Everywhere you go, every country has their own specialty of food that they sell on the streets. Bolivia is one of my favorites so far because there are so many delicious goodness that is on the streets of Bolivia! Everywhere you turn there is someone selling fresh squeezed orange juice, sandwiches, or meat on a stick. So cheap and so delicious- the perfect combination for all backpackers!

Saltenas
These things are the epitome of street food in Bolivia and are most commonly compared to empanadas, but don’t be confused because these are way better! They are filled with either meat, chicken, or veggies. They are baked in the oven and come out with a delicious soupyness inside that I just can’t explain how they do it! Bolivians love these things so much that they actually now have complete restaurants dedicated to the sole purpose of making and selling these. You can find these almost anywhere on the streets of Bolivia, but usually only up until mid-day as they are considered only a morning/early afternoon snack. If you want to try these and are a little weary about eating them on the streets then head to the restaurant called La Pacena in La Paz and this place is completely safe and SO DELICIOUS. My favorite is the chicken…but please try all of them!

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This is what you will find on the streets.

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Pollo y Carne. SO DELICIOUS. I always eat at least two, don’t judge, they are that good.

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If you are in La Paz and want a saltena, head to this place! Each saltena is 6Bs. Pacena.

Anticuchos
Anticuchos will be some of the most tender meat that you will try (this is 100% my biased opinion). It is cow heart, but don’t worry you wont even realize what it is when you eat it! It is cooked on the grill and usually served with potatoes and a yellow/pinkish sauce that is on top of it. Must try, just make sure the meat is fully cooked when you do.

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Anticucho market in Las Velas. There were about 30 stalls to choose from!

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Cooked straight on the grill…so delicious!

Buñuelos

Buñuelos are the perfect evening snack and go great with Api or tea. They are usually served with fresh powdered sugar and/or a sweet syrup, much like what is served on Pancakes in the U.S. You will find them in different styles such as a donut shape or like the photo below. If you head to Las Velas in La Paz you can head to many of the shops that are there and drown yourself in buñuelos, Api, and fine movie selection. Every single buñuelos stall we went to was playing a different movie on an enormous T.V. screen! This is a must try and must see.

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Bunelos are the ones on the far right. These are the large ones that we ate in Las Velas in La Paz. Yum!

Humintas

Humintas can be eaten at any time of the day, well that’s my opinion anyway. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if my waist wouldn’t expand because of it! The best humintas can be found in Oscar’s grandmas house…but sorry, she’s not open for business so you will have to try somewhere else.

Humintas

Made with love by Oscars grandmother

Pasancallas

Pasancallas are literally sent from the heavens above to satisfy my tastebuds…haha, no but really they are delicious. They are easily compared to popcorn, but are much larger and much sweeter. They are sold in various sizes of bags in the streets and prices depend based on which city you are in. The best pasancallas come from Copacabana and that is indeed a well known fact to all Bolivians. If you are buying from a street vendor, I would recommend you ask to try a piece so that you can taste the freshness. If they are a few days old, they will taste stale and then you wont be able to thoroughly enjoy the best food on earth and that would be a shame.

In Sucre buying a bag from a street vendor.

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Can you tell how much I love these things?! I wish I could have taken the whole bag with me!

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The famous Cholita fighting occurs only on Sundays at 4:30pm in El Alto and Thursday at 6:30pm. Oscar’s aunt and uncle accompanied us to experience this legacy of La Paz and it was the first time for all of us! We drove to the MultiCine to park the car and then took a minibus headed to the airport for 2.40Bs each from Isabela la Catholica (near the Ritz). You can also take this minibus from La Avenida Mariscal Santa Cruz if you are not near the multicine. This is not the only way to arrive to the Ceja. If you are in the center of La Paz you can take a minibus from the San Francisco (destination CAJA) to LA Ceja where you will get off when you see the bridge; this ride should take about 30 minutes and cost under 3Bs.

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Box Office to buy the tickets. 50Bs for VIP and 20Bs for bleacher seating.

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First round of luchadores. Guy vs Guy…anxiously awaiting to see the Cholitas!

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There are no rules in this place….the entire amphitheater is fair game for their fights!

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Team fighting!

When we arrived to La Ceja there was already a line outside of the door of about 50 people. We bought our tickets and got into the line. Don’t be fooled when you see the line outside as this is the line to enter the auditorium, not to purchase the tickets. Head to the sign that says Boleterio when you arrive. There are two options of tickets, 20Bs for the seats in the bleachers or 50Bs for “VIP” tickets where you sit right by the ring. We opted for the “VIP” 50 Bs ticket since we would only be experiencing this once and wanted to be right up front.

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This is what the line looks like outside the door.

Once the doors open we entered and found that the VIP seating were plastic chairs that were brought to us to place wherever we wanted by the ring. We grabbed a chair and setled into a good spot for the show, right up against the fence. Now, for first time goers I heed one warning for you as this is a very interactive show (which we did not realize at first). If you are uncomfortable with the fighters coming up to you, stealing your beverages, throwing water on you, or even kissing you right on the lips…opt for the bleachers, but for those of you who want the full experience pay that extra 30Bs and you wont be disappointed!

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These ladies are fierce!

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Props are allowed in the fighting and you never what they are going to bring out from behind the curtains!

The show started with two male fighters that seemed very much like those that I had seen in Mexico before. After they fought a bit, did there thing the Cholitas started to come out. Each one of them had their own entrance and own specific gig that they did. One of the more famous fighters is a woman who goes around kissing guys on the lips as she enters the arena. She usually targets the gringos and we witnessed her say no to an older local guy when he asked for a kiss (ouch haha). It’s pretty hilarious to see her go around and kiss young white guys out of nowhere when they don’t even ask for it HaHa. The fights are really interactive and is amazing to see that they don’t actually hurt each other with all the moves they do. They do a lot of props, fake blood, and WILL steal your beverages if you are sitting in the front row. There is a fence that separates the crowd from the arena, but all the fighters undo the fence and come into the seating area to take pictures, fight each other, throw water on you, etc .When you head to the cholitas fighting…don’t expect anything to happen or not happen because everything is fair game. 🙂

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The Cholita that kissed about 6 gringos in the stand!

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This is the auditorium and you can see how close the “VIP” seats are!

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Cholita Luchadores!

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