La Paz cable car system is the most advanced cable car public transportation system in the world. Popularly known as Mi teleferico by the locals, La Paz's cable car system consists of 10 lines linking La Paz city center to El Alto. It's not only a means of transport but a different way to see La Paz from above (Tip: The best views of La Paz from the cable cars are during sunset when the city begins to light up). El Alto was once considered a suburb of La Paz but is now regarded as a city of its own.
The cable car system is the only alternative to using a taxi or bus to get to El Alto which takes about an hour or more depending on traffic. Cable cars from La Paz to El Alto take only 20-30 minutes.
Mi Teleferico operates from 6.00 am to 11.00 pm from Monday to Friday.
On Saturday and Sunday operating time is between 7 am and 7 pm.
Cars depart every 15 seconds. Operating times aren't affected by public holidays but Mi Teleferico announces any changes on their Instagram page.
Cable Car Lines
All 10 cable car lines run from different stations on both the El Alto and La Paz side. Some stations serve more than one cable car line. There are also transfer stations, where you can switch from one line to another. In total there are about 36 cable car stations. See all stations and lines here.
Each cable car ride costs Bs3, approximately USD 0.44. Subsequent rides at transfer stations each cost Bs 2.
The main cable car station in La Paz is Estacion central, the old railway station. From here you can take either the red line or orange line.
The red line, which is the oldest line is the line that most tourists take for the following reasons:
Estacion central station is the nearest cable car station to La Paz bus station, just 10 minutes walk away.
Using the red line you can easily see and get to major attractions including Cementerio, Chualluma neighborhood, and El Alto street market.
Most tourists use the cable cars to get the experience and not necessarily for transport since there aren't many attractions in El Alto except the Thursday and Sunday street market. In El Alto, the red line terminates at 16 De Julio station which is only 10 minutes walk away from the street market. You can also catch the silver line from the 16 de Julio station.
Each cable car carries 10 passengers. There's free Wi-Fi on the cars.