To the south of Plaza San Francisco lies Calle Sagárnaga, La Paz’s main tourist street (along with Linares, which bisects it), which is more crowded than it’s ever been with hotels, tour agencies, restaurants, handicraft shops and stalls, with more seemingly opening every week. Often referred to as “Gringo Alley”, the street has in fact always catered to travellers: in the colonial era, this was where wayfarers en route between Potosí and the Peruvian coast would be put up, and several of the buildings now occupied by hotels were actually built for that purpose in the eighteenth century.

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