Cholets Tour


Cholets Tour

  • See the amazing cholets and learn about this architectural movement.

  • Get off the beaten track and go where few visitors go.

  • Enter one of the most fascinating cultural representations in the world, the cholet!

Explore the colorful and exuberant architecture of El Alto known as Cholets with us every day on our half-day Andean Architecture tour. The kitsch designs of the Cholets are a fascinating mixture of ancient Andean civilization, colorful traditional textiles and the fast-paced and fast-growing cityscape of El Alto. The rapid growth of El Alto has provided great wealth for many families and this new Bourgeoisie class of El Alto shows their wealth through building these vibrant, futuristic mansio


All year round


3 Hours


The entrance for the purple teleferico station in the center of the city - doors of Michelline cafe


Purple teleferico station in the center of the city



Start time

9:00 am


Located just outside Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, El Alto towers at 4000 meters above sea level and is one of Bolivia’s youngest cities but has already grown to become its’ second-most populous. In this melting pot of a city, where the ancient and modern mix like no other place, Freddy Mamani, the indigenous architect behind this movement, has gone from laying bricks to becoming known throughout the world for showing Bolivia through these exuberant acts of self-expression by Bolivia’s long-marginalized indigenous majority.

The jolting, captivating mix of old and new, tradition and modernity, is uniquely Bolivian, and what better way to visit the cholets than with a local guide who loves to share his/her culture, city, and home. On the tour we go up to El Alto using the teleferico (cable cars), from there we visit different parts of El Alto and see a wide array of cholet architecture, even some in construction. We also have the opportunity to enter a cholet and see the vibrant designs throughout its’ interior. Your guide will not only show you the amazing buildings, but also explain the culture and tradition they display, bringing to life the cholets and the social landscape of Bolivia.

After meeting your enthusiastic English speaking guide (Purple cable car station in the center area of La Paz – Estacion San Jose at 9 am) , she will take you up to El Alto in our amazing cable car system. Enjoy the views on the way as your local guide gives you an introduction to the city she grew up in.

Once in El Alto, it’s a short walk to see several cholets. The guide takes the time to explain the traditions and culture which they represent and show in a very physical manner. Here we even have a chance to see some new cholets in construction.

We then take local transport to visit more cholets. Take pictures and discuss with your knowledgeable guide who will discuss the Aymaran Identity and how the cholet is a form of preserving the indigenous culture which is so important to the region. Close by we get a chance to see the Optimus Prime cholet, which while less culturally representative, is an amazing glimpse into the two realities of modernity and ancient you see in El Alto.

We hop in a local bus and go to the heart of El Alto. Here we see a vast array of this Andean architecture and also visit a small shop where they make traditional dress often used for dances, the colors of which are reflected in the cholets. We eventually enter a cholet and see the dazzling interior, which is painted just as brightly as the outside and features lively architectural forms. We visit with the family who owns it and try a local snack while enjoying the view out over the busy market below.

After our visit, we will take 2 different cable cars to get back down to the city center where we finish the tour, with a much greater understanding of modern Bolivian life and its’ astounding, living culture.

Ticket Price(USD)
ADULT 25.00 (USD)

- English/Spanish speaking guide
- Transport (Teleferico and public buses)
- Entrance into a Cholet (party salon)
- Local snack


- Transport to and from meeting/ending point,
- Tips


You should bring walking shoes, a camera (optional), water, a jacket, and cash.


Cancellation or changes to this tour:

CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 5:00 p.m. (La Paz time) the day before the tour begins. After this time it is not possible to make any changes.

NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel the day prior to the tour before 5:00 pm (Bolivian time) or earlier, a 30% administration fee (+ the card fee) will apply. After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.

You must email (including the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.

  1. How can I recognize the guide from Red Cap Tours?

    The guides wear an “I heart La Paz” t-shirt, red caps with our logo, and have guiding credentials to make it easier to identify them.

  2. What should I bring to the tour?

    A camera, a jacket (for cool temperatures in the shade), sun glasses, a hat (for high sun radiation), water, extra money for food and souvenirs, and comfortable shoes.

  3. Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?

    Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude - proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves - the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500 metres without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.

  4. Why book with

    Apart from our low price guarantee, with us, you can be 100% assured that your booking is made. We provide instant email confirmation and have live spaces and availability for each tour. You are in the capable hands of our team here on the ground of 20 local experts who speak perfect Spanish and English, always ready with a quick response to any and all questions you might have. Tour operators are experts at operating their tours...we are the experts at reservations, organization, and assistance with your plans for these tours.


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