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“Must visit if you are in La Paz”

Iglesia de San Francisco
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$3.00*
and up
La Paz City Walking Tour Including Historical Streets
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$3.00*
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La Paz City Walking Tour
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$44.00*
and up
Private Tour: La Paz City Sightseeing and Moon Valley
Ranked #7 of 119 things to do in La Paz
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This centuries-old church combines Spanish and native building styles.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I would not travel to La Paz to see this church, but if you made it already to La Paz, it's worthwhile visiting this site and its surroundings.
Lots of history within (not properly "packaged" for tourists, which, in my opinion, is great).
Very old construction (for LatAm standards), very old and high-quality images of saints.
The "retablo" at the main church is worth looking at with some time.
Local people attend services and hang out around the church, which adds flavour to it.
Ask to access the roofs: you can get a different view of the San Francisco and surroundings from there.
Visit the back of the church: I never take guided tours unless there's risks involved in not doing so (e.g., crocodiles on the Zambezi River), but I noticed there are official guides from the church that can guide you

1  Thank Colesterol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 - 172 of 841 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2013

Just like all the other churches, not too much different really. Museum next door which we didn't visit but we were in church for a mass and looked around and it's forgettable

Thank Jason M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This was a pretty church and convent. I think we unfortunately had a new guide who did not seem very well versed in the history which made the visit significantly less interesting. The distillery area was pretty neat. I listened in on another tour and wished we were part of that one. For part of the tour you get to go up into the belltower which was very interesting. Lots of written information if you want to learn a lot more. Some impressive artwork with some of the history of the Fraciscan order. For part of the day, your tour ticket allows you to enter the tombs in the church. We did not do that because it was only open in the afternoon. Murrillo is buried there.

Thank chester s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

Built exactly over the Choqueyapu river where the “Spanish” city ended and the “Indian” city started, San Francisco church is the most important colonial religious building of La Paz. There are plenty of beautiful churches in Potosí and Sucre, but La Paz has only San Francisco and the Cathedral. None of them are very old, San Francisco was consecrated in 1784 and suffered several architectural modifications since then. The interior of the basilica is very dark, badly illuminated, which is a pity since the pulpit and eleven altars covered with gold plate are worth a closer look. Photography is not allowed, not even without flash, which is a bit absurd considering that visitors of the church are mainly tourists, not local religious people. Outside, the basilica has massif walls, only one tower (the other one was never built) and an outstanding stone portico with strange figures. The museum, de craft stores and the temporal exhibits are worth the visit.

Thank Gumucio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We went to this museum expecting to see more pictures of Jesus and a church. The price of admission includes a private tour guide (meaning, we walked in and were immediately assigned an English-speaking tour guide), and this tour was excellent! We learned much about Bolivian history, heard many interesting tales, and, of course, saw lots of religious paintings. There are also interesting things from and about the revolutions in Bolivia. The tour takes you up to the roof of the church, and the view of La Paz is amazing. You also see the church, of course, and it is beautiful. There seemed to be more people praying than sight seeing in the church proper, so we didn't really spend much time there. The tour was never boring. I highly recommend this!

Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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