La Paz and around

La Paz is very proud of being Bolivia's seat of government. In 2007 paceños orchucutos, as they are also known, massively defended this privilege when Sucre, Bolivia's capital, tried to gain back the seat of government through the new constitution that was being drawn up at the time. Being at the head of the country's events is very much in the city's character and although less than in the past, many formally attired government workers can be seen in the centre of town. But it is the Aymara people who give the city its flavour, the chola paceña, in her traditional dress, often involved in commerce.The urban area made up of La Paz and neighbouring El Alto has the most indigenous character in Bolivia, yet La Paz is also quite cosmopolitan, with an array of international restaurants and cafés.

There is often something to celebrate in La Paz, but when the city really comes to life is for its main festivals: Alasitas (last week of January and first week of February) and Festividad del Señor del Gran Poder (May or June).

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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