La Paz is generally fairly quiet on weekday evenings, but explodes into life on Friday nights – known as viernes de solteros (bachelor Fridays) – when much of the city’s male population goes out drinking. In the city centre – and above all in the market district along Max Paredes and Avenida Buenos Aires – there are countless rough-and-ready whiskerías and karaoke bars where hard-drinking, almost exclusively male crowds gather to drown their sorrows in beer and chufflay, a lethal mix of singani and lemonade, while playing cacho, a popular dice game, or singing along to the latest Latin pop songs. Going out to these popular bars is certainly a very authentic Bolivian experience and can be great fun, but as a foreigner you should expect to attract a good deal of attention and be prepared to drink until you drop – refusing an invitation from a fellow drinker is considered rather rude. For women, such places are best avoided altogether.

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