La Paz, let’s play a melody for the night

let's play a melody for the night

Let’s play a melody for the night

I went some hours to La Paz, into the heart of Bolivia. I decided to be in a cheap hotel to walk a bit the city because usually I just go for a pair of hours. It was the summer of 2014, exactly in January so the heat was a bit strong, although people in the streets as the performer in the photograph was quite covered so I guess he was a foreigner, Chilean perhaps.

The photographs include views from dusk to night and a bit from the morning. I hope you find some akin to your spirit.


Towards the south is the more contemporary architecture of La Paz. There are several Bolivians of German ancestors that enriched the culture in that place with buildings of peculiar shapes. In a certain way they are like the old Bolivians (common ancestors with us Peruvians, in fact I’m half Bolivian) in the respect to the nature and the harmony of buildings integrated to the natural environment.

flame in the sky

big city and vast nature

illimani's time to rest

Illimani’s time to rest

flame in the sky

flame in the sky

concrete twilight

concrete twilight

Old downtown

The old colonial downtown was under moonlight, giving the stones part of that sense of old time. I saw a lot of people waiting for public transport. I took some photographs with care to not seen because certainly I don’t look as a tourist.

I think the city looks better in comparison to my visits as a child.



colors at night

colors at night

sad yellow lights

sad yellow lights

day of service

day of service



one for white cars and the other for colored cars

One for white cars and the other for colored cars

carnival of lights

carnival of lights

A good bye in the morning

Next day I had to be in Tiwanaku, so I just walked a few hours in the early morning and said good bye to the city.



red car goes to the yellow house and yellow bus to the red house

Red car goes to the yellow house and yellow bus to the red house

picturesque morning

Picturesque morning

And that was all. I saw a parade or protest, something usual when I was a kid but that surprised me this time. Me and my generation generally are apolitical due to the vast amount of people that used to search power with (bad) politics instead of real work. Actually there were so many protests years ago in La Paz that you can see that people is indifferent to them now. As a foreigner I didn’t approximate to them to investigate the reason of the parade or protest (haha, they could think I’m a Peruvian James Bond spying) so I took my backpack and went once more to the highway asphalt.

invisible revolution

Invisible revolution



In “Illimani’s time to rest” the big building is Alto Obrajes’s Olympic size swimming pool designed by Arch. Ricardo Pérez Alcalá.

In “Concrete twilight” the building is the Hotel Radisson Plaza La Paz designed by Argentinian atelier SEPRA.

The partial view of the bridge in “ha!” corresponds to Pasarela Pérez Velasco designed by Arch. Diego Marquez Burgos and Arch. José Marquez Pereira

In “Red car goes to the yellow house and yellow bus to the red house” the church is La Recoleta designed by Arch. Eulalio Morales.

13 thoughts on “La Paz, let’s play a melody for the night

    1. Thanks James, actually I think it’s most an eye to put a title. I remember the force of your composition in the portrait of a compact film camera upon a ring of steel in a rustic wall, I think that photograph looked like the camera was a Excalibur or Mjolnir that just a worthy photographer could take and was asking for a title.

    1. I shot them from a bridge with the vibration of the cars, fortunately they turned quite good, fiuu! I hope they bring a bit of warm to the winter in your home ;-)

  1. magnifique ville de la paix(La Paz), FR… mille merci!
    * * *
    such a pity it’s not safe for European tourists: a couple of French friends visited Peru & Bolivia with a group of 20 people last year… Peru was fine everywhere, but downtown La Paz, by 5pm, J-C had his cheap watch and change purse snatched by a fast pickpocket local guy!!!

    1. You’re wright Melanie but partially, Peru and Bolivia are dangerous for tourists not only European but from everywhere. I’m Peruvian but (in Peru or Bolivia) I hide my old digital camera in a plastic and ragged bag with a newspaper to don’t tempt robbers. In Chile everything seems safer.
      In our native world to steal is the worst crime and shame, is better to die, but there are around tourists horrible people that robs to buy drugs or alcohol. Bolivians hate us because there are Peruvian robbers too so that fast pickpocket could even be Peruvian.
      Thanks for your words and so sorry for your friends.

  2. … Francis, those pictures got my heart beating hard… Strangely, I felt a mix of sadness and exhilaration at the same time looking at this series… I couldn’t really explain why… it is certainly in big part because of the beauty of the photographs… but there is something more I can’t quite put my finger on… I was touched, profoundly touched… thank you again… the first four pictures opened my heart right up… the “sad yellow lights” made me want to be there, quietly… and the “picturesque morning” made me feel at peace…

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