Just a few miles outside of the bustling city of La Paz, Bolivia is the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), a park full of rock-like shires jutting out of the earth. Once you begin your hike on the trail, you’ll understand why you can’t miss Valley of the Moon on your trip to Bolivia. For you have stumbled into a whole new world so exotic you won’t believe your eyes. Monoliths rise up from the Bolivian badlands as sharp, harsh remains from centuries-old wind and weather that have eroded the mountains.
“A valley of unique erosion patterns
lends to a view like nothing on Earth. “
How was Valle de la luna created?
What looks like a blanket of stalagmites canvasing a crater, Valle de la Luna, or “Valley of the Moon,” is all that is left of a mountain formed of clay and sandstone that has been hammered by strong winds and time. Like many mountains surrounding the La Paz area of Bolivia, the formations contain rich variations of minerals, creating colorful compositions throughout the landscape.
The different sides of the mountain are different colors, creating crazy optical illusions on the spires. So be careful where you step, as the trail is sometimes difficult to navigate.
hours of operation
- Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Entry fee costs $15 USD so make sure you bring some cash with you.
- No stores or facilities
Where is the Valley of the moon located?
It’s rumored that astronaut Neil Armstrong, named the Valley of the Moon. The trails are located 10 km southwest of La Paz, near the small town of Mallasa. Some portion of the valley has been preserved, however, housing is steadily popping up on the unstable soil. While trails are provided and clearly marked for hikers, they are narrow and a bit treacherous; come prepared for sharp edges and uneven paths.
How to get to the Valley of the Moon
We took a taxi to get to the Valley of the Moon. This is the fastest way, and it’s only 15 minutes away from the city of La Paz. There are also several bus lines that will take you to Valle de la Luna from La Paz.
If you want a double adventure, take the Teleferico- a public cable car and an exciting alternative if you’re not in a rush. To reach the Valley of the Moon via Teleferico, take the green line to the last station (Irpavi). From there, you can either walk to the 8th Street of Calacoto and catch a bus to the town of Mallasa or take a taxi to get to the entrance.
Why Visit Valle De La Luna in Bolivia
Most people reading this probably never heard about Valle de la Luna in La Paz, Bolivia, before. Since Bolivia is not a big well-known travel destination, you will be one of the rare visitors to explore this place before it becomes overrun by mass tourism. We were the only tourists on the trail and it was so nice to be able to take our time and get a better feel for how the locals live.
You can also visit the Valley of the Moon via an organized tour, which includes transportation, a bilingual guide, and entrance fees. Taking a tour is a good option if you aren’t comfortable making the journey via public transit.
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What To Bring & What To Wear
Cash to pay the entry fee. As per the rest of Bolivia – dress in warm layers. The sun doesn’t reach all the cracks and crevices and the valley can get cold, especially with a crisp breeze.