Solo Female Travel in El Alto

El Alto, located in Bolivia, sits high above the world as the highest large city globally, overlooking the vibrant urban metropolis of La Paz. Its location is at the top of the Andes’ Altiplano plateau, contributing to its enviable position amongst the clouds. Known for its altitude-defying, cosmopolitan appeal, El Alto is a bustling hub of a rich indigenous culture, vibrant street markets, including the vast 16 de Julio market, and a thriving Aymara community that keeps ancient traditions and crafts alive. In recent years, the city has gained international recognition for its unique and stunning architectural style, a blend of traditional indigenous symbols and modern design, as exemplified by the works of local architect Freddy Mamani. This thrilling concoction of high-altitude living and cultural wealth makes El Alto an intriguing travel destination.

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El Alto presents some challenges for solo female travelers. The city is known for its high crime rates, especially theft and opportunistic petty crimes, which are reported often. Like many other large cities, certain neighborhoods are more dangerous, particularly at night. It is recommended to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times, and avoid going out late without company. Chatting with locals can give a better understanding of which areas are safer than others. Though many people are friendly and helpful, it's important to be cautious, use reputable transportation services, and avoid displaying valuable items in public.


Navigation through El Alto can present some challenges. While it is populated with many interesting landmarks and friendly locals, the city is quite expansive and does not have a comprehensive signage system, which can be confusing for newcomers. Moreover, whilst public transportation is widely readily available in forms of buses and taxis, the absence of established routes can make it difficult for non-locals to get around efficiently. It is highly recommendable to have a local guide or use a map regularly. However, on a positive note, the locals are generally very friendly and willing to help whenever approached with respect and politeness.

Things to do:Moderate

El Alto in Bolivia offers a fair amount of activities, especially if you're interested in immersing in local culture. As the location of the largest urban population of indigenous people in Bolivia, it represents a diverse cultural setting. Check out the street markets for unique handcrafted works, try local delicacies and admire the architecture of Cholets, buildings that combine workspace and residence. However, compared to other cities, El Alto might be seen as having fewer tourist attractions and amenities.

Food:Above average

The food scene in El Alto is quite diverse and remarkably satisfying. Local markets boast an array of colorful fruits, vegetables, grains, and more. Traditional dishes such as Salteñas, Saice, and Llajwa are a unique blend of flavors that defined the region's cuisine. There's a good mix of both street food and more upscale dining. However, it may take a bit to adjust to the local food especially if you're not used to Latin American cuisine. Vegetarian options are a bit limited but not entirely absent.


El Alto offers a range of affordable options for travelers. Accommodations range from budget-friendly hostels to moderately priced hotels, with eating options also being quite economical as local markets and street food offer delicious meals at a fraction of the cost. Transport is also relatively cheap due to the widely available public transport. However, certain tourist activities and attractions might slightly inflate your budget.

Is El Alto worth visiting?

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