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September-October 2016

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Weatherscapes

La Paz, Bolivia – City of the Clouds

Bolivia's city of La Paz, the world's highest national (administrative) capital, which ranges in altitude from 10,600–13,300 feet above sea level, stands alone among cities across the globe in form and natural setting. Nestled into a natural bowl cut into the Andean Altiplano by the Choqueyapu river system, the city represents a unique mix of geology, meteorology, and human geography.

The story of La Paz began millions of years ago with the formation of the Andes Mountains, the world's longest mountain chain. The second highest range of mountains after Asia's Himalayas, the Andes formed through subduction under the western periphery of the South American continent. The resultant uplift and upwelling of magma created a wall of sub-ranges made of many different types of rock, including lava and metamorphic rock.       

ED DARACK is an independent author and photographer who covers a broad range of topics. His next book is Highest Valor, published by Smithsonian Books. Learn more at www.darack.com.       

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