Don’t Miss Out on the Highest Capital in the World
Monday July 26, 2021 - Posted by admin
Learn Spanish in Bolivia, in the highest capital in the world! Book a ticket and discover this somehow underrated yet fascinating city in Bolivia! La Paz has something for everyone!
La Paz is a great destination for Spanish lessons in Bolivia. The city is located in the Valley of the Andes, around 5 hours from the Peruvian border (a 14 –hour bus drive from Cusco. La Paz is the governmental and financial center of Bolivia; there are 2.3 million inhabitants in the surrounding areas (La Paz, El Alto and Viacha). Looking for a great place to take Spanish lessons in Bolivia? Don’t look further!
La Paz is filled with busy, colorful streets and many parks with great views of the city. Situated at over 3,650m this really is a city in the clouds and it can leave you a little out of breath, especially during the first days. Take it easy, stay well-hydrated and drink lots of water (or coca tea). If you are planning any high altitude treks in Bolivia, do it after your Spanish classes in La Paz; the days of your Spanish classes will help to get acclimatized to the altitude.
What to do while you learn Spanish in Bolivia
Here are some activities to enjoy in La Paz during the afternoons while you learn Spanish in Bolivia:
1.) See the city from above by cable car or Teleférico:
The cable car system of La Paz is still under construction, but some lines (red, green, yellow) are finished. It operates at around 4000 m above sea level and connects La Paz to the neighbourhood El Alto. For only approximately one American dollar per ride, you can view the city from above and travel to different parts of the city in short times. Ask locals for the stations or follow the cables hanging high above the city. In 2030, all 16 lines are supposed to be finished.
2.) The extraordinary and unique cemetery:
A visit to the La Paz cemetery is interesting and worthwhile. It can be easily reached with the red Teleférico line which brings you to this astonishingly huge cemetery. For travelers, the rituals and interesting traditions are a worthwhile and unusual experience.
Unlike the famous Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, which is generally reserved for the city’s movers and shakers, this cemetery in La Paz is for everyone. It is a place where the locals come to remember and celebrate their deceased loved ones.
3.) Visit the local markets:
A market you should definitely not miss is the Mercado de Brujas (Witches’ Market, at the corner of the Plaza San Francisco.
This busy, bustling place was originally a place of traditional healing remedies, here you can find a wide array of natural remedies as well elixirs, voodoo charms and dried out llama fetuses.
Although more and more tourists visit the Mercado de las Brujas, it’s still a place you should know, especially if you have are in La Paz to learn Spanish and spend a week or longer here.
Also, El Mercado Rodriguez is the largest food market in the city near Av. Buenos Aires and is worth a visit to experience the many local products and spices.
4.) Discover the barrios Sopocachi and Kantutani:
Before or after visiting the aforementioned places, a walk through these two barrios is something you should not miss, as these colorful and artistic areas have a lot of culture and history. Exploring these places will be unforgettable!
5). Visit a museum or two in La Paz
Calle Jaen is a great place for shopping, eating, drinking and enjoy the Bolivia people and the local culture. Another think you can do here, is visit a museum. Actually, there are five museums on Calle Jaen. Check out the opening times before you plan a visit or ask at your Spanish school in La Paz.
- Museum of Musical Instruments
- The House of Murillo Museum
- Museum of the Coast (about the Bolivia – Chile war)
- The Juan de Vargas Customs Museum (traditional custom and culture)
- Museum of Precious Metals
Some of La Paz’s bigger museums that are well worth a visit, located in other parts of the town, are the Coca Museum, the museum of National Arts, or the Ethnography Museum
6) Take a walk in one of the many beautiful parks of La Paz:
Parque Urbano Central is a park where you can take a stroll above the city´s packed streets. Moreover, Plaza Monticulo (Estación Teleférico Sopocachi) is great for relaxing while wandering through the nice neighborhoods from La Paz and having a beautiful view of the city from the park.
Do yo want to learn Spanish in Bolivia?
Check: Tips for weekend trips in Bolivia from La Paz
- Las Yungas.
This narrow stretch of lush mountainous land is a transitional region between the Andes and the Amazon. You find here cloud forest with thick vegetation and ample exotic wildlife. Many people here to trekking or end up in one of the hotspots of Las Yungas: Coroico.
The classic destination for a weekend trip for the locals, Coroico has warm subtropical climate contrasts heavily with chilly La Paz.
- Take a trip to the famous Salar De Uyuni, the Salt Flats.
You can take a night bus and get that early in the morning, right before jeeps start the 2 or 3 day trip. Uyuni is a place not-to-be-missed! With the night bus back on Sunday evening, you can go straight back to your Spanish lessons in La Paz on Monday
- Las Yungas.
- Explore Lake Titicaca
Visit the beautiful half Peruvian/ half Bolivian Lake Titicaca, the highest navigatable lake in the world. You can walk around in the small town of Copacabana and/or jump on a boat to visit Isla del Sol (both Copacabana and Isla del Sol are on the Bolivian side of the lake)
- Head to Sucre.
Take a bus to the beautiful whitewashed city of Surce, and see one of the best preserved colonial architecture of Latin America. Sucre has a nice climate and there are some great restaurants to visit. Would you like to stay longer in Sucre? Combine your Spanish classes in La Paz with a Spanish language course in Sucre.
Learn Spanish in Bolivia and learn some Bolivia slang!
Bolivia’s slow Spanish is spoken with a simple accent. Bolivian Spanish is known for being among the easiest to understand in all of Latin America, next to Peruvian Spanish.
Typical Bolivian slang words in Spanish:
Capo — Bolivian slang for someone who you think is great!
Charlando — Even though in the rest of Latin America charlar means to have a conversation (to chat), in Bolivian slang, it means to be lying. Claudia me está charlando – Claudia is lying to me Paparupa – When somebody is talking nonsense (maybe because they’re drunk), they’re talking paparupa.
Estar camote — If you travel to Bolivia and fall deeply in love, the locals would say that you are being camote, meaning: you are crazy in love.
estar chuto — to be naked ( estar desnudo in standard Spanish)
lagartear — to laze around
pachanga — (f.) a party
jailón/jailona — (m./f.) a very vain person
huaso/huasa — (m./f.) shameless
Bolivian words that are used in Peru too:
Chela — instead of using the Spanish word Cerveza, you can say Chela to sound like a true Bolivian/Peruvian.
Chupar — It actually means to suck, but in Bolivian / Peruvian slang is used to say ‘drink alcohol’. E.g. ¡Vamos a chupar! – Let’s go drinking!