Photo of La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia is one of my favourite cities in the world. Yes, it is dirty, it is noisy at times and, yes, sometimes it can look like a completely mess. The truth is though that La Paz reminds me of nowhere else in the world that I’ve ever been. It is unique and raw, it is full of life, even if at times that life seems to be running without a rhyme or reason. The beauty of La Paz rests beyond the steep cobbled streets, the colourfully dressed men and women selling everything from batteries to bananas and the carefully carved colonial architecture. The beauty of La Paz is its vibrant heart that somehow allows the city’s body to operate without a head.  Moreover, the capital of Bolivia has one of the most beautiful views of any in the South America.  I think that this photo of La Paz shows off that extraordinary character that so many fall in love with.

La Paz

La Paz

The Shot

I’m going to tell you a secret that is invaluable in getting great photos of a location. The simple trick is to walk around the city on the first day, get a feel for the destination and at some point stop into a gift shop. Why? To check out the postcards. The postcards sold will fill your head with creativity and will also give you a good idea of where to photograph. The first time I was in La Paz I went into a gift shop on the witches market and saw this view. I asked the girl at the counter where it was taken from, I then went and shot this very photo of La Paz using that postcard as a template for my discovery. It’s not copying, its just good research.  You might also want to go onto google images for some ideas.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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  1. Agree with you on the postcard ‘research’ 🙂 we did that as well when we were in Japan and India and learnt about new places we didn’t know about before as well as the right angle to use to take great photos! Your shot of La Paz is wonderful – it reminds us of a shot we took in Jaipur from a fort looking down at the city! It’s amazing how dense some places are!!

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  2. Brendan, this is a great shot of La Paz. I love how the city comes pouring down from the mountains just like a bowl or coliseum. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever been on a bus that I’ve noticed just about every passenger ‘gasp’ in joy at the view as we made our descent to the bus station.

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    • Yes, every time I’ve rolled into La Paz via the bus I’ve had that same feeling.

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