La Paz is a thriving city with the modern and traditional life and facility. It is the highest altitude of any major city I have visited. El Alto International Airport at an altitude of 4,061.5 m, (13,325 ft), is the highest international airport and the fifth highest commercial airport in the world. At an elevation of roughly 3,650 m (11,975 ft) above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. The city is built on a mountain side so altitude varies greatly depending on your location. A tip for visitors is to reserve a hotel in a lower part of the city for a few days.
The Altiplano, in west-central South America, is the area where the Andes are the widest. It is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside Tibet. The Salar de Uyuni is a salt flat called the Mirror of the Sky. It covers a total area of 4086 square miles which makes it the world's largest salt flat. During certain seasons, the thin layer of water transforms the flats into a dazzling reflection of the sky. On top of that, it also contains 50-70 percent of the world's known lithium reserves. The average altitude of the Altiplano is 13300 feet. A few of the images In this gallery were made at 16000 feet.
Lake Titicaca is located on the northern edge of the Altiplano. It is a large, deep lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru, often called the "highest navigable lake" in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America
A week on the Altiplano is an adventure that will amaze all who dare to go there.
These images are part of a series titled “Faces of the World”. My objective is to capture the people in places that are not yet part of the first world economy and their communities in this early part of the 21st century. It is an exciting quest. Will I finish? My original intent was to include only portraits of the people but it seems important to see the communities and the cultures as best I can to complete the story. Of course a few images does not tell the whole story but I hope I have allows a “peek under the tent”.
Faces of the World “Cuba” is for sale exclusively at Steve Martins Gallery in the New Orleans Art District.