Where To Stay In La Paz, Bolivia | The A-Z Guide
Curious where to stay in La Paz, Bolivia? Then you're in the perfect place.
In this in-depth guide, you'll find everything you need to know about the best neighborhoods, bumping nightlife, and where to find walkable barrios in the city.
We'll also take a look at some of the best hotels in La Paz, Bolivia.
For those looking to visit this underrated tourist hotspot in South America, the info inside this “A-Z” guide is sure to make your time in Bolivia so much smoother.
Te lo juro.
But before we go too deep, here’s something for folks looking to find the perfect neighborhood and grab a hotel tan rapido:
The Best Neighborhood in La Paz, Bolivia...
Sopocachi boasts the city’s most boisterous bars and clubs, best cafes, and ritziest restaurants – and none of which will cost you an arm or a leg. It’s also got the prettiest plazas, the most pedestrian-friendly footpaths, and the safest streets. The neighborhood is relatively flat and easy to navigate on foot, so you won’t struggle hiking uphill with the high-altitude air.
Things to Do:
- Enjoy a Wild Night Partying - You'll find some amazing nightlife in this area. Te lo juro.
- Go for a Ride on the Teleferico - This is the absolute best way to catch stunning views of the city, and it's easy to reach from this neighborhood.
- Watch a Female Wrestling Match - WWF-style "slog-a-thon" where burly Aymara women perform an array of death-defying acrobatic stunts. It’s silly, it's violent, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Those hotels are more than solid and in my absolute favorite part of La Paz, Bolivia. Highly, highly recommended. If you’re heading to La Paz for the first time, I wouldn't stay anywhere else if you can swing it.
But if you’re looking for a more in-depth look into things here, then keep on reading this bad boy.
Below you'll find a deeper overview of La Paz and where to stay in the city. I'm talking information like:
Table of Contents
Where to Stay in La Paz | Best Locations + Hotels
If you’re anything like me, you want to stay in a happening neighborhood chock full of cool clubs, pubs, and restaurants. You crave a walkable barrio with plenty of easily-accessible action–sans the noisy, traffic-choked streets.
And trust me when I say, La Paz has no shortage of noisy, traffic-choked streets. I'm talking truly “third-world” traffic type of streets that you'd do best to avoid. For a small-ish city, traffic can be annoying.
But you also don’t want to be too far from the city center…
You don't want to be too far from the action. You want a walkable area. You’ve got to be able to jump in a taxi to do your touristy tings' without the hassle of a 30-minute commute.
So if you’re anything like me, the best place to base yourself in La Paz is the wonderful neighborhood of:
The neighborhood isn't too big and can be walked in about 20 minutes — give or take. So there's not exactly a best part of Sopocachi. It's all pretty damn good to me.
I'm talking right around here:
You'll find a highly walkable neighborhood here filled with bars, clubs, restaurants, and a few nice parks. There's also a couple cool tourist trips that start from here — including taking a ride on Mi Teleférico, what would be the longest cable-car system in the world.
And the absolute best hotel I found in this area?
Aka the best hotel in my favorite part of La Paz, Bolivia:
Best Neighborhoods in La Paz, Bolivia
For many travelers, the first glimpse you’ll get of La Paz is on the bus coming in from Peru. You're cruising through the desolate altiplano highlands in some shitty overcrowded minivan when all of a sudden you reach the valley rim and a vast cityscape unfolds beneath you.
It’s a hell of a sight to behold.
The haphazard urban sprawl clumsily clambers down a steep bowl-shaped canyon several hundred meters deep. Clandestine redbrick houses cling to every conceivable cliff, while a string of modern high rises cut straight through the center in a glitzy 21st-century display.
But despite the monumental first impression, La Paz is actually pretty small. The city only hosts a modest one million inhabitants, with another million or so living in the satellite of El Alto just above. Given its slapdash town planning and outrageously impractical topography, this isn’t a particularly easy city to get around. Narrow colonial-era streets mean traffic crawls at the best of times.
On top of that, you won’t want to be doing a whole lot of walking your first few days because the city sits at a queasy 12,000 feet (3,600+ m) above sea level–enough to literally take your breath away.
As you can see, it’s crucial you carefully consider where you want to stay in La Paz. So let’s take a look at the best spots to base yourself to make the most of your time in the ciudade más loca de américa del sur.
We’ll check out my personal fav, of course, plus a few other options to cater for every kind of traveler:
#1. Sopocachi – Walkable with great restaurants and nightlife
Why do I love Sopocachi? I’m glad you asked, jefe.
It might be the bohemian heart of the city, but you don’t have to be a soy latte-swilling hipster to jibe with this dope zona. Sopocachi boasts the city’s most boisterous bars, sweatiest clubs, chicest cafes, and ritziest restaurants–none of which will cost you an arm and a leg.
Bolivia is cheap, baby!
It’s also got the prettiest plazas, the most pedestrian-friendly footpaths, and the safest streets after dark. Best of all, the neighborhood is relatively flat and easy to navigate on foot, so you won’t have to bust a lung hiking uphill in the thin high-altitude air.
Getting into the center is a cinch, just jump into any taxi or minibus heading northwest. Better yet, hop on the Mi Teleferico cable car to glide through the sky en route to El Alto, Zona Sur, or El Centro.
Another Amazing Hotel in Sopocachi: Stannum Boutique
We talked about the Ritz above, but Stannum Boutique is amazing too. An oddball mix of New York chic and Andean flair, this high-rise boutique is ballin’. Each luxurious room comes complete with a sleek minimalist style and soft fluffy white bedlinen, ensuring you'll enjoy a super comfortable stay.
The best bit? You’ couldbe perched on the 12th floor so you’ll get plenty of time to soak up those epic mountain views. Upstairs is an uber-cool cocktail lounge and restaurant with tasty food, while you’ve got all the trappings of modern living in the shopping mall down below.
#2. Centro – Closest to the city’s main tourist attractions
Loads of travelers will tell you La Paz is noisy, chaotic, and dirty. And while I wouldn’t say they’re lying, I would bet my bottom dollar that they stayed in centro.
When I say centro, I’m referring to the area immediately around Plaza San Francisco. Avenida Perez cuts right through the middle, and the historic city center extends uphill on both sides.
To the north, you’ve got the government section with all its grand buildings, pompous plazas, and state-sponsored galleries and museums. Head south and you’ve got the tourist ghetto of Calle Sagarnaga with its endless alpaca stores, half-assed hawkers, and western-orientated eateries. It's Gringolandia, through and through.
And while centro leaves you nice and close to the city’s cultural, touristic, and historic highlights, there’s no denying that it is…well, noisy, chaotic, and dirty.
Now, having said that, the pollution and the crowds aren’t all that bad. Hell, I’ve certainly seen worse. And most importantly, this is the place to be if you're short on time and sightseeing is your number one priority in La Paz.
Best Hotel in Centro: Hotel Rosario
An oldie and a goodie, Hotel Rosario has been raking in the rave reviews from well-heeled travelers since time immemorial. A quaint colonial-era courtyard, vibrant Andean inspired artwork, and a tasty in-house restaurant make this plush hotel a quiet and pleasant respite from the mayhem outside.
#3. Zona Sur – Upmarket option away from the city centre
Remember when I said Sopocachi had the chicest cafes and the ritziest restaurants? I lied.
That honor goes to Zona Sur, the wealthy part of La Paz, where Bolivia’s economic elite gather to escape the incivility that afflicts downtown.
Zona Sur lies to the south of the city center, as the name implies, and incorporates a wide range of different barrios. San Miguel, Calacoto, and Achumani are the most well-known, all of which are distinctly upmarket. San Miguel’s Avenida Montenegro serves as the epicenter of it all, a lively circular strip that’s home to La Paz’s most stylish culinary and nightlife venues.
Zona Sur sits several hundred feet below the city center, which means it’s warmer and easier breath the air. On top of that, it’s cleaner, safer, and less crowded than the rest of La Paz — and even the women are hotter…seriously!
So what’s the catch?
Zona Sur is like a bubble for Bolivia’s wealthy ruling class. You’ll see more Spanish descendants than native Aymara here, so it’s missing that unique Bolivian atmosphere which makes La Paz such an awesome place to visit.
It’s also about a 30-minute taxi ride, when the traffic’s good, from downtown, which makes it a little too inconvenient for your everyday traveler to enjoy. Nonetheless, Zona Sur is a top spot to be if you’re suffering badly from the ill effects of altitude. It's also a top spot if you’re only interested in associating with the upper echelons of Bolivian society.
I also would recommend staying in this area if you're living in La Paz.
Best Hotel in Zona Sur: Atix Hotel
Situated in a prime spot in the heart of Calocoto, this 5-star hotel is ideal for art-aficionados and those who appreciate quality design. As Bolivia’s first Design Hotel, Atix has been lovingly decorated with curious artwork from local legend Gastón Ugalde, A.K.A the Andy Warhol of the Andes. Chic architectural design, sweeping city views, and an award-winning restaurant enhance the cosmopolitan vibe.
#4. San Pedro – Authentic Bolivian neighborhood near the city
Folks who want to base themselves in a non-gentrified Bolivian barrio without the danger and seclusion that the upper regions of La Paz entail might consider San Pedro.
The former working class suburb is gradually working its way upmarket. But for now, it’s still refreshingly Bolivian–warts and all.
The best part is it’s wedged right between El Centro and Sopocachi, making it a viable option for those who want the best of both worlds…at a reasonable price point.
Best Hotel in San Pedro: Altus Hotel
Situated directly across the road from the leafy Plaza San Pedro, you’ll love watching the neighborhood action unfold from your private balcony. A funky blend of contemporary and Andean design adorn the rooms, which boast enough quality amenities for a super comfortable stay.
#5. Miraflores – Modern living in the center
If you want to immerse yourself in Bolivian culture away from the gringo crowds, then Miraflores is another excellent option near the center.
The middle-class suburb has a bunch of modern high-rises with cheap apartments to rent by the day or month, and there are heaps of local eating and drinking options in the vicinity.
I wouldn't recommend this area for Bolivia beginners or those on short trips in La Paz. However, if you've spent some time in the country and know you way around, Miraflores is a solid choice and easy on the budget too.
Best Hotel in Miraflores: Hotel LP Columbus
Smack bang in the heart of Miraflores and decked out in a whitewashed minimalist style, Hotel LP Columbus is the neighborhood's best place to stay. The modern lodging offers better value than similar central hotels and comes with a super tasty buffet breakfast.
Top 3 Budget Hotels in La Paz
Above you won't find much in the way of budget options, as I tried to select some of the absolute best hotels in La Paz. Not that there's anything wrong with budget options, I just wanted to offer you the “best of the best” when talking about where to stay in La Paz.
I know some of you might be looking for a few options that are a little lighter on the budget. Hell, you might even want to try out a hostel.
So below you'll find three of the best budget hotels in La Paz, including a couple hostels:
This funky international franchise has been making waves all over Latin America for its bohemian-centric lodgings and digital nomad vibes.
They recently opened an outlet in Sopocachi, my favorite neighborhood in La Paz.
Aside from offering backpacker dorms, Selina targets the digital nomad crowd and offers great private hotel rooms — with a wide scale of amenities.
So you might even meet a fellow online hustler or two.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy the social side of hostel life, but need to get some work done too!
Loki might be better known around South America for its rowdy party hostels, but this branch takes an entirely different approach. Set in a grand colonial building in the city center, the stylish budget boutique offers high-end accommodation at an affordable price.
You'll still sure to find some partying here, but this La Paz Loki is sure to offer a little classier vibes than those you'll find in Peru.
Decent spot for the under-25 crowd that's rolling with a “non-backpacker budget” already.
For a cool budget-friendly hotel in the heart of Sopocachi, you can’t go wrong with Rendezvous. Despite what the name may have you believe, it’s actually all about the private rooms here, most of which are spacious and elegantly adorned. Drop by the attached French restaurant for a delicious gourmet meal.
One of the better budget options I've seen when talking La Paz hotels.
Apartments in La Paz, Bolivia
If living in a hostel or hotel in La Paz isn't really up your alley, don't worry, jefe. There's also a variety of apartment options to be found throughout the city these days. In fact, if you plan to stay for more than a month in La Paz, you'd probably do yourself some good by finding a place that also has a kitchen.
Luckily, I found one spot that I believe to be ideal in that regard. Where's that? Well…
This is the best apartment option I've found for stays of under one-month in La Paz.
Located right next to the Sopocachi Teleferico Station, this apart-hotel is in one of the premier locations in all of La Paz. You have tourism right on your door step here.
Not only that, the spot offers modern design, full kitchens, and an included breakfast. Talk about a deal!
You'll also find numerous apartments on Airbnb in La Paz, Bolivia.
While there are many great options for finding an ideal Airbnb rental in the city, I'd start with hotels or apart-hotels when looking for where to stay in La Paz.
This is especially true if you're only in town for less than a few weeks.
I found hotels to be absolutely ideal in La Paz on shorter trips, as there's so many ideal hotel options in great neighborhoods and at reasonable price points — which isn't always the case.
If you're for sure looking to stay at an Airbnb apartment though…
Quick Trip vs. Living Full-Time?
How long you’re going to be there will change where you should stay in La Paz.
Only got a few days and just want to get some sightseeing done? Centro is going to be the best option for you.
If you’re living here, though, you’ll want somewhere a bit more chill. A lot of older long-term expats base themselves out in Zona Sur for the warmer climate, fancier schools, and heightened security – all important things when you’re living in the city long-term and/or trying to raise a family.
The younger contingent tends to hang out in Sopocachi because it’s bopping with gringo-friendly bars and clubs. You’ll meet all kinds of temporary and long-term foreign residents here:
- NGO workers
- Language teachers
- Digital nomads
- Locals from all walks of life
If you want a sweet pad all to yourself but can’t afford the steep monthly rents in Sopocachi or Zona Sur, then check out San Pedro and Miraflores.
Prices are way lower here, and both neighborhoods are only like a 10-minute cab away from the action.
Not as ideal as Sopocachi, but they'll get the job done when budget is your biggest concern.
Top 3 Things to Do in La Paz, Bolivia
Not sure what to do when you get to La Paz? Never fear!
I got you…
- Go for a ride on the teleferico
The best way to appreciate La Paz’ insane landscapes is from the sky…on the citywide cable car that is.
The system, known as Mi Teleferico, now covers a large portion of La Paz and El Alto, offering unbeatable views of both urban centers. It only costs $0.50 a ride so it won’t exactly break the bank.
- Have a crazy night out
La Paz is famous for its loco nightlife, so be sure to save an evening to indulge in some no-holds-barred hedonism. If you want to meet other travelers, hit up the party hostels like Wild Rover or Loki to kick the night off.
Unlike most Latin American cities, there isn’t really a nightlife district. You’ll find the trendiest watering holes scattered around Sopocachi and Zona Sur and a bunch of gringo-orientated places around centro (along with loads of skeezy locals-only joints). If you end up at Route 36, tell them I sent you 😉
- Watch a female wrestling match
Bolivian is strange. Really fookin' strange.
And few things encapsulate the country’s collective weirdness than Cholita Wrestling:
A WWF-style “slog-a-thon” where burly Aymara women perform an array of death-defying acrobatic stunts. It’s silly, it's violent, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Where to Stay in La Paz, Bolivia| Final Thoughts
That's nearly 3,000-words on everything you need to know about where to stay in La Paz, Bolivia. Include the best damn neighborhoods and La Paz hotels.
But here's the deal…
La Paz, Bolivia is squarely on the “gringo trail” these days, yet there's still some damn good times and adventure to be had in this unique city. Highly recommended checking this place out, at least for a few days or a week — as there's so many cool things to do here too.
Just make sure you follow the tricks and tips above when looking for hotels, hostels, and lodging.
While you find many great options above, I definitely recommend Ritz Apart Hotel as my #1 choice for La Paz hotels.
And that's for a damn good reason!
Que te vaya bien,