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World’s first cocaine bar changes location every month so it stays secret

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

World’s first cocaine bar changes location every month so it stays secret

How does an illegal cocaine bar manage to stay in operation for so long without being shut down by the authorities? Keep changing location, of course.

The capital city of Bolivia is home to the world's first cocaine bar, Route 36. But if you want to find it, you're going to have to do some serious research.

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La Paz is famous for being the highest administrative capital in the world, sitting at over 3,500 metres above sea level on the Andes.

It's so high that tourists often suffer from breathlessness, nausea, lack of appetite, or insomnia when they visit.

If you've managed to find Route 36 on your travels, though, it might be hard to tell whether your symptoms are from the altitude or from the supply of cocaine you've gotten your hands on.

Like the rest of the world, cocaine is still very much illegal in Bolivia. But the coca plant from which cocaine is extracted is readily available and can legally be sold and used for food, tea, and medicine.

After Columbia and Peru, Bolivia is the largest producer of coca in the world.

While the majority is made for entirely legal consumption, a certain percentage does find its way into the cocaine market.

Coca leaves are grown and farmed legally in Bolivia. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
Coca leaves are grown and farmed legally in Bolivia. Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Thanks to the likes of Route 36, Bolivia's capital city has been the top location for cocaine tourism, with thousands flying in each year to see what all the fuss is about.

You can google is as much as you want, but there's no address to be found for the secret cocaine bar. And even if you do find out where they're based, the address will have changed in a matter of weeks.

This is both so the bar doesn't get shut down by the police and so nearby businesses don't start complaining about the illegal operation and its clientele.

Reports from those who have successfully found Route 36 on their holiday claim that the best way to find the secret bar is to ask a cab driver.

Apparently, La Paz's cab driver information network know all the inside info.

The cocaine bar changes address every few weeks. Credit: YAY Media AS / Alamy Stock Photo
The cocaine bar changes address every few weeks. Credit: YAY Media AS / Alamy Stock Photo

People who have managed to uncover the bar have claimed that you're probably not likely to find any Bolivians inside since this place is really just a tourist destination.

Plus, you could be looking at a €5 (£4.30) entry fee before being charged around €15 (£13) for a gram of cocaine - though it is exceptionally pure.

It's important to be aware of the facts about cocaine.

In 2021, there were 840 deaths related to cocaine registered in the UK - an 8.1% increase from the previous year.

The addictive drug can sometimes cause anxiety, panic, paranoia, and erratic behaviour.

Longer term use can cause depression, dependence, impotence, insomnia, and heart damage.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, click here to gain access to a number of crisis support helplines and contacts.

Featured Image Credit: Chris Rout / Bernadetta Sarat / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Drugs, Travel

Ali Condon

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