Categories: Traveling

Lung Busters: The World’s Highest Cities

Have you ever wondered how it feels to be on top of the world – literally? Some of the world’s highest cities allow you to look down on the clouds. This article explores five of the most popular destinations that are truly ‘high society’.

La Paz, Bolivia

Clinging to the sides of an enormous canyon, the breathtaking city of La Paz has the unique honour of being the highest capital city in the world. Visitors will experience that lung-busting altitude as soon as they step out of the aeroplane at El Alto airport, which is the highest point in the city, a staggering 4,058 metres above sea level. The eerily beautiful ‘Valle de La Luna’, which offers unparalleled vistas over the surrounding mountains, will make you feel that the world is truly at your feet.

Quito, Ecuador

The capital city of Ecuador lies between two mountain ranges, 2,800 metres above sea level. It’s certainly one of the most exciting high-altitude destinations in the World, with half a dozen volcanoes visible from the city’s panoramic walls. Despite its geographically remote location and strong Spanish cultural influences, Quito is a city that offers an eclectic array of victory attractions particularly with its bars and restaurants. Whatever part of the world you’re from, there is something to suit all tastes on the high streets of Quito.

Thimphu, Bhutan


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Despite only being designated a city in 1961, Thimphu has a rich cultural history stretching back hundreds of years. It is a treasure trove of fascinating architecture; a subtle blend of traditional Bhutanese buildings and more contemporary structures that arrived with the wave of recent development work. The golden-roofed ‘Changangkha Lhakhang’ temple is not only a site of historic importance, it also affords wonderful views over the entire valley, providing quite the accompaniment to the dizzying height of a visit to Thimphu.

Bogotá, Colombia

The largest city on our list, Bogotá is a vast, thriving metropolis which is home to 8.8 million people. Nestled 2,650 metres above sea level in the natural beauty of the Colombian Andes mountains, Bogotá boasts a wide variety of attractions which make the city a popular tourist destination. In the evenings, Bogotá’s avenues become saturated with street artists, musicians and performers – and offers up a unique lively nightlife.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Remarkably for a city of its altitude, some 2,300 metres above sea level, Addis Ababa has a consistently warm daytime temperature throughout the year. Ethiopia’s capital is a particularly attractive city and is overlooked by Mount Entoto. Ethiopia is growing in popularity as a tourist destination and there’s plenty for visitors to enjoy in high up Addis Ababa, with several museums, galleries and shopping centres peppered throughout the central district. For those who enjoy their food, Addis Ababa is a haven of high quality at relatively low cost.

This article was brought to you by Journey Latin America – leading operators of tours and holidays including Bolivia and Ecuador holidays, as well as other parts of the South American continent.

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