This morning you will be transferred from Sucre along the Yamparaez route to Alcantari airport for your flight to La Paz. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in La Paz
El Alto airport is the highest International airport in the world at 4,080m/13.115 ft. above sea level. The drive from the airport to the hotel offers good views of the city of La Paz and nearby snow-capped mountains.
La Paz has a spectacular setting in a deep bowl surrounded by snow-capped mountains of the Altiplano. It lies in the shadow of the towering 6,438m high Mt. Illimani, always snow-covered and visible from many parts of the city. The city (from the main square) is 3,636 metres above sea level but the neighbouring city of El Alto where La Paz International Airport is located lies at over 4,000 metres. Some of the highlights of La Paz itself include Plaza Murillo, San Francisco Church and the ’’Witches Market’’ where vendors sell dried llama foetuses and frogs, dried llama dung, herbs, remedies and other ingredients used in Aymara traditions and rituals.
Today we visit Tiwanaku ruins. Tiwanaku is a 1.5 hour drive from La Paz, located near the southern shores of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano, at an altitude of 3,850 metres. Tiwanaku was the spiritual and political centre of the Tiwanaku culture that dates back to 1500BC - 1000AD. It was one of the most important pre-Inca civilizations and considered to be among the most developed at the time. The Tiwanaku people were outstanding in agriculture, hydraulics, architecture and medicine, as well as in social organization, but due to an economic crisis caused by a long dry season, Tiwanaku collapsed around 1,000 AD.
The city of Tiwanaku was the capital of this powerful pre-Hispanic empire that dominated a large area of the southern Andes and beyond, reaching its height between 500 and 900 AD. Most of the ancient city, built largely from adobe, has been overlaid by the modern town. The monumental stone buildings of the ceremonial centre, however, survive in the protected archaeological zones.
The main constructions visited during this tour include the Kalasasaya Temple and the Gate of the Sun constructed out of stone, Ponce and Fraile monoliths, the Pyramid of Akapana and the semi-underground temple.
We also visit two local museums to view pottery and stone work and to learn more about the culture.