The Mythical Witches Market in La Paz, Bolivia

The scariest market in the world

In Bolivia you can find the witches’ market, one of the most unusual markets in the world. Getting there is not difficult: At Plaza San Francisco, located next to a church of the same name, you walk up a street named Calle Santa Cruz. After only a few minutes you will reach the "Mercado de Hechicería" (market of magic) with the colorful "Chiflerías", the shops of the witches. At the entrances you will see colorful cloths, backpacks and other souvenirs. It is getting serious when you go inside: you will have a fascinating insight into the indigenous beliefs of the Bolivians, who still have a strong place in their cultural identity. Do not be surprised if you see one of the strangest things on the market hanging from the ceiling: mummified llama fetuses.


At the bizarre market, there are a variety of products in several stores, such as talismans, amulets, medicinal herbs, lucky charms, nude ceramic figures, mummified frogs (they bring luck), turtles (for a long life), toucan beaks (to heal diseases and wounds ) and owl feathers. Salespeople also make sure that they have natural remedies for all sorts of illnesses. Furthermore, there are different powders and soaps. You can already guess from the pictures on the packaging for what purpose those are meant to be. However, it is also written in large letters: "More customers", "Ignite passion" or "Money in abundance". By the way, you will also find traditional souvenirs such as knit sweaters, choupas (lama or alpaca wool coats), musical instruments, jewelry and much more! 


The rituals of the "real" witches

The real warlocks, who have had their shops for ages on the witches market, are not really big fans of the "tourist stuff". Their real mission is to create custom-made concoctions for "K'oa", an offering to the Andean Goddess Pachamama: Mother Earth. The mixture is wrapped and has to be lit on a Friday, because Pachamama is particularly receptive to wishes then. Whoever builds a house, adds a llama fetus to the burnt offering and uses the ashes for the foundation. This is to ensure protection, health and happiness. It is very likely that a Lama fetus is buried under almost every Bolivian house, usually together with alcohol, coke, tobacco and cash.


But the witches of the Mercado de Hechicería also dominate the dark magic arts: mainly cheated wives are asking for these services. They get 2 candles in animal form from the witches, which have to be lit at night in a church. However, it does not happen often that tourists spend their nights in churches or burying lama fetuses under houses. That is precisely why the powders, soaps and talismans were invented. Whether authentic or not, your customers should still pay a visit to the witches market in Bolivia.


Your customers in a magical world?

We will gladly help you organize trips to Bolivia and the witches market for your customers. Just contact one of our South American specialists.

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