Tiwanaku

Tiwanaku

Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This is one of the most mysterious ancient ruins in South America.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.0
1,720 reviews
Excellent
796
Very good
574
Average
271
Poor
58
Terrible
21

mattysb
La Paz, Bolivia9 contributions
Fascinating
Sep 2019
Fantastic day trip to get the lungs used to the altitude before we went climbing. Paid for a private tour upon arrival- very knowledgeable guide.
Written June 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dr.Kusal K.Das
Bijapur, India98 contributions
Extraordinary site of Bolivia to visit
May 2019
It was a memorable visit to Tiwanaku. I had been there from La Paz. The site speaks about ancient civilization of Pre Inca civilization. The Sun and Moon God worshipers were very civilized and knnew mathematics especially geometry very well,
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maris Z
Sigulda, Latvia394 contributions
Magic
Jan 2020
A fantastic place to see a long lost mystical culture. Of particular interest is the head pit, where two alien-like faces can be seen.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Similtiades
Riga, Latvia3,576 contributions
Worthwhile Adventure from La Paz
Dec 2019 • Couples
Visiting Tiawanaku at first seems like a more expensive trip to take from La Paz, given the prices of the organised tours dotted around tourist offices and hostels in the city. However, the daunting task of taking our own trip in that direction proved to be relatively straightforward, if slightly hectic. The plaza in front of the main cemetery of La Paz has many minivans mostly heading up towards the towns near the Peruvian border; though at first we had trouble finding one that was going to Tiawanaku and not Copacabana, once the word got around where we were trying to get to, a driver found us.

We were dropped on the edge of Tiawanaku town by the side of the motorway, and from there it was about a thirty minute walk up the track towards the entrance to the ruins. The town itself seemed fairly dead and abandoned, so it is probably best not to plan to eat or sleep there, but the area around the ruins was slightly more active. It was still bizarrely quiet though, as an apparently very undervisited archaeological site there were maybe just short of thirty people wandering around while we were there.

Entry to the site costs 100 Bolivianos, and that includes entry to the two accompanying museums outside of the main archaeological ruins area as well as the second dig site on the trail into town from the highway. The trail around the ruins is signposted and easy to follow. Given that the city is located on a plateau beneath the mountain peaks, there aren't any steep inclines and the whole place is pretty accessible save for if you want to climb the pyramid which, though recommended for a great view over the city ruins, is not necessary. It is entirely unpaved, however.

The signposts do provide some basic information about the site, though personally I would have liked a little more. Given how much it is advertised in La Paz I did expect the site to be a bit bigger too; the walk around the whole thing and even doubling back on the trail reading all the information boards took about ninety minutes total.

The ceramic museum across the street provided a lot more information, though mostly about specifics relating to an exhibition of a few artefacts. Most of the museum was solely in Spanish, so be prepared to not understand a great deal of the main exhibit. Photos are banned in the museums, and so is apparently taking your phone out. I started writing a few simple notes about the place and was accosted by an angry old guard insisting I delete photos I didn't take. I even showed him on my photo gallery that there were no photos and he began asking me for money to let me go. Of course, I refused, and continued to walk around the museum ignoring him until he gave up, but be wary of this scam from the staff.

The second museum, if you want to call it that, was more like a warehouse. It had a great many archaeological treasures from the site, but absolutely no information about them. It entirely had the air that they were still setting it up for the public, and it mostly consisted of just walking around spotlit wall and pillar fragments. Interesting at first, but not anything hugely amazing.

Outside, you will also find many locals selling snacks as well as souvenirs. These are actually pretty inexpensive; I felt bad not buying any of them because they had some good deals there without even needing to haggle, though with two months of further travelling I reasoned they would probably have broken in my bag. To get back to La Paz, simply walk back down the main dirt path out of town to the highway road; eventually a minivan going to La Paz will go past. Simply flag it down and board - though be prepared to sit in the aisle as the return trip seemed to get very crowded.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rahul Pandita
5 contributions
A trip to medevial times
Mar 2019 • Solo
Tiwanaku is in Bolivia and it is a heritage site of UNESCO and it has been created as long as the Mayan dynasty and even the ruins now are beautiful. They have a museum which tells the history of the place.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelbug291
Bribie Island, Australia918 contributions
Follow The Sun
Nov 2019
Very spiritual place. The worship of the sun and the accuracy of defining the summer and winter solstice just amazing. Never ceased to amaze me how the 'ancients' carved their stonework, produced canals to control rainfall, and build their temples. So often we use the word 'primitive', but somehow I doubt we could do it today with mall our modern technology.
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mat_ldn
London, UK138 contributions
An intrudction to further exploration
Dec 2019 • Solo
Interesting place to visit but not much to see. it's better to go with organised your as then you are getting proper insight of the Tiwanuku civilisation with English speaking guide. if you decide to go on your own, you will see two temples (in complete ruin), two museums (one of them does not have English descriptions) and you most likely left disappointed.
Written December 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christian M
98 contributions
Don’t visit this!
Oct 2019 • Couples
Don’t visit this!!
First you have to pay 100B entrance to see nothing special. If you visited Machu Picchu or something different before, you can safe time and money.
Written October 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sean K
Canberra, Australia273 contributions
Highlight of my trip to Bolivia
Oct 2019 • Solo
Tiwanaku is a really interesting set of ruins and probably the most important archeological site in Bolivia

The way they carved the stones and moved them are amazing with the technology they had at the time.

To tour the site you'd need about 90 minutes and if possible get a guide.
Written October 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AMsays
Thornhill, Canada3,309 contributions
One of South Americas most important cultures.
Nov 2018
From La Paz’ main cemetery, take a bus clearly marked - it is about 90 minutes unless you have to wait to fill it up. When you get to Tiwanaku, you will be inundated with peddlars and their stone carvings. Bargain. If you buy, give them small notes to avoid returned fake ones and watch your change. There are two museums here and two sites, Tiwanaku and Pumapunku. I found the museums interesting, but they lacked substance and explanations although the huge stone monolith inside is impressive. The map on the ticket, as with the general explanation are a little confusing.
The culture here started as a small settlement around 100 BC and then continued at various periods for about 1,000 years. It had a close connection to the Wari culture of Peru at Pikillaqta, later giving rise to the Incas and the Quechua language. Here, the Tiwanaku culture gave rise to the present-day Aymara language and culture. Tiwanaku is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and noted as the Spiritual and Political Centre of the Tiwanaku culture. They were agriculturally ahead of their time, using various methods so frost resistant crops could flourish in this high altitude. They believed in many gods and were astronomically inclined. It is believed that they also conducted human sacrifices on stone buildings known as Akapanas or cross shaped pyramids. I was able to see these structures as well as the Gateway of the Sun, stepped platforms, remains of a subterranean temple and walls surrounding it. The whole complex is magnificent and an example of the rich history in this area, but it is sorely in need of some care.
Written October 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Tiwanaku is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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