The Valle del la Luna is just south of La Paz in Mallasa. There are minibuses that run from the centre of La Paz, just look for one that had Mallasa in the window and you can easily combine with a trip to the La Paz Zoo where I am volunteering (combined entrance is 25bs). Mallasa is where Bolivians come for the weekend so there are lots of restaurants catering to local tastes and the trip will give you a little insight into the are that you otherwise wouldn’t get.
I am staying in La Paz for just over five weeks and if I write one long post this is going to crash as with the other posts. I don’t like writing about a place until I leave as you can’t really tell where the experience will take you halfway through, but I have done several hikes each of which are independent and can be done as separate trips so I’ll be publishing these over the next week and then I’ll write about La Paz and Upclose Bolivia afterwards.
I seem to have most of Monday’s off with a Spanish lesson at 4pm so I wanted to make the most of my second Monday in the city. I decided to check out Valle de la Luna as I pass it on the bus when I travel into the city from Jupapina and I also noticed a couple of interesting viewpoints.
I jumped on a minibus (I’ll explain these more in another post) and headed to the entrance. There are two routes through the valley, one that takes 45mins and one that takes 15mins. You can easily do both. After paying the entrance fee of 15bs you get to walk through the gift shop before appearing in a really fascinating rock environment, that if you use your imagination looks a little like the moon.
I opted to start the 45min trek and as it was a Monday the park was pretty quiet. The weather was perfect and I was able to enjoy the landscape. Note that it is right in the middle of Mallasa so there is a town backdrop to the views. It’s also at high altitude, I’d guess around 3500 but so is most of La Paz so just take it easy. I found I was very quickly out of breath.
It’s a dessert landscape and in the background of the above shots you can see the Muela del Diablo in the background which I hiked a few days later.
As i mentioned there are a couple of view points you can visit. Check on maps.me but the first is a short 10 minute walk from the valley and it’s well worth a detour. Take a left as you leave the Valle de la Luna and follow the road until you get to the steps on the right. There is a sign that clearly marks the route. You go right to the top of the hill that gives panoramic views of the whole area.
After this the other view point is a little out of the way. I walked around and sadly it was barred when I tried to go so you might want to skip and head into Mallasa. Grab some lunch in one of the restaurants or head on down to the zoo and get some food in any of the restaurants near the entrance and enjoy your afternoon there.
I headed down the road and there is a “path” where you can readh a little out of town shopping area with a supermarket, pharmacy, take away pizza and a cage. I stopped here and treated myself to an Oreo milkshake and WIFI before heading back for my Spanish lesson in the afternoon.