La Paz has 3 forms of taxis available: taxis, trufis (shared taxis), and minibuses. All of which, most travelers would find to be very inexpensive! People are happy to cram into vehicles and roam through traffic without fear of being hit by a car.
I found chulitas to be interesting. "What are chulitas?" you may ask. Chulitas are Bolivian women who are dressed in traditional attire and can be identified by their extremely colorful clothing with a circus-style (awkward-looking and also brown) top hat. I estimated about 5-10% of the visible population to be chulitas.
Perhaps the coolest part of my Bolivian experience was the Salt Flats; this was my main reason for visiting Bolivia! I had an amazing tour with Salty Desert Aventours for just $150 Bolivianos, which is just over $20 USD. We had an awesome and patient guide, were able to take incredible perspective and reflection pictures, and even had sunset on the flats and vegetarian food included in the package! It was surreal to experience how the the sky and the ground become the same entity. Words can't do it justice, and they don't have to. Pictures do, so check them out at the end of the post :)
After getting horribly burned at the salt flats, I learned some local sunburn alleviation tactics which may initially sound as ridiculous to you as they did to me when I first heard them - covering myself with slices of banana, using milk on the sunburned spots, and covering the affected the skin with slices of tomato - however all seemed to do the trick.
A few cool and different drinks I tried:
- api (a [purple] drink): made from fermented corn. Interesting taste but definitely not my favorite..nauseating after drinking too much
- mocochinchi - dried peaches left in water overnight, boiled with cinnamon and sugar, served cold.
Other random unhygienic tidbits:
- As I have found in other countries which don't necessarily have the best plumbing, paying to use the bathroom is the norm and TP goes in the trash, not in the toilet.
- Dogs are not treated particularly well - they are usually kicked out of their homes at night and forced to roam the streets until morning.