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Witches' Market

Browse the stalls of the curious Mercado de las Brujas to discover traditional Bolivian herbal and ritual treatments while you shop for Andean handicrafts.

Get an insight into the world of Aymara witchcraft and medicine at the lively Mercado de Hechicería or Mercado de las Brujas (Witches’ Market) in La Paz. Browse the collection of intriguing stalls for anything from amulets and herbal remedies to clothing and handicrafts from the Andes Mountains. The Aymara culture has its origins in the highlands of Bolivia and Chile.

Running down narrow cobblestoned lanes in La Paz’s city center, the market is often as crowded as its stalls. An unimaginable array of medicinal herbs and potions, amulets and offerings are stacked high in tiny stalls. Indigenous locals who have the need to cast a spell against the spirits will come here to source the required items. Amid the stalls you’ll see frogs to generate good luck, turtles for longevity and toucan beaks for curing sickness and injuries.

Perhaps the most intriguing of the market’s offerings are the mummified llama fetuses, brought here by wrinkled “witches” from the Andes Mountains. When constructing a new house or business, owners bury a fetus beneath the buildings cornerstone as an offering to the Andean goddess Pachamama (Mother Earth). The belief is that Pachamama will protect the workers and bring good fortune to the business.

Keep watch for the yatiris, the witch doctors that wander the market and offer to tell the fortunes of locals. They are recognizable by their hats and pouches full of coca leaves. Away from the witchcraft, you’ll also find stalls selling traditional Andean souvenirs. These include knitted sweaters, alpaca wool blankets, musical instruments and jewelry.

Witches’ Market is located on central Calle Jiminez and Linares, just off the city’s main tourist street, Calle Sagárnaga. It’s easy to find the market from the nearby Church of San Francisco and the Museo de la Coca.

The market is held daily during daylight hours. You can take photos if you ask for permission from the stall owners. They may urge you to buy something first or to offer them some bolivianos, the local currency. The vendors are often happy to answer questions about their medicines if you speak a little Spanish.


Guide to Exploring around Witches' Market


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Lodging Near Witches' Market

See all 105 Properties near Witches' Market
Hotel Rosario La Paz $71
Hotel Rosario La Paz

Hotel Rosario La Paz

Av. Illampu 704, La Paz
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 137 reviews
    3.5 out of 5.0

    Situated in La Paz, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Witches' Market and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 15 minutes.

    La Casona Hotel Boutique $83
    La Casona Hotel Boutique

    La Casona Hotel Boutique

    Avenida Mariscal Santa Cruz Nº 938, La Paz
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 115 reviews
      3.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in La Paz, this hotel is steps from San Francisco Convent and Museum and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 10 minutes.

      Hotel Europa La Paz $90
      Hotel Europa La Paz

      Hotel Europa La Paz

      Calle Tiahuanaco N. 64, La Paz
         
        4.4
        of 5, from 125 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in the heart of La Paz, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Archeology Museum, La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral, and San Francisco Church. Plaza Murillo and Hernando Siles Stadium are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Bunkie Hostel $10
        Bunkie Hostel

        Bunkie Hostel

        Avenida Montes 641, La Paz
           
          3.9
          of 5, from 10 reviews
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of La Paz, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Musical Instruments Museum of Bolivia, Plaza Murillo, and La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral. San Francisco Church and Hernando Siles Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Hotel Sagarnaga $32
          Hotel Sagarnaga

          Hotel Sagarnaga

          Sagarnaga 326 Zona Rosario, La Paz
             
            3.7
            of 5, from 198 reviews
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in La Paz, this hotel is steps from Coca Museum and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 10 minutes.

            Hotel Berlina $40
            Hotel Berlina

            Hotel Berlina

            Av. Illampu Nro 761, La Paz
               
              3.4
              of 5, from 130 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Located in the center of La Paz, this family-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Witches' Market and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 15 minutes.

              Hostal Maya Inn $22
              Hostal Maya Inn

              Hostal Maya Inn

              Calle Sagarnaga 339, La Paz
                 
                2.9
                of 5, from 10 reviews
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Situated in La Paz, this hostal is steps from Coca Museum and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 10 minutes.

                Inca's Room Hotel $31
                Inca's Room Hotel

                Inca's Room Hotel

                Calle Illampu 670, La Paz
                   
                  4.8
                  of 5, from 6 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated in La Paz, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Witches' Market and San Francisco Church. La Paz Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza Murillo are also within 15 minutes.