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Valle de la Luna

Added: June 13, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica cliffs mountains photos
It is obvious Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) is not really Moon-like landscape, because it was created by water erosion and there is not so much water on the Moon to create anything similar. That does not make it less impressive, though. And that name is not so bad after all. At least it says it is something worth of visit. Previous sentences probably show why programmers don't like marketing - it usually insults their analytical thinking :-)

How to get to Valle de la Luna?

It is only 10km from La Paz, that is really close. We asked several tour operators whether they do tours there. Yes, but together with Chacaltaya. And we cannot go there yet, we arrived only 3 days ago. That would be risky. So we need to go there at our own.

From Lonely Planet, internet and from receptionist at our hostel we found numbers of buses and collectivos going there and we went to search for them. I've lost the paper, I remember it is bus 11, but several other collectivos can be used. Anything going to Mallasa or Malasilla should be OK. We decided to avoid taxi, it would cost around 70 BOB. And we wanted something more adventurous (for once).

We went to Prado and started to concentrate on passing cars. The first passed along in 7 minutes and we missed it. In 15 minutes we spotted some collectivo looking worthwile, but we were not sure. We stopped it and asked. Si!

We got in. It was full. I gave 10 BOB banknote to "conductor" and he gave me 5 back. After some time I was sure he does not give me more. Either the price was 2.50 or he was angry I took his place and he needed to stay squeezed between seats and door :-)

It was again interesting to watch people how they pay and when. Either at random time or (more often) before getting off. Only when a big group of people got in at the same time they were cashed immediately.

It took us about 50 minutes to get there. Route of this collectivo was not straight and traffic was heavy. Zuzka thought many times we should be there already, because southern part of La Paz is bordered with interesting cliffs. I knew we did not pass 10km yet and (surprisingly) I was optimist and I hoped a driver will tell us. And he did!

These photos were taken on our way back, but I am writing about a travelling experience now.



That's why I still know a bus 11 is correct one. We used it to get back. And I used my camera to compensate my less than eagle sight to see whether it mentions Prado while it was approaching. We had to run to bus stop in order to catch it. There was no time for composing it better at maximum zoom.

Cliffs of Valle de la Luna

There are 2 circular paths in the area. 15min and 45min. It took us 2h to get through it. It was not easy to stop taking more and more photos. You will find always better scene behind every "corner". If I went through path again it might take me another 2 hours! No, I am kidding, more precise estimate would be 1.5h

We were lucky with sunshine, but it was rather hot. It was hot even sun was not shining whole time.

The 1st view of Valle de la Luna proves it was worth to pay 15 BOB entry fee.
Valle de la Luna near La Paz

mud steps at Valle de la Luna near La Paz


To make the visit even more memorable there were local artists performing on different instruments. I liked the music, but photo opportunity was even better. I think they enhanced the place.


Artist performing at Valle de la Luna near La Paz

Let's have some section about architecture. The place is surrounded by nice houses and there are some nice wooden bridges and shelters providing at least some shade for people like me.





It is not only crazy eroded mud pinnacles, cliffs and chasms you will find at this place. There is also some greenery, mostly in form of cacti. It fits this place very nicely.

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And finally couple of panoramas of Valle de la Luna. It is amazing place really worth of visiting. It is very close to La Paz, so nobody should miss the opportunity to see it. If only it was bigger :-) OK, maybe longer trail would not be welcomed by everybody, but I certainly would like it. Surrounding hills are amazing too, but we did not explore them more.

Panorama of Valle de la Luna

Panorama of Valle de la Luna