Join InterNations

The world's largest expat community

What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to La Paz

  • Connect with fellow expats in La Paz

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in La Paz

  • Peter B. Krehmer

    I was amazed how many like-minded expats there are in La Paz; it was great to get in touch with such a friendly group of people.

An amazing community is waiting for you!

Meet internacional people at local events

Socialize, enjoy hobbies, and make friends

Get info, and feel at home abroad!

Relocating to La Paz

About the City

La Paz is the third most populated city in Bolivia after Santa Cruz de la Sierra and El Alto, with around 750,000 residents. The official capital of Bolivia is Sucre, but La Paz is the seat of the Bolivian government, making it the highest administrative capital in the world at approximately 3,650 m above sea level. Expats moving to La Paz will need to adjust to living at altitude.

La Paz sits on the western side of Bolivia, and the full name of the city is Nuestra Señora de La Paz, which translates into English as ‘Our Lady of Peace’. The Cotapata National Park is roughly 18 km away to the east of the city, and Lake Titicaca, which is divided between Bolivia and Peru, is about 65 km to the west.

La Paz technically sits in a bowl created by the Choquetapu River, and has gradually crept up the surrounding hills of the altiplano in varying elevations. The river runs north-west to south-east and there is a thoroughfare that follows the river all the way through the city. The central part of this thoroughfare is called the Prado.

The Climate in La Paz

The climate in La Paz is somewhat unusual, in that the higher parts have a subtropical highland climate, with sub polar oceanic characteristics. The average temperature of the warmest month in these higher areas is lower than 10°C, which seems low, considering the city’s proximity to the Equator.

The temperatures in central La Paz, at around 3,600 m, are warmer, but still not very hot. Winters are typically dry, with some snow. The driest months are June and July, which also happen to have the most hours of sun, at around nine hours a day. Summers are rainy, with the wettest month being January. The rain during summer months can lead to mudslides and there are roughly only five hours of sunshine per day.

Finding Accommodation

It can be said that the altitude of La Paz reflects housing and society. The lower altitude areas of the city are the more affluent areas, with many middle class families and professionals living in high-rise condo buildings near the center. The neighborhoods situated in the even lower areas south of the Prado have very wealthy residents.

There are seven urban districts within the city, with a number of neighborhoods in each. The zones are called: Zona Centro, Cotahuma, Max Paredes, Periferica, San Antonio, Zona Sur and Mallassa. Expats moving to La Paz might consider settling in San Jorge in Cotahuma. This neighborhood is one of the main residential areas, but also has a number of embassies, making it an attractive prospective area for diplomats. Also in Cotahuma is Sopocachi; one of the oldest residential neighborhoods, which is around ten minutes outside of the city center.

Expats who appreciate history and architecture might like to consider moving to Casco Viejo, the ancient center of La Paz and today a combination of residences, museums, shops and hotels.

Expats moving to La Paz to teach might consider the Miraflores area, where there are a number of university campuses, as well as the large sports stadium, Estadio Hernando Siles. The Southern District, or Zona Sur, has become the city’s second financial and commercial center, with many multinational organizations having their headquarters there. The most exclusive residential areas are within Zona Sur, along with Bolivia’s largest shopping mall.

Jun 8, 2022, 1:30 AM
2 attendees
Returning to our events at La Paz, InterNations is pleased to organize a unique night in a unique place: La Chopperia Pizza- Pub at Calle Jaén # 710. In this evening we will explore culture, music, fo
Aug 14, 2021, 11:00 PM
4 attendees
Come and be part of this first meeting in honor to our National Independence Day! On this occasion, we have a great welcome from a our host in one of the best friendliest homes, so for this time we w
Back to our beautiful InterNations community, we begin this month with new challenges and new objectives for reaching 2020!!! Yeah 👍 We say thank you for all the support that this great community gi
Sep 28, 2019, 2:00 AM
11 attendees
Like Miss Jen Selinsky say: "The promise of spring's arrival is enough to get anyone through the bitter winter". After having a harsh winter, we say welcome to this beautiful annual season in the b

See all upcoming events for expats in La Paz

Our Global Partners

  • Peter B. Krehmer

    I was amazed how many like-minded expats there are in La Paz; it was great to get in touch with such a friendly group of people.

  • Heather Albrey

    Expat living in Bolivia can be difficult at times. The InterNations community made it a lot easier for us.

Our Global Partners

Other Communities in Bolivia

Like-Minded Expatriates in La Paz

Bolivia Guide Topics