From Plaza del Estudiante at the southern end of the Prado, Avenida Villazon heads southeast through Sopochachi, turning into Avenida Arce and then winding down into the Zona Sur, a fifteen-minute taxi ride away, where the suburbs of Calacoto, San Miguel and Cota Cota are home to a growing number of La Paz’s wealthier residents, including politicians, senior military officers and most of the foreign business and diplomatic community. Almost 500m lower in altitude, the Zona Sur has a noticeably warmer climate, with luxury boutiques and villas ringed by harsh badlands. If you’re passing through on the way to the Muela del Diablo or the Valle de la Luna, it’s worth stopping for a drink in one of the many cafés just to get an impression of how the city’s elite live.

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