plate, together with herbs and sweets brings luck to business. Frog powder bring money and dry frog with a cigarette in its mouth brings even more.
The Death Road to Coroico
The distance between Coroico and La Paz is only 70km, but the road to Coroico starts on a summit near La Paz, 4633 meters above sea level, and heads down to 1700 meters above sea level, A 3300 meters descent. Not only that the road is extremely steep, but it is also narrow, muddy, and has steep drops of over 1000 meters instead of margins. A recipe for disaster! And disasters indeed occurre – and that is why the road got its name – the Death Road. The Death Road got its name after 8 Israeli travelers were killed in a jeep accident on that road in December 1999. The sceneries on the way, however, are breathtaking, and the adrenalin is pumping. In the future, a paved road is planned to replace the Death Road. At the end of the Takesi trail we had to take that road to get back to La paz.
Play the video while driving on the road in august 2004 at the end of the Takesi trail and heading to La Paz :
Death Road Coroico
Image gallery La Paz