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When to Go

La Paz has spring-like daytime temperatures all year, making it pleasant to visit most months, but the transitional months between rainy and dry season (April/May and October/November) are probably the best time to see the city. In the dry season, the city is blessed with blue sky and sunshine, but the nights can get bitterly cold, with June being the coldest month. This is the most popular time to visit. In the rainy season, the city can get pretty hot if the skies are clear, but if it’s cloudy and the heavens open, the city can turn into a dirty flood plain and it gets cold. You’re also a risk of missing the stunning vista of Mount Illimani and surrounding hills if you’re only here for a day or two and it’s cloudy.

Paceños love to party and you’re likely to have an unforgettable experience if you pass through during a major fiesta. Gran Poder, in late May/ early June is probably the biggest street festival in the city, closely followed by the Entrada Universitaria on the last Sunday in July, and Carnival, where you’ll be lucky to be able to walk through the city without being bombarded by water or foam. The festival of Alasitas, beginning on 24 January, is another great time to be in the city. There’s a sprawling market selling miniatures alongside games and food stands.

Other interesting celebrations include the day of the dead festivities, on November 1st and 2nd, when ancestors are invited back to visit the world of the living; the winter solstice on June 21st or Aymara New Year, with traditional ceremonies at Tiwanaku; and San Juan, on June 24th with bonfires, fireworks and drinking.

08 Mar 2010

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