Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Experiential tourism, astronomy, and Andean art in Tiahuanacu

The Tiahuanacu municipality located 74 kilometers from La Paz city, has the Tiwanaku archaeological site and respective museums, but also offers a complementary activities variety. In 2022, Adetur for its acronym in Spanish - Asociacion de Emprendimientos Turismo Integral Tiwanaku (Tiwanaku Integral Tourism Enterprises Association) was created, made up of local inhabitants that offer tourist services in gastronomy, lodging, tourist guides, handicrafts, dairy products, and Andean astronomy experiences.

The visit to this destination requires a minimum of two days and a maximum of three days. It includes activities such as birdwatching on Lake Titicaca, agrotourism, experiential and cultural tourism, and hiking in the mountains.

Here are some of these ventures:

Mystic-Ancient Crafts

Delia Medina, who inherited her mother’s talent for knitting sweaters, hats, and other garments, offers fabrics inspired by the archeology world with ancestral designs. She has become an Andean culture leaders’ weaver, who call her when they require special garments for their ceremonies.

Due to its fame, being the only Bolivian weaver specialized in this type of pieces, her clients include Presidents, mallkus (community authorities), mystics, shamans, and meditators, not only from her region, but from other Andean nations. While her husband, Cesar Callisaya Yujra, provides ceremonial services.


Taypi, tourist artisan interpretation center

For 30 years, Nestor Avalos has transformed clay and stones into archaeological pieces found in Tiwanaku exact replicas. At his workshop, called “Chacha Condori”, he shares his time between
production and teaching, when a local or foreigner seeks him to learn his techniques.

He carries decorative crafts, but the most important thing is that this pieces are inspired by the Tiawanaku cultural legacy; real objects found in the excavations, museum pieces and the most representative objects of this World Heritage site.

To visit “Chacha Condori” or for orders, please call (591) 71977364.

•    Manco Kapac Av

Taypi Uta: A small Tiwanaku replica for leisure

Live the experience when spending a night in a Tiawanaku house replica. The Taypi Uta Tourist Complex
was built in 2018 by Elias Leonardini, who always dreamed of having a small Tiwanaku on his property, so that people can learn up close how the families of that culture lived. Lodging and restaurant services
are offered at this place.

Located on the road, at the entrance to the town, the first thing that can be seen is a recreation of the Kalasasaya temple, with a monolith in its center.

The entire complex itself is an experiential museum. Here one can also participate in ceremonial activities to request favors from the Pachamama (earth goddess) and the Andean gods, or simply rest after an intense day at different tourist attractions.

The lodging price includes breakfast.  You can participate in apthapi or enjoy à la carte dishes.

Now a days, service is only by reservation. Please call (591) 73016684.

•    On the road, upon arrival to the Tiawanaku town. Click here

European cheeses with Tiawanaku milk

The Andean landscape in the Achaca canton, at 4,000 meters above sea level is now a dairy production center. In the inhabitants’ home patios, cattle can be seen, as well as in extensive pampas that end at the foot of hills that seem to be their custodians.

The tourist offer in Tiahuanacu includes a visit to “Lacteos Tiwanaku”, a European cheese industry made
with local milk.

Wilfredo Marin, the plant’s owner, receives visitors and in a tour tells them this initiative’s history and
this area’s dairy production activity details.

Contact:  (591) 712531693.

El Condor Restaurant: Andean flavor among Tiawanaku replicas

Tiawanaku’s culture, architecture and symbology are reflected in all the details of El Condor restaurant.
Inside, in addition to enjoying tasty Andean gastronomy, there is a small sample of this destination’s attractions.

On the walls there are archaeological site photographs, paintings that evoke the culture and crafts of representative objects. In the courtyard, the Kalasasaya temple and monoliths replicas have been recreated.

Marisol Patty, the owner, prepares dishes with local products such as potatoes, llama meat, lake trout, ca, cheese, milk, and other ingredients that come from local producers.


•    End Manco Capac Av., in front of the Arthur Posnansky Educational Unit

Contact: (591) 74859081

The “Real Restaurant” – National and international gastronomy in the historic center

The “Real Restaurant” is Located next to the town’s church, in the Tiahuanacu main square. This restaurant serves the public with typical Bolivian food and international dishes.

The llama roast and those prepared with quinoa, such as soup, are the most requested. They also offer international cuisine and dishes suitable for vegans.

In this restaurant, you can find products from Bs 10 ($us 1.5), as well as a la carte dishes. This place opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 9:00 p.m.

Community Tourism “Walipini” offers a day with a Tiahuanacu family

Produce artisanal cheese with your own hands, from milking the cow to disassembling the mold to enjoy its flavor. Learn to make pottery; learn to dye sheep’s wool and weave fabrics; learn to cook in earth made ovens with ancestral techniques, are some of the experiences offered by the Ancestral Restaurant in Community Tourism “Walipini”, an experiential tourism project, located in Chambi Chico community at Tiahuanacu.

Janneth Huanca Calle and Luis Fernando Choque Pati, both graduates in Tourism, carry out this venture that seeks to show the locals daily life.

Its flagship product is the huatia, a food preparation technique that comes from their ancestors. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, oca, and fava beans are cooked in traditional stoves made with stones and earth. This dish is accompanied by meat and cheese. This can only be done after May 3, when the root vegetables harvest season begins.

Part of the experience includes building these natural ovens with compacted earth pieces.

It is accompanied by different types of meat, sometimes with roast llama, other times with beef or fish;
all mounted on the ground in pullos, a kind of blanket. This is the apthapi or Andean buffet. A day, which includes all activities and supplies costs Bs 150 for foreign tourists and Bs 100 for nationals.
The visit must be scheduled in advance by calling (591) 65686033 o 77249572

Akapana, the first Tiahuanacu hotel

The lodging has 100-bed a capacity in 33 rooms. It has an auditorium for 70 people and a restaurant wit h a dining room for up to 300 people. This hotel will soon have a sauna and there are children’s playrooms on site, and enough space to walk outside. The hotel is located next to the archaeological site, on Manco Capac Av.. For reservations call (591) 73261926.

Hiking in Quimsachata

For adventure and nature lovers, the tourist route in Tiahuanacu includes hiking to the top Quimsachata mountain, located 11 kilometers south of the archaeological site, at 4,709 meters above sea level.

Sixto Quispe, a guide for archaeologists and researchers since 2005, carries out this initiative to show visitors the area’s flora and fauna wealth. On the way foxes, vizcachas, birds and, with luck, the Andean cat can be observed,” Sixto says. Since he was a child, he hiked these places and knows the routes like few others. For this reason, he wants to take advantage of his experience in order to share it with visitors with an adventurous soul.

For inquiries and reservations, please call (591) 73262767

“Chakana”, an astronomical observatory to learn about Andean constellations

If the weather is favorable, it is advisable to carry out this night-time tourist activity to appreciate the Andean constellations, interpreted by Manuel De La Torre, the “Chakana” Andean Astronomical Complex director.

Prior to the experience, there the Modern Astronomy and Archeoastronomy rooms tour. There you can
see constellations photographs while the expert interprets them.

In the next room, there is a space navigation history thematic display. There, telescopes are also exhibited, as well as a scale spacecraft.

For inquiries, please call (591) 73261926.

Other activities:

  • “Dimension Andean”, offers guided visits with a spiritual and traditional vision to the ancestral temples. Contact:(591) 71903332
  • “Yujra Services”, tour operator. Contact: (591) 72529669
  • ADETUR Tiahuanacu: (591) 74010999

This content is taken from the “Soy Bolivia” verified guide, prepared in April 2023 with information provided by organizations and communities involved. This guide is updated annually to ensure its validity. In order to suggest a community tourism venture, free of charge, you are welcome to send a WhatsApp message to the number (591) 70079347.

  • Note: Prices are updated to May 2023.

Warning. The images in this guide were provided by representatives of the involved communities, who assured that they use these photographs for the respective promotions of their ventures.