An iconic feature of the La Paz landscape, Muela del Diablo (Devil’s Molar) is a scenic tourist attraction ideal for hiking, mountain biking and soaking in spectacular views of the surrounding valley.
Situated at 3,852m above sea level, the bulging rock formation (an extinct volcanic plug) was named for its tooth-like shape when viewed from the north.
On a clear sunny day, hiking to Muela del Diablo is a great way to experience incredible views of La Paz and the valley.
The path to the rocky outcrop starts from the cemetery in Pedregal where an unmarked trail winds uphill to the base of Muela. A steep one hour walk along the zigzagging road takes you to a green marshland where you’ll be greeted to impressive views of the 150 metre tall Devil’s Tooth. From here, the path joins a road leading you down through a small settlement. As you descend, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for stray dogs that like to roam the area.
About 300 meters along the descent is a side route which branches off to the left, taking you to the base of the Muela. Here you can rest, eat a picnic and enjoy the picturesque vistas, while the more adventurous can climb to the cleft between the double summit. Proceed with caution however as there are steep drops and falling stones especially in the rainy season.
Once you’ve finished your time at the Muela, you have two options; return the way you came, or continue walking anti-clockwise across the ridges of the mountain, down to the Rio Choqueyapu before climbing the other side of the valley to the small villages of Mallasa or Jupapina.
If you do choose the later option be aware that it is a full day hike, taking around 6 hours to walk between Pedregal and Mallasa. It’s a dry, dusty walk with nothing between Muela and the valley below so make sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and sun/wind protection. Those keen to stay overnight in the area can do so at the wonderful Colibri Camping & Eco Lodge.
Note: For those choosing to do the half-day hike, Muela del Diablo can easily be combined with a visit to Valle de la Luna for a full-day option.
To get to Muela del Diablo from La Paz, take a taxi or minibus from outside the Iglesia San Francisco to the village of Pedregal, a neighbourhood located behind the Zona Sur in the city’s south. Do be aware that it is a steep one hour climb to the base of the Muela so asking the taxi to drop you off at Chiaraque (the village above Pedregal) might be a better option for some.
Minibuses leaving Pedregal and Mallasa run throughout the day with the last one departing around 6.30pm. If you miss the bus, you can call a taxi from one of the restaurants to take you back to La Paz.
The drive between La Paz and Muela del Diablo takes around 40 minutes and costs around 80 bs ($12 US) for a one way taxi fare and around 3 bs ($0.50) for a one way bus ticket.