La Paz is a shopper’s paradise; not only are prices very reasonable, but the quality of what’s offered can be astounding. The main tourist shopping area lies along the very steep and literally breathtaking Calle Sagárnaga between Av Mariscal Santa Cruz and Tamayo, and adjoining streets. Head to the San Miguel neighborhood in the Zona Sur for stunning designer goods.
Many La Paz artisans specialize in traditional woodwind instruments such as the quena (two-handed cane flute), zampoña (pan flute), tarka (wooden flute) and pinquillo (one-handed cane flute). Several shops sell instruments along Sagárnaga, Linares and Illampu. Be aware, though, that there’s a lot of low-quality or merely decorative tourist rubbish around.
For all kinds of backpack protection – plastic sacks, chains, padlocks etc – check the street stalls along Calle Isaac Tamayo. For proper gear, head one block over to the outdoor stores along Illampu.