I’m a sucker for aerial lifts or teleférico in Spanish. When I was in Quito, I didn’t take the TelefériQo because it was pretty expensive for what it was. But in La Paz, their Mi Teleférico is the main way for locals to get around the city. And it’s cheap at 3 BOB (43¢) per ride.
A Bit of History about the Teleférico
La Paz is massive, and its neighboring city of El Alto is also pretty big. La Paz is funny in that it’s situated in a canyon while El Alto is 400 m (1,300 ft) up on a plateau. The only way to get from one city to the next with by a winding road that is always congested.
The idea for an aerial cable car for La Paz was first proposed in the 1970s, but the first line wasn’t built until 2014. These cable cars run on electricity and partially powered by the solar panel on each car. Thanks to the teleférico, more than 3,000 people move around every hour cutting their commute time from 1 hour to 10 minutes. In my three days in La Paz, I rode the teleférico 12 times and spent a grand total of 32 BOB ($4.63).
Linea Azul (Blue Line)
The Blue Line is the longest with five stations and takes passengers to the outskirts of El Alto. El Alto is the second largest city in Bolivia and has the fastest growing population in the country.
In El Alto, there is the “real” witches market as well as the airport. Red Cap Tours offer guided tours of El Alto if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Linea Roja (Red Line)
The Red Line has three stations. It starts out at the edge of El Alto and terminates at the central train station in La Paz.
One area that the Red Line goes over is the
Cementerio General (General Cemetery). This necropolis was built in 1826 for La Paz’s deceased. In the 1930s, the government took control over the cemetery to allow the city’s poor to bury their loved ones. The cemetery is 3 km and is 95% occupied.
Linea Naranja (Orange Line)
The Orange Line begins at Central Station and ends at Plaza
Linea Blanco (White Line)
The White Line begins at Plaza
Linea Celeste (Light Blue Line)
The Light Blue Line starts in the business center of La Paz to the Universidad Catolica Boliviana San Pablo. This line goes through some military zones and beautiful parks.
Linea Morada (Purple Line)
The Purple Line starts in La Paz’s center and takes passengers to another section of El Alto. This like really shows passengers how big and high up both cities are.
I missed the Yellow, Green, and Brown Lines, but I got a taste of the many districts of La Paz. I’ve never spent so much time on public transport before, but considering how quickly it was built and where it reaches, it was pretty amazing.