The Valley of the Moon

About 40 minutes south of La Paz, a bizarre landscape of eroded rock and clay takes shape. Known as the Valle de la Luna, the jagged hills and crags seem to belong in a science fiction film, and not so near a major city. A small park allows visitors to explore the area from within.

The Amazing Moon

We spent about 90 minutes on the trails which wind through the park. The paths are clearly marked, but it’s easy to venture off a bit on your own. This isn’t like a park in the USA, where security guards are going to be watching your every move. Just watch your step! Towering cliffs disappear suddenly into dark crevices, and every inch of sandy stone looks like it might collapse at any second.

We had been told that vizcachas lived in the area, and as I rounded a curve, I spotted one of the shy little buggers taking the sun on a rock. Vizcachas look like rabbits, only bigger and with large, poofy tails. I was surprised to learn that they’re not related to rabbits at all; they’re rodents.

The Valle de la Luna is easily accessible from La Paz, and makes an easy day trip which doesn’t require much time or effort. Just hop on any bus headed toward Mallasa, and ask the driver to let you out at the right spot.

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