The landlocked South American nation of Bolivia has two major zones: the Andean Mountains in which lies its capital, La Paz, which sits at a lung-busting 12,000 feet above sea level (its national soccer team benefits from this when they play all the other lower-level South American teams); and its large savannah, in which lies the country's largest city, Santa Cruz. Adding to the confusion is that Sucre is the country's constitutional capital; Nuestra Senora de la Paz is its administrative one. Distinctive Bolivia event venues are to be found in each of these cities.
Access to Bolivia is via El Alto International Airport (LPB), eight miles southwest of La Paz. The airport is served by American Airlines (from Miami) and Avianca, the Colombian national airlines, from Washington, DC. Good service also is provided by Lan Peru via Lima, Peru. Other Bolivian cities served by nonstop flights from the U.S. include Santa Cruz is (American from Miami and AeroSur from DC) and Cochabamba (AeroSur from DC).
There are no convention bureaus and no convention venues in Bolivia's cities of La Paz and Santa Cruz, but several hotels in both cities cater well to meetings. In La Paz, hotels include the 239-room Radisson Plaza La Paz, which has a conference center able to host 2,500 persons; the 155-room Plaza Hotel, which has space for up to 100 persons, and the 110-room Hotel Europa, which has 6,000 square feet of meeting space. Business hotels in Santa Cruz include the excellent, 230-room Los Tajibos Hotel & Convention Center, which has 60,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 121-room Camino Real, which has five function rooms, the largest able to host 700 persons.
Event spaces in La Paz include three museums, the gorgeous Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos (inside and outside); Museo de Coca, which chronicles the area's production of cocaine and Museo de Metales Preciosos. Another function site, but not a museum, is the La Paz Golf Club, which has attractive space inside and out. In Santa Cruz, there is the Museo de Historia y Archivo Regional, which is located in a beautiful Colonial building.
Dining venues in Bolivia able to host groups include La Paz' lovely La Comedie, in a building shaped like the prow of a ship, and which has two French chef-owners behind the helm; La Bella Vista, with excellent views at the top of the Hotel Presidente, and, 10 miles southeast of central La Paz, the Hotel-Restaurante Obeland, which is in the suburb of Mallasa, has 18 guest rooms, private group space for 40 persons, outdoor space for 400 and a Swiss-Bolivian menu. One choice in Santa Cruz is Don Miguel, which specializes in steaks, while an adventurous trip with dining might be to go to famed Lake Titicaca with Ruta Verde, near Copacabana, where the usual jaunt is an overnight voyage with dinner, breakfast and sensational views and experiences.