An Irish Pub In La Paz Bolivia
The Wild Rover in La Paz, Bolivia quite simply is the highest Irish pub in the world. Yes I also went to Paddy’s in Cuzco which lays a similar claim, but here in La Paz I made my way to The Wild Rover.
Housed in the lofty Bolivian city of La Paz, you can find the Wild Rover Backpackers on 1476 Comercio Street. I wasn’t actually staying there mind you, I chose to stay at the nearby Loki Hostel instead (it’s literally round the corner). On the first floor of the Wild Rover backpackers is housed a cosy, friendly wee Irish Pub, also of course known as the Wild Rover. At an elevation of well over 3,000 metres above sea level, this little enclave away from the monstrocity of La Paz had the nice honour of being the world’s highest Irish Pub. So I just had to pop in!
The Wild Rover Backpackers doubles up as demamp camp shirt a tour agent, and indeed I booked a few of my trips within Bolivia from here. But you have to let things go when you travel as you never have time to cram them all in and I was happy to visit the world’s highest football stadium (Estadio Hernando Siles) and the world’s highest Irish pub as cheaper and worthy substitutes (itself probably not even the right word to use).
I’m from Northern Ireland and there were a few Northern Irish mentions in the pub, Geordie Best made it onto the wall in the world’s highest Irish Pub. Great to see him there and made me feel at home.
I got a must have photo with my Northern Ireland flag – people always forget about us and always think of Ireland as one country. I love levelling things up.
Once inside the bar I go to order my beer only to be surprised to hear a Northern Irish accent behind the bar – it’s a guy from Carryduff called Grant! Amazing!
Grant serves me then comes to this side of the bar to join me for a beer and a chat.It’s all a bit surreal! We talk about Tayto, Milky Ways, Gaelic football and Glentoran FC. Grant even puts on his County Down gaelic top!
The football was also on, with Liverpool playing live. The match was live as this was mid afternoon when I had popped in, and the UK would have been a few hours ahead. It was a European game against Utrecht, and I met a girl from Dublin also in there who was wearing a Liverpool shirt and supporting the reds.
I got a few flag photos with the Northern Ireland flag against the Irish Tricolour and it remains the only photo I have in South America of another person from Northern Ireland holding that flag.
Grant was a top lad and even had his iPod/iTunes connected to the bar dukebox so we cranked on the tunes for the next hour or so. We played Ash, Oasis, Van Morrison and of course The Wild Rover itself. I also met Jack from Tipperary who was working there and I chatted to him about the possibility of some work. Sadly I was already planning to move on, to do the Inca Trail and head northwards after Bolivia, so the chance passed me by on that demamp camp shirt occasion. But who knows in the future! I’ve worked in an Irish Pub in 3 continents, a fourth would be nice!
At night the Wild Rover really does get wild!! It’s a party pub and all sorts of things go on – fancy dress, necking drinks, cocktails and nudity. Forget how high an altitude you are – enjoy the party!
Grant and I said a Slainte and Cheers – it was fabulous to have a beer so high up away from the crazy city of La Paz outside and with a fellow Northern Irishman – they had no Guinness so we had to make do with Pacena!
It’s hidden shyly, and it’s part of the hostel, but you do not need to be staying in the hostel to drink there, nobody was checking on the way in.
Nestled on a street somewhere in this built up city high into the mountains is the Wild Rover! Incidentally I make a habit of visiting Irish Pubs. I’ve been in at least one Irish Pub per continent by now, worked in an Irish Pub in 3 continents, been to Ireland’s Highest Pub (The Ponderosa) and been the the world’s most southern Irish Pub (in Ushuaia).
My wee trip there was incredible. Loved every minute of it and would dearly love to go back. A big thanks to Granty too for being an excellent barman, a great host and good craic!
The Irish say “Top of the morning to ye!” but here it was a case of “Top of the world to ye!”.
To view more ideas from the travelling Northern Irishman check out the blog on Northern Irish travel and the main sights to check out as the limits are infinite.
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