Posted by: jimndianne | January 15, 2010

Pre-Inca Ruins at Tiwanaku

5 January 2010 La Paz

With our holiday here fast drawing to a close, we had one final trip planned which was to visit the pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku. They are situated very close to Lake Titicaca which we visited  the previous week so the trip there was very much a repeat of the scenery we had already come across.

The civilization that eventually became the Tiahuanaco (also spelt as Tiwanaku) people is believed to have dawned around 600BC. Construction on their great city and ceremonial site began around 700AD and flourished for several centuries.

At its height, the city was home to 20,000 inhabitants and covered 2.6 sq km. By 1200AD, the Tiwanaku people had faded into obscurity, but its culture lived on through its strong religious influence on the Incas.

The ruins were spread over a wide area and whilst the museum was very well presented, the ruins we felt were in an early stage of excavation and a lot more work would be required to bring them up to a more interesting level.

Below is the Kalasasaya Temple , a ritual platform 130m x 120m with walls made of huge blocks of red sandstone. Many broken pieces of stone litter the top platform.


This is the Sunkan Temple with many faces protruding from the walls.



Adjacent the main ruins is another area called Puma Punku with some more modern figures!



The picture on the left is one of many Megalithic statues around the site. On the right is the Portal of the Sun constructed of a single block of andesite estimated to weigh at least 44 tons. The markings on the front are associated in some way with the sun and perhaps used as a calendar.



Had a farewell dinner out at “The Cave”, a great restaurant serving international cuisine from Thai Green Curries to Chicken Cordon Bleu, with some nice red wine and the good company of our hosts, Gaby and Gerhard. They have shown us all the best features of La Paz and its surroundings and we are grateful to them for that.

Tomorrow we fly out early heading back to New Zealand, via Santiago, Chile, so this is our final post of the trip. We’ve had the most awesome journey, meeting great indigenous folk along the way and seeing many new sights and sounds. We’d just like to thank all of our friends and family who’ve followed us along on this journey and we hope to catch up with many of you before too long.

So all we have to do now is make a decision based on our ‘findings’ as to where we will be living in the future. Watch this space!!!

Jim and Di


  1. What fun! I’ve just started reading you guys and you are certainly living one version of “the dream”. Best fortune in your decision and future escapades.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: