By Melanie Lieberman
January 08, 2016

Travelers seeking a destination that is rich in culture, and truly breathtaking (not least because it’s the world’s highest commercial and political hub, towering over the lowlands at more than 12,000-feet above sea level) should head to La Paz, in Bolivia, a frenetic city that sits in the shadows of towering Mount Illimani. Head to the southern neighborhood of San Miguel in the early afternoon for the best Bolivian street food, such as traditional tucumanas (a Bolivian empanada, deep fried and spicy) baked saltenas, and plates of roasted pork with plantains and potatoes—lechon al horno—all baked in a brick oven. Get there by biking along the infamous Death Road, a winding stretch that greets traffic in both directions and is at best only 12-feet wide, carved directly into the side of the Cordillera Oriental Mountains.

Bolivia is, of course, much more than La Paz. Boat alongside GLP Films on Lake Titicaca, or explore the ancient ruins of Isla del Sol—the rumored birthplace of the Incan Sun God. Touring Bolivia is not complete without piranha fishing in the Amazon pampas, or catching the reflection of the stars in the world’s largest salt flats, Salar de Uyuni.