We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Important for Bolivia but not very impressive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku, La Paz, Bolivia
Improve this listing
Visit Tiwanaku like an insider
Private Tour
$73*
and up
Private Tour: Tiwanaku Archeological Site from La...
Ranked #10 of 85 things to do in La Paz
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This is one of the most mysterious ancient ruins in South America.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Important for Bolivia but not very impressive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

we were really looking forward to this Archaeological site, especially the Pyramid but when we got there it was less than impressive. It is rather expensive for what it is (12$) and you are given a map with what it used to look like but....you have to have huge imagination to see it all. The Pyramid is nonexistent and it is really just a pile of mud with some walls around it. I am not even sure if they plan to excavate it at all. The other temples were rebuilt so majority is not original but at least they have a decent museum to see.

Overall with all the costs and troubles to get there we would really recommend to research it properly before going so that nobody is disappointed as we were.

More about Tiwanaku and La Paz you can find in our blog: http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Bolivia/La-Paz-Department/blog-760884.html

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

655 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    291
    237
    99
    20
    8
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Quebec City, Canada
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“So beautiful, so strange”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Those who like ancient site will be delighted. I have seen that spécial door of Tiwanaco. I read about it long ago. I was so pleased to see it and the strange face in the walls. That site is a must.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“most important ruins near La Paz”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

An hour and a half west of La Paz, these are probably the most important ruins in the country. Unfortunately, a great deal of it was destroyed by the European conquerors. Even as late as the early 1900s, stones from the main pyramid were used for other projects.
Nevertheless, you have some things worth seeing. The carvings in the rocks are the most impressive since they are very precise. It is hard to imagine how these carvings were possible so long ago. Some large statues have also survived and are on display.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Poorly reconstructed and maintained”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013 via mobile

As a site of archeological significance this place rates pretty high in regards to Tiwanakan traditions and culture.

However......the entire site has been reconstructed from both original and NEW bricks with seemingly no order nor any consistency

Large bessa bricks have been used to fill in some of the gaps and concrete poured around the walls and also to cement in some of the monolith statues which have also just been placed where the tourist would supposedly like them to be.

Now, ordinarily I would mind an attempt at restoration for the sake of illustrating what the place used to look like, but they (archeologists of the past and present), have just taken their own constructive license on the ruins. And this is why I suspect UNESCO came along several years back and smacked them around a bit. They were just digging up the original bricks from therein and reconstructing them in no particular order where ever they wanted, and evidence of this is still there, in the unfinished cleaning of piles of untagged bricks.

Or guide was rubbish and skirted around some of the information and completely forgot to interpret it into English for us, though the tour was advertised as bilingual.

On a couple of occasions we actually caught her out right lying and fabricating information, and at times she would avoid questions by brazenly stating that 'oh..we don't know'

The Tiwanakan humanoid monoliths are however very interesting and well preserved with much detail still remaining on the surface.

I would not recommend this tour to someone if they have already seen other similar ruins, you will be disappointed.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima, Peru
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Totally worth it!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Beautiful site, but you need to take a tour guide since there is barely any information provided. Nice place to walk around.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Tiwanaku also viewed

La Paz, La Paz Department
La Paz, La Paz Department
 
La Paz, La Paz Department
La Paz, La Paz Department
 

Been to Tiwanaku? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Tiwanaku, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.