Tiwanaku: city of mistery
In Tiwanaku town the average temperature is 8 degrees Centigrade. The climate is pleasant with sunny days but cold nights, the wind starts at around 17:00.
How to get to Tiwanaku
Tiwanaku town is located 71 kilometers away from La Paz city and 15 kilometers away from the Titikaka Lake, which is the highest Lake in the world, located at 3485 m.a.s.l.
To get to Tiwanaku town from La Paz city you can take a minivan. The minivans depart from the General Cemetery area, located behind the flower market. The minivans depart each hour on a daily basis.
The approximate traveling time is two hours by minivan or an hour if you take a private vehicle. The road is in a good condition and along the way you will enjoy the surrounding highland landscapes and see Laja and Tambillo towns.
The transportation rate is 18 to 22 Bolivianos one way, which is approximately 3 dollars (could vary according the exchange rate).
Tiwanaku can be visited all year round, but the most visited dates are:
- Tiwanaku town anniversary: September 14th
- Vernal Equinox: September 21st
The most important festivity is the Spring Equinox on September 21st. A great multitude gathers in Tiwanaku town to see the first sunlight shine through the main door of the Kalasaya Temple and religious manifestations take place. This festivity includes folkloric dancers and ends in a "Balseada" that consists of gathering all the dancers and the musicians' presents to cross the Titikaka Lake on Totora boats. This typical festivity invites locals and tourists to participate in dances, games and to enjoy the typical food of the area.
- Autumnal Equinox: March 21st
- Winter solstice: June 21st
The Aymara New Year, June 21st, is considered to be the coldest night of the year and establishes the Sun's approach to the Earth known as Wilkakuti. The tradition is to observe the sunrise by the famous Sun gate in the Kalasasaya temple. During the sunrise the Aymara priests (kallawayas) perform ancestral gratitude rituals to the Sun and the Earth while the musicians plays typical Andean music.
Summer solstice: December 21st
Tiwanaku Ruins visit fee
The entrance to the ruins has a fee, includes the ceremonial area and the museums. The approximate cost is:
- Nationals Bs. 10
- Foreigners: USD 10
- Students: Bs. 3
Opening hours in Tiwanaku
The average tour to Tiwanaku starts in the morning very early and finishes at the end of the afternoon with the return to La Paz city.
The ruins and museums in Tiwanaku town are open for visitors from 9:00 to 17:00 only.
There are two important museums outside the ruins with interesting pieces from excavations and the Pachamama monolith.
It is possible to exchange money at Cooperativa de Credito ANED. It is adbvisable to have cash in small bills and coins.
The available cell phone service is ENTEL. There is no internet service.
You can acquire some souvenirs and Tiwanaku replicas in the kiosks outside the museums.