The vibrant and carnivalesque capital of Bolivia, La Paz, left us breathless – and it’s not just about the altitude. Nestled in the Andean mountains close to the southern shores of Lake Titicaca, La Paz is a kaleidoscope of old-world and modernity. When it comes to the gay scene in Bolivia, big cities are where it truly shines, and La Paz is heading the movement. Despite being a deeply Catholic region where any talk of sexual diversity remains largely taboo, La Paz has an active albeit slightly discreet gay scene. This discreetness extended to the many gay hotels in La Paz, which might not advertise it, but more than welcomed us.
But what delighted us was the range of LGBTQ-friendly hotels, from big brands to boutique stays to even B&Bs and homestays. That said, the pride of La Paz’s gay scene is the gender-bending theatre group of La Familia Galán. It aims to educate locals on gender and sexuality through performance. We practically saw that La Paz is emerging from the shadows, slowly albeit steadily, but coming into its own.
But that’s not all. Since we’re culture-loving and nature freaks, La Paz has long been on our South American destination bucket list. Besides being one of the world’s highest capital cities, it’s also the base for visiting the stunning Valley Of The Moon and Cordillera Real hiking trails, some of the most beautiful places in Bolivia. And, of course, some of the top things to do in La Paz include gorgeous squares, markets, and even the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tiwanaku Ruins, which we loved. With so much to do and see and a burgeoning gay scene, La Paz should be your next great South American destination, too, like it was for us.
Table of contents
- Selina La Paz
- Delfines Apart Hotel
- Atix Hotel
- La Casona Hotel Boutique
- Hotel Gloria
- Casa Grande Hotel
- Adventure Brew Hostel
- Ritz Aparthotel
- Stannum Boutique Hotel & Spa
- Hotel Boutique El Consulado
- Suites Camino Real
- Our Verdict!
- Just So You Know:
Selina La Paz
If you’re a solo gay traveler looking to socialize and mingle in La Paz, then Selina La Paz is one of the best gay hotels in La Paz. Tucked in a bright, crisp, and modern building in the serene Sopocachi neighborhood, we were a mere 20-minute walk along the main road to the Open Mind Club.
We liked everything about the hostel, especially its public social spaces, such as the onsite bar and restaurant. We’d begin drinking beers and cocktails here and head into La Paz’s nightlife later on. The lounge area serves excellent coffee and also has free and fast Wi-Fi, making it perfect for digital nomads like us. If that wasn’t enough, there’s even an exercise and yoga area where we ended up meeting beautiful new friends and hanging out with them. The best bit? The staff gave us terrific recommendations for tours for the area, like this Evening Foodie Tour of La Paz. Since we’re foodies, it was the perfect evening to explore the best food that La Paz has to offer.
We had the choice of 4/6/8 or 10-bed mixed dorms, twin rooms, deluxe/standard doubles, and even family rooms, which makes sense if you’re with a group. The bathrooms are spotless and come with toiletries, while the window ensures light and ventilation. Moreover, the mattresses are plush, and bunk beds even come with privacy curtains and charging stations.
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Delfines Apart Hotel
Best value-for-money. We found the Delfines Apart Hotel, located a 15-minute drive from downtown La Paz, to be one of the most value-for-money LGBTQ-friendly hotels in La Paz. What’s great about this aparthotel is that despite being a value accommodation, it offers a host of amenities. The best of them all is the indoor pool, which comes with poolside service as well. So, we’d enjoy a refreshing dip in the heated waters and lounge on the chairs on the deck later on, sipping on drinks and munching on snacks. It was especially great after a long day of exploring the city’s winding streets. We also had access to a sauna and a terrace, both of which were excellent places to unwind. Of course, our days began with a superb buffet breakfast, following which we could set off to explore the city.
Rooms at this aparthotel are minimalist and yet plush and come with soft beds, flat-screen TVs, and ensuite bathrooms with a huge shower area for two and complimentary toiletries. The windows offer superb views of the neighborhood around, while cushy couches next to the windows are a great place to sip on a cup of coffee with your partner.
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Since we wanted to splurge on our La Paz vacation, we looked no further than the decadent Atix Hotel, which sits in the leafy residential neighborhood of Calacoto. Since the hotel has just 53 rooms, staying here was as intimate as it was exclusive for us. The hotel’s objective is to share Bolivia’s cultural wealth with every traveler. That’s how we ended up finding works by local artists and indigenous materials such as Bolivian rosewood. In fact, we appreciated the hotel’s architecture and design that celebrates the native Bolivian culture, such as using local Comanche stone. It’s not a surprise since Atix, in the local Quechua language, translates to “the one who thrives.”
There’s nothing we didn’t love about the hotel, which boasts gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows offering the most jaw-dropping views of the Andean valley. On the inside, one of the most thoughtful features we saw was the hotel providing oxygen bottles for acclimatization. Plus, the staff dishes out innumerable travel tips. The amenities were equally top-notch, including the swanky gym and the sauna. The zenith of its lavishness is the spectacular rooftop infinity pool. Even though it’s an indoor one, the huge glass dome lent it a feeling of being outdoors. After what was one of the most relaxing swims of our lives, we headed to the next-door bar for an ice-cold caipirinha and even a nightcap. An on-site restaurant and a spa and wellness center wrap up the amenities here.
Rooms, although divided across five categories, feature cloud-like beds, swanky mod-cons, and huge windows that open too, a rarity in hotels. Since we wanted to indulge all the way, we chose the larger Atix Corner Suite, which had a balcony as well.
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La Casona Hotel Boutique
Best boutique. We were looking for a unique, stylish, and independent boutique hotel in the heart of the town when we stumbled upon La Casona Hotel Boutique. Despite its small size, this hotel offers a luxurious and highly personalized stay right in La Paz’s historic center. It’s tucked in an older building with original 17th-century features. Our favorites were the large plants-filled terrace and the beautiful patio with a fountain. That said, we found the “cava” fascinating; it’s a space where hard liquors were fermented. Plus, the hotel even has a mini-museum showcasing pottery, coins, and other items that were found hidden here.
Despite it being a boutique hotel, La Casona has a wonderfully warm and cozy restaurant that serves all meals, including hearty cold buffet breakfasts – with made-to-order eggs. Wi-Fi is free, which we were impressed by. Coming to the 45 rooms, they range from cozy singles to spacious suites. What’s more, most of them are airy with good natural light, modern furniture, minibar, cable TV, and powerful and hot showers.
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We were looking for a city center hotel that’s also close to its gay bars, and Hotel Gloria fit the bill. It lies overlooking Plaza Mayor de San Francisco, the main square in the center of La Paz. If that wasn’t enough, the Open Mind Club and other gay bars lie less than a five-minute walk from the hotel!
This might be a traditional hotel, but it boasts top-notch hospitality. All rooms at the hotel are sun-kissed and fully carpeted with floor-to-ceiling windows and dark wood furnishings. Private bathrooms are basic but spotless and even come with a bathtub. Cable TV and free Wi-Fi round up the offerings here.
That said, the hotel also has a ton of amenities. For instance, we’d have a delicious buffet breakfast every morning at one restaurant and dinner at the other site restaurant! Plus, the bar was a great place to get started on drinks and snacks in the evening before we’d hit the entertainment district of La Paz.
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Casa Grande Hotel
Most luxurious. While looking for a lavish experience in La Paz, we ended up staying at the Casa Grande Hotel. This hotel, which is one of the most luxurious gay friendly hotels in La Paz, lies 20 minutes outside the city center in the posh and tranquil neighborhood of Zona Sur. What’s more, the neighborhood sits at a lower altitude, and we found it to be extremely walkable. Plus, the city center is a mere 10-minute ride thanks to the cable car. We were impressed by the hotel’s impressive futuristic exterior with a curved glass roof and the interiors with hardwood floors and muted grey and off-white hues. Potted plants added a dash of color and infused the place with life. It’s no wonder that it’s also one of the best hotels in La Paz.
What’s more, there was so much at the hotel that there were days when we’d spend the entire day there. Our days began with a super breakfast with continental breakfast items and even sparkling wine! Next on our agenda would be the equally indulgent heated indoor pool and whirlpool for a luxurious swim and soak. Post that, we’d make a beeline for the sauna and massage room for a relaxing massage to soothe those sore muscles. We’d wrap up our day with a meal at the onsite restaurant before winding up with a nightcap at the rooftop Casabar with sensational views of the city.
We especially loved the minimalist rooms, which, apart from other mod-cons, also came with indulgent pillow menus and minibars to get the party started right in our room. Are you feeling particularly indulgent? Go for the presidential suite, which has a terrace and a whirlpool bath.
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Adventure Brew Hostel
If you’re a solo LGBTQ traveler who wants to meet new people and is looking for a fun-filled and inexpensive stay in La Paz, check out the Adventure Brew Hostel. Basically, this hotel, or hostel, has everything going for it. To begin with, it lies right on the main road of La Paz. So, we were within a 15-minute walking distance of the city’s cluster of gay-friendly bars and pubs when we stayed here. Plus, we were a mere five-minute walk from the city center of Plaza San Francisco and its attractions and sights. But, the best bit is the nature of the hostel itself; it lies in a gorgeous and vibrant blue-colored 19th-century colonial mansion and is one cheery-looking place.
Adventure is the name of the game here. To begin with, we had the choice of designer-style rooms and dorms. While the dorms are slightly on the basic side, they’re spacious by hostel standards and have immaculate bathrooms. Plus, the rooms look like they belong to a boutique hotel. The hostel is full of funky communal spaces where we could hang out with our fellow travelers. Pancake breakfasts were a great way to begin our day, while Tuesday and Friday afternoons are for their famous barbeque rooftop gathering. During evenings, we’d begin our revelries with beers and cocktails at the on-site bar, which is also a microbrewery!
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The Ritz Aparthotel was just the place for our friends looking to stay for an extended time in La Paz. It’s conveniently tucked in the San Jorge neighborhood and lies within walking distance of the best entertainment and dining in the city. But what helped us zero in on it is that it sits right on the cable car lines. So, we were able to get around the city easily without having to spend on cabs or break our backs walking everywhere.
Despite being an aparthotel, the Ritz has a ton of amenities for our convenience. Firstly, it has a beautiful restaurant serving lip-smacking fare and a fantastic wine list. It even offered room service so we could enjoy the food in the comfort of our rooms. Besides a tour desk that offers tips on excursions, the hotel even offered in-room massage treatments for relaxation. That was a blessing since we’d be exhausted from exploring the city all day.
We were able to choose from 70 luxurious suites at the Ritz Aparthotel, all of which come with seating areas, cable flatscreen TVs, and chic bathrooms. What’s more, some suites even have balconies that enjoy scenic views of La Paz.
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Stannum Boutique Hotel & Spa
Tucked right in the city center of La Paz, Stannum Boutique Hotel & Spa literally towers over the rest of the city. Lying within walking distance of the gay-friendly bars in the city, it was an excellent gay-friendly base for us in the Bolivian capital. We loved the light-filled rooms at the hotel, with sunlight streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Minibars and exquisite bathrooms with for-two shower areas allowed us to get the party started right in our room. Every morning, the cloud-like king-size beds felt like we didn’t want to get out of them.
However, we did get out of them, for the hotel has a host of decadent amenities that we wanted to take advantage of. Our days began with scrumptious breakfasts in the room with stunning sun-kissed views of La Paz. The staff was kind enough to get it to our room whenever we wanted. We enjoyed some pampering time at the onsite spa before digging into a delicious local and international cuisine lunch at the on-site restaurant. Finally, we enjoyed an aperitif in the bar before heading out for an evening of revelry.
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Hotel Boutique El Consulado
Most romantic. Since we love old-world lodgings, it was love at first sight for us with Hotel Boutique El Consulado, which lies a five-minute walk from San Francisco Square. In fact, the gay-friendly clubs and bars in La Paz are also a mere 10-minute walk. So, this hotel was the best base for us culture-driven LGBTQ travelers.
It was a delight staying in this boutique hotel’s spacious and light-filled rooms, all of which come with wooden floors, huge windows, and roaring fireplaces. On cold La Paz days, we’d curl up on plush beds and watch TV while sipping on champagne. What also elevates the romantic atmosphere is the spacious bathrooms with for-two showers. Our Deluxe Double Room came with a deep-soaking bathtub right in the middle of the bathroom, and it was amazing.
“We were looking for a boutique stay in the heart of the town, and this hotel perfectly fit the bill for our romantic vacation.”WOW Travel
Our days began with delicious complimentary American breakfasts before we’d head out to explore La Paz. After a long day, we unwound on the terrace or in the garden with a glass of wine. It’s the perfect way to begin a great evening in the city before heading out to its excellent clubs and bars.
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Suites Camino Real
Awash in hues of sleek black marble and jewel tones are the Suites Camino Real, one of the most sensuous gay friendly hotels in La Paz. Located right on Avenue Roma, the main street in the city, the hotel was a relaxing reprieve and the perfect place to rest our heads after a night of wanton partying in La Paz.
The daily delectable breakfast buffet would eliminate our hangover, especially since it has freshly baked Bolivian pastries. Post a heavenly breakfast; we’d be off to enjoy a refreshing dip in the indoor pool at the health club and Felling’s spa. A sauna or hot tub session was next on our to-do list, as it would soak our stresses away. There’s even an oxygen therapy room that helped us acclimatize to the city’s altitude. You could also enjoy a romantic lunch or dinner at the on-site restaurant, where barbequed meat is a house specialty.
All suites at this hotel feature huge windows offering stellar views of the city and the Andes mountains. Coffee machines ensure a great start to the day, while minibars get the party started as early as we wanted. Rounding up the features are the plush seating areas and swish bathrooms.
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While we loved all the LGBTQ-friendly hotels in La Paz, we made a specialized list below that we loved because of their specific features.
- Best value-for-money: Delfines Apart Hotel
- Most romantic: Hotel Boutique El Consulado
- Most luxurious: Casa Grande Hotel
- Best boutique: La Casona Hotel Boutique
Just So You Know:
- Bolivia’s first gay couple to be legally recognized wed in December 2020.
- Even though it’s far behind on gay rights as compared to progressive nations, Bolivia has a law that came into effect in May 2016 that allows people to change their gender on official documents.
Get Some Culture in La Paz:
- Macha del Orgullo La Paz: Ever since Bolivia’s first gay pride held in Santa Cruz in 2001, pride has come a long way. Even though the parade has been held only a few times in La Paz, now thousands take part in the march for ‘sexual diversity’ and in solidarity with ‘victims of hate.’ And even though La Paz’s Gay Pride still doesn’t have an official page or website, the vibrant 2023 edition saw thousands of LGBTQ+ people take part and call for tolerance and an end to transphobia and homophobia.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in La Paz:
- Open Mind Club: This is La Paz’s best and currently the only outwardly gay club. Lined in shiny mirrors and lit in a rainbow of colors, this is the place to be to party in town. Drink, disco dance with gorgeous queer people, and have a blast.
Best Gay Saunas in La Paz:
- Sauna Gay PUNTO G: This steamy and elegant sauna in La Paz is private and very, very hot and steamy – and we’re not talking about the sauna! Nevertheless, it also has video rooms, dry steam chambers, hot showers, dark rooms, a maze, and a steamy jacuzzi and hammam.