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La Paz Travel - Getting There & Around
"Arrival & Departure Information for La Paz, Bolivia"
Getting To La Paz
By AirLa Paz's airport is called El Alto International Airport. The airport is above the city, and planes come in fast, due to the thin air and high altitude of 4050 meters. This is the world's highest international airport. When leaving, there is an airport departure tax of $23 for international flights, Bs15 ($2) for domestic flights.
From the U.S. American Airlines leaves from Miami and they stop in La Paz to drop off/pick up passengers and then to Santa Cruz to drop off/pick up passengers and back to Miami again.
From the U.K. there are no direct flights from the United Kingdom to Bolivia at this time, but there are numerous options. U.K. travelers can take American Airlines direct flight from London to Miami, and then Miami to La Paz, Bolivia direct flight. Other options would be to get on a flight from London to Brazil and then Brazil to Bolivia or London to Argentina and then to Bolivia. One more option is London to Lima, Peru and then to Bolivia.
From Australia the easiest way to to get to Bolivia is take Aerolineas Argentinas. They fly from Sydney to Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires, Aerolineas Argentinas offers daily flights to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Another option, but long is take Qantas Airlines from Australia to Los Angeles. Then Los Angeles to Miami and Miami to Bolivia.
From South America Most South American airlines TACA, TAM, LAN, and others serve El Alto Airport as well Bolivia's airline Aerosur and Lloyd Aéreo Bolivia. Gol airlines out of Brazil flies to Bolivia, and Aerolinea Argentina has good deals to Bolivia. There are also flights from Peru to Bolivia.
From the airport, you can get a car to rent. You can also take a taxi or minibus into town, or make arrangements with your hotel to send a taxi for you. The rate for a taxi into the city center is Bs 50 ($6). Shared vans cost about Bs 4 (.50cents). Search for Hotels in La Paz
Getting Around La PazTaxi is one of the easiest way to get around in La Paz. You'll find many taxis driving around in La Paz. Tourist should look for Radio Taxis. Radio Taxi is the safest and most reliable taxi company. Radio Taxis will have a lit sign with telephone numbers on their car. Fares are fixed and are not metered. Expect to pay around 8Bs($1) for trips within the city center.
Trufis are shared mini buses. You'll see trufis everywhere in the city. Routes are indicated on the windshield. Some routes can be confusing to tourists. It is best to take trufis in the center of town because they have straight routes without turns. There are no designated stop for drivers. You have to flag them down for them to stop and to get off yell "¡voy a bajar!" Trufis cost about 2Bs(.25cents)
Walking can get tiring due to the altitude. Most streets are uphill and walking up those will make you feel winded. After staying a few days you get used to the altitude and walking will become easier. Don't try to walk long distances. It is best to walk short distances and know where your going.
Rental Car can run about $25 to $75 per day, depending on the vehicle type. Driving can be tough in the area, the streets can be confusing, there are steep hills and traffic is horrible. If driving outside the city it would be a good idea to get a 4X4 vehicle. Roads are poorly maintained outside of the city. Always inquire about road conditions before leaving the city. Roads are subject to flash floods and landslides. You'll find some of the world's most dangerous roads in Bolivia.
The main bus terminal, called Termianl Terrestre is located just off of Plaza Antofagasta and Avenida Montes, near the upper end of the Prado. Buses coming from eastern and southern areas of Bolivia, as well as international buses arrive and depart at the main bus terminal.
The information office at the bus terminal is open from 7am-11pm, which features arrival and departure information for the many bus companies.
The main bus terminal is a chaotic place and is usually very crowded. Keep an eye on your items and bags. From the main bus terminal, it is a short taxi ride or a 15-minute walk down Avenida Montes to the city center.
Buses going to or coming from the western regions of Bolivia, such as Copacabana, Tiwanaku, Sorata and Charazani do not arrive or depart from the main bus termianl. The bus companies that have connections to these destinations have hubs located around the the cemetery district.
Buses for northeastern Bolivian locations, such as the Yungas, Beni, Rurrenabaque leave from the Villa Fatima district, which is located just off of Avenida de las Americas in the far northeast of the city.
The cheapest and main way of getting out of La Paz to other Bolivian cities is by bus. There is a 2 boliviano tax payable on departures from the bus terminal.
When to Go to La PazAlthough La Paz can be visited year round, April to October is a great time to go. April to October will have the cool, crisp, clear days. Summer is the wet season from November to March. Summer is a bit warmer but heavy rain falls most days and low clouds hover over the region. The city has an average year round temperature of 35-65F. No matter when you go, always be prepared for wind and cold nights.
Remember La Paz ranges in altitude of 4050 meters (13,287 feet) to 3100 meters (10,170 feet). So, Be prepared to feel the altitude. Follow these High altitude travel tips.
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