After landing at El Alto, canny travellers don’t go straight to La Paz but soak up the exuberant architecture, culture and women’s projects of Bolivia’s second city
Most travellers never give El Alto a second thought. Bolivia’s second city, home to the highest international airport in South America (and fifth-highest in the world) at 4,061 metres, it is a place visitors fly into before being whisked to La Paz, the de facto capital, 15km away and 421 metres lower.
Yet, El Alto is emerging from the shadow of its neighbour, thanks to its fantastic rebel architecture, new cable car routes, emerging culinary credentials and the trailblazing input of its first female mayor, Soledad Chapetón. It’s also proudly championing the Fighting Cholitas, female wrestlers who perform regularly at its sports centre, called El Multifuncional .