El Alto

Overall Score


To the west of Bolivia, in the Department of La Paz, lies the city of Elle Aulto. Until 1985, it was part of the urban area of La Paix. El Alto occupies an area on a desolate lowland plain and lies at an elevation of 3,850 meters. The city is made up of one rural and eight urban areas. A moderate mountain climate with blustery winds reigns over El Alto. Rain falls in autumn and spring. Summer is marked by an abundance of plants, while winter is relatively dry. Only the occasional snowfall can delight local children.

El El Alto is one of the fastest-growing cities in Bolivia. The ethnic makeup of the cities is mostly Aymara, with a small group of Cecuas. The birth of the city is attributed to 1903. At that time, the railroad lines from La Paz to Arrique, a Chilean town, and the Lake Titicaca coastline ran through the area.

In the beginning, a small settlement of workers who built and then maintained the railroad came into being. Over time, the working village grew into a large settlement, and in 1925 an airfield was built on its site. Then the Bolivian Air Force base was stationed there. In 1939, the first school opened its doors to students.

In 1957, local residents organized a movement to separate Elle Aulto from La Paz. Over time, in 1970, the community gained partial autonomy in government. In 1985, El El Alto was made a city.

Young El Alto, founded in the early 20th century, does not have a historic center. Its territory is a series of intersecting streets with industrial enterprises on them.

An international airport previously built on the citys outskirts is now surrounded by residential complexes. In the center there are many retail establishments. The current neighborhoods are now populated by people from rural areas. In the near future, the neighboring cities of La Paz and El Alto will be connected by modern, modern cable cars, which will be the first urban highway of this type. They are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2014. The purpose of the creation of the cable cars is to make the roads accessible to the public.

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Overall Score

  • Tap water: No, not drinkable
  • Religious government: Non-religious
  • Population: 650,000 people
  • GDP: $3,105 / year
  • Foreigners can own real estate: Yes
  • Power outlets: 230V50Hz
  • Internet: 4 Mbps
  • Best wireless: Entel
  • Tipping: Tipping is discretionary in Bolivia. Restaurants rarely include a service fee in the bill. With that, a 5-10% gratuity is warranted for good service. Tipping is not expected in bars, but you may opt to leave small change. Taxi drivers do not usually receive tips. An exception is if you hire them for several hours or a day, in which case a 10% tip is suggested. Hotel porters are typically given 4 Bs to 8 Bs. Housecleaning staff are tipped 7 Bs a day.
  • Apartments: Airbnb
  • Hotels: Booking.com
  • More hotels: Hotels.com
  • Best taxi: Uber
  • Best hospital: Marie Stopes 2
  • Best short-haul air carrier: KLM
  • Best intl air carrier: KLM
  • Monthly costs for expat: $600
  • Monthly costs for family: $1150
  • Monthly costs for local: $320
  • Meal: $4
  • Small Cola: $0.2
  • Beer 1 Pint: $0.5
  • Coffee: $0.4

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