Before heading to Bolivia, we put together fake documents to please the border patrol who would be issuing our visas. They like to see a place of residence, departure flight, and several other bits of information.
As cycle tourists, we never know where we’ll be when, so we just found a random accommodation in La Paz to show in customs.
As it would turn out, we ended up staying in the B&B we selected to appease the border patrol.
B&B Piacere is located in the Sopocachi neighborhood on a quiet road close to the Plaza de Estudiantes. It’s a 20-minute walk to popular Plaza Murillo and 10 minutes from Plaza Abaroa and a short 10-minute walk to the Mí Teleférico Sopocachi stop. The Parque Urbano Central was just 15 minutes walking and a great place to take Sora for a longer walk. A great organic coffee shop was just a half block away, the laundromat and seamstress were two blocks away, and the family selling api, a local purple corn drink, and fried dough on the street corner just two streets from the hotel.
The owner, Luis is a friendly and incredibly accommodating fellow who spent several years living in Italy. He’s helpful with any information request – from vegan restaurants to locating the street markets to navigating the Bolivian postal system. B&B Piacere offered two lounge areas upstairs – one with a set of couches to relax and the sunroom, where breakfast was also served. The sunroom provided games, reading materials about La Paz and Bolivia, a television, and a kitchen available for use by guests. Notes from guests pasts in over 10 languages filled a chalkboard wall near the dining table.
B&B Piacere is clean with beautiful cultural touches in the decor throughout the space. The hotel space occupies two stories in the same space where Luis and his family live. Each of the six bedrooms had bright linens and cozy beds, some had private bathrooms, while most utilized the shared bathrooms – one on each floor. The “suicide showers” (typical showers of Latin America, where hot water stems from the electrical shower head connected to the water pipe and shocks and exposed wires are not uncommon) were hit or miss, as it the case throughout Bolivia. Sometimes the hot water would last your whole shower, other times, I rinsed off hurriedly, as I shivered in the frigid stream.
Breakfast included bread and jam or dulce de leche, yogurt and a variety of cereals, tea and coffee, and freshly squeezed juice. Luis would often purchase “miners’ bread” when he would travel to El Alto and a large variety of fresh fruit was often available during the day. He once even baked mini pizzas one morning. On Sundays, when Luis would head out early to play squash, breakfast was a bit lacking, usually just bread and jam. While not always vegan-friendly with the yogurt and absence of jam on some mornings, we simply purchased our own soy milk or yogurt to enjoy with our breakfast. Breakfast was served communal dining style, so we had the chance to meet fellow guests from all over the world.
Sora was welcome in all areas of the B&B, as long as guests were OK with her being in the shared spaced. Luis always let us know if a guest said something and it was never awkward in any way.
We stayed for over two weeks, delaying our departure on several occasions after becoming sick a few times and after I had a part break off on my bike on our way out of the city. We returned to B&B Piacere and asked to stay another night. Luis obliged with pleasure, even though he was in the middle of cleaning our room.
For $20 per night for a matrimonial room with shared bath and breakfast, B&B Piacere is a steal, located in a centrally-located spot with plenty of quiet streets to walk Sora in the mornings. The WiFi was the fastest we found in all of Bolivia and it was reliable throughout the hotel. We felt comfortable in the space after spending two weeks there and Luis treated us like friends throughout our visit. The common spaces were always clean and we loved the central location in the city.
Website: B&B Piacere
Cost: Range from Bs 139 to 299 ($20USD to $43)
Calle Harrington 745,
Esq. Abdon Saavedra.
Sopocachi, La Paz, Bolivia
Contact: Luis +591 715 798 50
Accepts Credit Cards: Only if booked online, otherwise cash only.
Breakfast included: Yes