Getting from Arequipa to La Paz takes around 14 hours. Therefore, the most popular way to travel is going first to Puno and from there to La Paz, because Puno lies 292 km from Arequipa and the trip takes around 6 hours. Nonetheless, there is also a direct service offered by Bolivia Hop company which is more expensive.
Since there is a border crossing, make sure to have all the necessary documents ready when arriving at the migration office and be aware of the paperwork needed.
This guide will cover the following:
- Book your transport from Arequipa to La Paz
- What to do after your arrival?
- Plan a tour in La Paz
- Other useful information
1. Book your transport to La Paz
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are two ways to travel from Arequipa to La Paz by bus. First, the trip can be done with a stop midway the route in Puno. On the other hand, you can travel with a bus company that offers a direct service, with tourist stops, like Bolivia Hop does.
Trip with stopover
The most common option is to break the journey to La Paz. In other words, stopping in Puno, on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, where one can visit the famous floating islands and then resume their journey onto La Paz. The buses from Puno to La Paz leave every day between 07:00am and 1:30pm. This trip also takes around 6 hours, depending on the route and bus company you choose.
The bus company doing the trip from Arequipa to Puno is 4M Express, a touristic bus company. From Puno to La Paz there are different options with Trans Titicaca (normal bus), Tour Peru (semi lie-flat bus) and Bolivia Hop (tourist bus).
You also have the option to travel with Bolivia Hop from Arequipa to La Paz in a tourist bus. The journey takes about two days with multiple stops in Lagunillas, Juliaca, Puno and Copacabana. Bolivia Hop provides a personalized service with guides and assistance with border crossing paperwork.
2. What to do after your arrival?
In this section, you will find six places where you can go to experience the best of La Paz. However, there are more things you can find out about “The city of the sky”, which is another name for this wonderful town.
Located in downtown La Paz, behind the San Francisco church, it is one of the most visited places by tourists. Here you can find amulets, potions and other various products used to make offerings to Mother Earth, known as Pachamama. There you can also find clothes, accessories and ornaments with indigenous motifs that you can bring back as souvenirs.
Valle de la Luna
Located on the way to Mallasa, this place acquires its name thanks to the geological characteristics of the land. It is located 40 minutes from the city center of La Paz.
A transport service consisting of 8 lines with different routes that will help you to know the whole city of La Paz from above. La Paz is located at 3,650 meters above sea level. You can board any of the lines in the areas of Irpavi, Sopocachi, Obrajes, Alto Obrajes, Av. Arce, Plaza Villarroel, etc.
The most visited viewpoints are the viewpoints of Pura Pura, Killi Killi and the viewpoint of Laikakota located on Avenida del Ejército.
The city hosts numerous cultural spaces and museums. Some highlights are:
Precious Metal Museum (also known as Gold Museum): This museum holds an impressive collection of Pre-Columbian pieces showcasing jewelries and ceramics.
MUSEF (Museum of Ethnography and Folklore): This museum contains archeological pieces from around Bolivia, ranging from textiles, feathers, masks, metal and stone.
Museum of National History: Showcases fossils of animals from different geological eras. Located in the South Zone of La Paz, in Cota Cota (street 26).
Museum Tambo Quirquincho: Contains collection of colonial and republican silver artefacts. There are also old photographs of La Paz, traditional masks and costumes.
There is something to eat for all tastes and budgets in La Paz. If you want to taste local delicacies, we recommend the delicious salteñas. For more typical and traditional food, you can find many options around the city, especially behind San Francisco church, on Calle Murillo.
3. Plan a tour in La Paz
For instance, if you want a quick although complete look of this wonderful city you can book a tour with Qantuxcape. Certainly, this sightseeing city tour is the perfect way to discover La Paz and, with stops where you can hop-on and off, it is easy for you to visit the best that the city has to offer.
Discover La Paz’s most important landmarks on a bus tour led by experienced tourist guides. Book online here today!
4. Other useful information
If you are traveling from Arequipa to La Paz by bus, you can find the information bus schedules here. You can take a direct service with Bolivia Hop or split the trip in two parts: from Arequipa to Puno and from there to La Paz.