We don’t want much as mid-range travelers. A clean room, good hot shower, and some space to move around is all it takes to make us happy. Throw in a budget friendly price and we’ll book a week stay without batting an eye. In Bolivia’s capital, Neil and I arrived after 2 days of bus travel from Peru. The border crossing was uneventful though the visa process for US citizens visiting Bolivia was an entirely different story. We were ready to explore a new country in South America. Our first hostel, Hotel La Posada Abuela Obdulia was an overpriced disappointment with beady-eyed staff and paltry breakfast. On our wanders up the street through the Casco Viejo or city center, Neil spotted the newly opened and affordably priced Hotel Nuevo Sol.
Great La Paz Rooms at the Hotel Nuevo Sol
Rooms are neat and sparse boasting private bathrooms equipped with new everything. Showers have glass doors so you don’t have to dodge a nasty shower curtain every time you reach for the soap. Cable TV and plenty of wall plugs mean that you can relax in bed and charge all those electronics. Floors are hardwood and corner rooms have 180 degree views of the city. Our double superior room cost 200 bolivianos (US$29) but singles start at 80 (US$11) with private bath and TV. The staff is very friendly and security is at the forefront.
Breakfast started at 7am and included a typical Bolivian spread of breads, butter, jam along with strong coffee, tea, and cocoa. The lobby is brightly painted and decorated for holidays and the hotel has brightly painted murals on the outside.
Things to do in La Paz’ Casco Viejo
Hotel Nuevo Sol is located at the top of stairs which lead down toward Avenida Santa Cruz and the Plaza San Francisco where a fruit market is located as well as ATMs and pharmacies. It’s about a six block walk. On the way, you will pass several guidebook-recommended restaurants and bars, including Oliver’s Travels, a Mexican eatery, a European fusion-café, and a vegetarian bistro. One block from the main road is also a great Chinese restaurant which transforms into a dance club called Jackie Chan’s with great set meals called menus and affordable beers
In the opposite direction from the hotel, the Witch’s Market and textile shops sprawl in all directions. You can’t go wrong along Calle Sagarnaga or Illampu. Just wander, shop, and enjoy. Along the way, you can browse the travel agencies and look for excursion tours. Many offered trips to the Southwest Circuit but we declined, choosing to find our own way to Uyuni via overnight bus. Instead, Neil and I booked the famous Death Road tour with our brother the Freak and our adrenaline-junky, pro-adventurer, Marie Elyse from Quebec. We will definitely be back to this great hotel in La Paz.