In just five short days I’ll be flying into the Altiplano & settling into my new La Paz home. The geography of the city is so fascinating, and after only being able to read about it, I can’t wait to see and experience it firsthand!
Altiplano means high plain, and the region holds both the highest navigable lake (Titicaca) in the entire world, and the largest Salt Flat (Salar de Uyuni). The only country on the globe that can claim a bigger mountain plateau is Tibet. Although in the city center the elevation is somewhat lower, La Paz is still the highest-elevation capital city in the world. The U.S. Embassy has assured me that this will mean putting my running at bay for a few weeks (frowny face), but I’m certain that a new culture, and brushing up on some very rusty Spanish, will keep me mesmerized long enough for altitude adjustment.
George Steinmetz of National Geographic has taken some amazing landscape photographs of the Altiplano and Salar de Uyuni (one is shown above), and you can see more in this interactive map.