By plane, La Paz
Fast, dramatic and scenic flight from Santiago to La Paz with one stop at Iquque is what LAN has to offer. I would take it again. The feeling of total devastation by the emotional highlights of watching the SUN rise over the Andes in combination with the thin air at the highest international airport in the world is an experience of two lifetimes.
We flew to La Paz with the Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, the main bolivian airline with flights from/to all Southamérica, México,USA and Spain.
The flight from Buenos Aires to La Paz (with one stop in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia) lasts four hours with the scale time included.
The price is more or less u$s 460 for a round trip each pax.
The planes are a bit oldies (Boeing 727-200) but it looks enough safe. Kind attention with average prices. Check airfares in the website.
American Airlines flies directly from Miami to La Paz. The same airplane continues on to Santa Cruz. Therefore, when you depart La Paz for Miami, you make an interim stop in Santa Cruz. The airplane is probably refueled in Santa Cruz so that that it does not have to take off fully loaded at high altitude in La Paz. The picture is a view out of the window as you approach La Paz.
The Internatiol Airport of El Alto it is situated at El Alto (obviously!) close to La Paz, but higher... that means it is probably the highest airport in the world. Be prepared to the low oxygen atmosphere!
The national airline is Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, and it has national and international flights.
El Aeropuerto Internacional de El Alto está situado en El Alto (¡obviamente!) cerca de La Paz, pero más alto... esto significa que es probablemente el aeropuerto más alto del mundo. ¡Prepárense para la atmósfera con bajo porcentaje de oxígeno!
La aerolínea nacional es el Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, y tiene vuelos nacionales e internacionales.
There is an international airport at Los Altos, the town above La Paz. The airport offers all the modern ammenities you can expect from airports from home and more. It's a really nice airport. Check out how fast the plane reaches the fist layer of clouds once it goes airborn :).
There are direct international flights from Miami with American Airlines and from Lima. If you are coming from any other place you may want to fly into Santa Cruz and connect to La Paz (there is plenty of daily flights between Santa Cruz and La Paz, and in most international itineraries there is not extra cost for flying into Santa Cruz. If you are coming from Peru, Chile or Santa Cruz you can also come by bus (quite an experience)
La Paz is a very long city and there is a main avenue on the bottom of the canyon (some times 2 parallel avenues, or a highway) going from the highest part to the lowest. The bus service is fast, cheap and efficient.
If your budget allows then fly in to El Alto airport, about 200m higher than LaPaz and it allows a great view of the city in the taxi down to the centre.
If you stay in the centre and are fit then you can walk most places. Taxis are cheap and minibuses all have destinations written on the front.
Also if your budget allows you can hire a jeep quite cheaply but drive carefully as there is $1000 excess.
I can recommend Imbex on Av Montes.
La Paz - El Alto
Don´t worry, the airplanes on the picture are not the only ones going there....there ara already modern ones ... :-)