During my time in South America, I travelled between Peru and Bolivia. I travelled by bus from Peru to Chile, took the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour into Bolivia and had time to explore Bolivia, before going back to Peru. When it was time for me to leave Sucre, I wanted to visit Lake Titicaca before going to Peru. Inevitably, I had to travel through La Paz. Because I didn’t think I would like this big city, I only scheduled for a short visit. I didn’t do much while I was in La Paz, but there was 1 thing. A fun thing actually, which I hope you’ll enjoy too. I took a ride on the cable car of La Paz and had a good time. I’ll explain what the La Paz Cable Car is and how to ride it as a tourist.
Highest Cable Car in the World
La Paz is situated at a staggering 3.650 meters high (roughly 11,975 ft.) on the altiplano of Bolivia. The city is the world highest capital city in the world and has approximately 2,3 million people living there. And it shows! Flying in from Sucre to the El Alto Airport of La Paz, I looked down on the bowl that is La Paz. Nothing but houses. Everything was grey or brown with a bright blue sky adorning the city. No green parks, lush tree lines but just cards, buses and taxis. And a lot of people.
And those people need to get to places. El Alto is the higher part of the city and houses a lot of the people of La Paz. They need to go to school, work, the market or anything else. Because of the congestion of the city, it can take up to 1.5 hours to get from down town La Paz to the outskirts of El Alto. But with the newly built cable car, it takes a mere 20 minutes for the people of La Paz to get down to the city.
Reaching a height of over 4.000 meters, (13,125 ft.) the cable car of La Paz is the highest cable car in the world! If you want to learn more about the cable car of La Paz and other great cable cars in the world, just click the link. The cable car is called Mi Téleferico and in case you can read Spanish, you can find more information on the official Téleferico website.
Is the Cable Car of La Paz a tourist attraction?
Quick answer? No! The cable car of La Paz is foremost a means of transportation for the people of La Paz. It is their way to go to school or get back home from work. Does it mean you can’t travel it as tourist? Nop, you can. I found it actually a very fun thing to do in La Paz for various reasons:
- It was nice to escape the pollution of La Paz
- I got a great overview of the city
- Taking the La Paz cable car was a new mode of transport to use in South America
- I had a fun thing to do for an afternoon
How does the La Paz Cable Car work?
Ok, so you’re travelling to Bolivia soon? La Paz is bound to be on your itinerary. Do you want to try and explore the cable car of La Paz too? Here is how it works.
At the moment there are 3 lines: red, yellow and green. If you check the gondolaproject website, you’ll see where they start and go.
I took the red line, because this one started right down in the centre of La Paz where I was staying at the moment. I was directed by locals to the main station. After I got in line, I paid 6 BOB for a return ticket (2x 3 BOB -2016 which is about €0,80) and went to the cable cars.
I was directed by personal, didn’t have to wait and was seated together with a school girl and a tech savvy guy in the cable car of La Paz. And off we went. We went soaring high in the sky above La Paz.
The La Paz cable car is silent and rather quick. It took me less than 20 minutes to go all the way to the top, to the end of the line at El Alto.
I got off at the final stop, walked around a bit and enjoyed the view of the mountains towering over La Paz, before I returned back to the city centre again.
Fun thing to do in La Paz
I was very happy to do at least 1 fun thing while I was in La Paz and I was happy to experience the cable car of La Paz and I think you will too. In all honesty, I thought I would hate La Paz and I did. The noise, the traffic, the pollution, the amount of people walking on the streets. Maybe I let other people scare me a bit with their hate stories about La Paz, but I didn’t want to stay long in La Paz. I didn’t want to do anything but get out.
When I was updating my parents on my whereabouts, my dad said I should at least take a ride on the cable car of La Paz. I never thought of doing that. But I did it. It felt like a big defeat. I put my anxiety aside and tried to enjoy myself and it worked.
Did you ever travel to La Paz? Do you consider the La Paz cable car a fun tourist thing to do while in the city? Please share in the comment section below.