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Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

Free admission
La Paz, Bolivia

The Basics

Tiwanaku is a pre-Incan archeological site on a remote part of the Altiplano, near the southern shores of Lake Titicaca. Not as famous as, and entirely different than, the ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru, this mysterious city has confounded scholars for centuries.

Given the high degree of knowledge needed to properly enjoy Tiwanaku, it’s recommended to visit either as part of a tour, or to hire a local and knowledgeable guide. Many tours depart La Paz for half- and full-day Tiwanaku experiences.

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Private Tiwanaku and Titicaca Day Trip from La Paz
Private Tiwanaku and Titicaca Day Trip from La Paz
star-4.5
$150.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Excellent tour off the beaten path
This was an excellent tour off the beaten path. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about all things Bolivia, not just the sights we were seeing. The local guide at Tiwanaku also was extremely knowledgeable and friendly.This was a great tour that not only allowed us to see the ruins of Tiwanku and a part of Lake Titicaca less frequented by tourists, but we also got to see a side of Bolivia that many tourists don't get to see with large groups.
Daniel_T, Dec 2018

Recent reviews from experiences in La Paz

star-5
Interesting and well-organised tour
Amelia_L, Nov 2019
Full day Tiwanaku, the lost empire
I'm sorry I can't remember our guide's name (Leo/Luis?) but he was excellent at explaining the story of Tiwanaku and weaving some key themes throughout the different sites, I really enjoyed it and found it fascinating. The lunch was great too and transport well-organised and easy. Would definitely recommend.
star-4
Lake Titikaka and surround area
Rashmi P, Jul 2019
Private Tour: Tiwanaku Archeological Site from La Paz
We changed our mind and instead visited Lake Titikaka and surrounding area. Nice spot to walk down the hill and rest on the shores of the Lake. Scenery from the road was spectacular
star-5
Authentic Experience
Andrew_K, Feb 2020
Private Tiwanaku and Titicaca Day Trip from La Paz
This tour was by far one of the most interesting tours, I've ever taken. What made this tour so unique was not just the sites (Lake Titicaca & Tiwanaku), it was the tour guide himself (Caleb). The guide was extremely knowledgeable in the history and culture of the sites, and he also included lots of information about the Bolivian people. Some of the best parts of the tour was the journey to the sites. I feel like I got to see parts of the Bolivian country side that most tourists do not get to see. I took this tour just before departing Bolivia, but had I'd known, I would have booked all my tours through this company.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The ruins at Tiwanaku are a must-see for first-time visitors as well as history and archaeology buffs.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, and bring sunblock and warm clothes.

  • At 13,000 feet (almost 4,000 meters) above sea level, the high altitude can be a problem for many visitors, so take it easy until you’re properly acclimated.

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How to Get There

Tiwanaku is located about 44 miles (72 kilometers) from La Paz, across the arid, frigid plains of the Bolivian highlands. Most visitors arrive as part of a tour or by public transport—colectivos headed to the ruins depart from the bus station across from the cemetery in La Paz; the ride takes about 1.5 hours.

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When to Get There

You can visit the ruins year-round, though the best time to travel in Bolivia is during the winter dry season, from May to October. Tiwanaku receives fewer visitors than the better-known sites in neighboring Peru, and you can go just about any time without having to worry about crowds.

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Tiwanaku Highlights

The ruins of Tiwanaku are made up of mysterious palaces, temples, and pyramids. Highlights include the 50-foot-high (15-meter) Akapana Pyramid, which was built using large stone slabs not found anywhere else in the indigenous area, and Puma Punku, where there is evidence of man-made structures that exist more than 6 feet (1.8 meters) below the earth’s surface.

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