Is La Paz, Bolivia safe for new travelers?
As one of the most popular cities to visit in Bolivia, La Paz allow you to step into its authentic culture by exploring various markets and busy plazas.
Even the gondola system (which is the local metro to get around the city) is a must-do for first time vistors! The surrounding region of La Paz is also home to many breathtaking landscapes and must-do cultural activities.
These include hiking the snow-capped peak of Huayna Potosí, visiting the rock labyrinth of Valle de la Luna as well as biking down the infamous El Yungas road. However, is the Bolivian capital safe for travelers to explore?
Is La Paz, Bolivia safe?
This guide explores the current safety situation in La Paz, including what it’s like during the day and night. It also covers some top tips for staying safe.
After reading this, you should feel more confident traveling to La Paz and be more sure of how to move when it comes to staying safe in Bolivia.
You can see this guide covering travel safety in Bolivia for a more general overview of what to expect when visiting the country for the first time.
Is La Paz safe right now?
Yes! Although it can feel rough around the edges, there are safe areas in La Paz for tourists to stay. These include near Plaza Murillo and in Sopocachi.
Crime is low here, although you’ll still want to be careful since theft can be an issue (also as many of these areas are still really poor in parts).
Other areas of the city can really be hit or miss, so if traveling to see popular destinations then I suggest that you leave all valuables at home, and only go during daylight hours when it’s safer.
Crime Rate in La Paz
We can use tangible information collected from Numbeo.com to explore the safety situation in La Paz and other comparable cities.
Is La Paz safe to travel alone?
Yes, La Paz in safe to travel alone and if you’re scared of heights beware, as this Bolivian city is known for being the highest capital in the world.
Whilst the size of the capital can be somewhat intimidating when you first arrive, La Paz isn’t actually that bad if you’ve already got some experience traveling solo in South America and/or cities in Central America.
Solo travelers can easily enjoy this city too, especially when staying in popular areas like Plaza Murillo (there’s some really good social hostels here such as Wild Rover and Selina to name two of the most popular).
From here you can walk up to the nearby mirador Killi Killi with absolutely no issues, which gives some awesome sweeping views over the capital. The Witches Market is another must-see sight which you can safely visit alone.
Is La Paz safe for solo female travelers?
There are many solo female travelers enjoying La Paz for everything that it has to offer. Again this is because they stick to staying in safer areas.
I highly recommend the Wild Rover near Plaza Murillo), for a pleasant stay, but also make sure that you take calculated risks when here.
For example these include only exploring new areas during the day, and also not accepting drinks from random strangers in the street.
Again much of it is common sense, and when followed solo female travelers can easily enjoy La Paz whilst staying safe here.
Is La Paz safe at night?
At night La Paz can get more rowdy and seedy, even in areas around the Plaza Murillo. This (along with the fact that the city has high levels of poverty) can make tourists attractive targets for petty theft and crimes.
When heading out always walk on lit roads, sticking to busier areas. Dressing down won’t hurt either, again as you’ll stand out less. Always leave valuables like passports and credit cards locked away in your room.
Safety Tips for La Paz, Bolivia
⤵️ Below are some useful tips to help you on your journey:
How to get to La Paz from Cusco?
Given La Paz is located close to the Peruvian border, it’s usually a popular stop for those coming south from Cusco.
It’s pretty easy to travel by bus, where you’ll first head from Cusco to Puno which is situated on Lake Titicaca (6 hours). From here you’ll then cross the land border and into Copacabana in Bolivia (4 hours). Finally you can then catch a bus to La Paz (5 hours).
In total it will take you around 17 hours, although you can get a head start by taking the night bus from Cusco to Puno to save daylight hours. This will cost you between $30-40.
The more expensive option is to fly from Cusco to Lima, and then take a second flight to La Paz. It’s definitely worth considering though, especially for those backpacking South America without much time to spare.
This option costs between $150-200. You can also fly from Cusco to Puno, however the hours spent in the airport (waiting for check-in, collecting bags etc) doesn’t make it that much better than just taking the bus.
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Is La Paz, Bolivia safe?
Thanks for reading this guide to staying safe in La Paz, Boliva. Travelers to Bolivia often spend more time in the capital, and for good reason too.
There’s tons of worthwhile sites to visit, and also some really unique day trips too (because how often do you get the chance to bike down the world’s most dangerous road?!).
The safety situation here is good for tourists, however you’ll still need to use common sense as there’s various risks here (following the tips mentioned in this safety guide are a great start).
While you’re still here, be sure to read this traveler’s guide to the safest cities in South America before booking your own trip to La Paz.
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