The La Paz metropolitan area is divided into three very distinct zones. North of the city center is the separate municipality of El Alto (where you arrive if coming by plane). This fast-growing commercial and industrial city is the center for Aymará culture, has fascinating markets and few tourist attractions.

Down from here in the valley is the city of La Paz, where most travelers spend their time. On the west side of the valley are the notable commercial districts Rosario, Belen, San Pedro and Sopocachi. To the east, the action centers on the Casco Viejo and Miraflores neighborhoods. If you get lost in La Paz, head downhill. You’ll soon enough find yourself somewhere along the main thoroughfare, El Prado.

Further down the valley to the south is the Zona Sur. This is where the city's wealthy live, and there’s a good collection of upscale restaurants and hotels.