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Getting Around

The best way to explore La Paz is to get a little lost wandering the market filled streets and soak up the city’s unique character. If you need to get somewhere in a hurry, or the uphill treks and altitude are just getting to much for you, then there are plenty of buses and taxis to take you where you need to go. La Paz’s chaotic transport system may seem a little daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find that there are options to fit almost every budget and at all levels of comfort.

Minibuses and Micros Minibuses ($0.20, or Bs1.50) are the most common form of transport in La Paz, and ply all the major roads throughout the city. They do have numbers, which correspond to specific routes, but the easiest way to find the correct bus is to look at the destinations listed in the front window. Most minibuses also have a conductor shouting out the route. If you’re not sure if it’s the right bus, just ask. They run throughout the day Micros are the big ex-school buses, which generally run along the Prado to and from destinations around the city. These buses get super full at times, with people literally hanging out the door. Try and have the correct change or close to it.

Trufis Trufis ($0.20 to $0.50) are shared taxis that run on set routes throughout the city. This transport is particularly useful for going to the Zona Sur part of the city, or for routes with not many buses. The cars normally take five passengers – three in the back and two in the front.

Taxis and Radio Taxis Radio taxis are the safer taxi option in the city. You can call them to pick you up or flag them down on the street. They have a display box on their roof with the radio taxi name and phone number – check that they have a radio to verify that they’re licensed. The normal tariff around town is $1.15 (Bs 8) but you will be charged $1.45 (Bs 10) if you are going uphill, to the terminal, or from one side of town to the other. The charge to central Zona Sur is $2-$3. Some reliable companies include Magnifico, Tel: 2-241-0410 and Alfa, Tel: 2-241-2525 Normal taxis ($0.45 or Bs3 per person) are either white cars with a yellow stripe down the side, or a normal car with a taxi sign in the window. These taxis are collectivos, so will pick other passengers on route. These vehicles are unlicensed and anyone with a car can run one. This transport is not recommended in the evenings.

Hire car

The city’s hectic thoroughfares and lack of road rules do not bode well for hire cars, and you’ll need supreme confidence and nerves of steel to join the locals in the daily charade. That said, once outside of the city, things are a lot calmer and you will be able to go to places that are more difficult to visit by public transport. Keep in mind that the roads are in bad condition, with some being damn right dangerous, and are not well-signposted. Barbol has a office opposite the airport (Av. Heroes del Km. 7 No. 777, El Alto, Tel: 2-282-6416,, Avis has an office in Zona Sur (Av. Costanera 24, near Calle 20, Calacoto, Tel: 2-211-1870, Cel: 7056-7635, and International Rent a Car (Calle Federico Zuazo 1942, Tel: 2-244-1906, Cel: 7251-6521) has an office in the centre. For 4x4 vehicles, with or without a driver try Swiss owned Petita Rent-a-Car (Calle Valentín Abecia 2031, Sopocachi, Tel: 2-242-0329, Cel: 7722-6481,

08 Mar 2010

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