Tiahuanaco Things to Do

  • Megaliths
    Megaliths
    by Assenczo
  • More of the same non Inca stuff
    More of the same non Inca stuff
    by Assenczo
  • The monokith and some carvings
    The monokith and some carvings
    by SirRichard

Best Rated Things to Do in Tiahuanaco

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    East Kalasasaya Entrance and Monolito Ponce

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 1, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of Monolito Ponce

    This is a view of the east entrance of the Kalasasaya and the Monolito Ponce (framed in the doorway) from the east side of of the Templete Semisubterraneo. I had to wait quite a while to get a shot with no people. Some of the monoliths are named after their discoverers. The larger one inside the Templete Semisubterraneo in the foreground is one of the oldest. It is made of red sandstone and is called Estela Barbada because it appears to have a beard. The Megalito Bennetto Pachamama (now inside the new museum) was originally found in the Templete Semisubterraneo.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun)

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 31, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Puerta del Sol

    The famous carved figure on the decorated archway in the ancient (pre-Incan) city of Tiahuanaco, known as the "Gateway of the Sun," most likely represents Viracocha, flanked by 48 winged effigies, 32 with human faces and 16 with condor's heads. Some believe that the strange symbols might represent a calendar, the oldest in the world. This huge monument is hewn from a single block of stone weighing 10 tons. It is thought that its original location was in the Puma Punku (another large complex to the south). Maybe that was when the stone was broken.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • The Idol

    by jlvillalba Written Jun 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one of two large anthropomorphic figures standings in the southwest corner of the Kalasasaya Temple. This one faces the entrance and is placed on the central axis. The andesite stone used at the ruins was transported from 100 kilometers distance. The sandstone was quarried about 10 miles from the site. With the exception of the Sun Gate, it is the most picturesque of the sculptures at Tiahuanacu, since its 7-foot height is almost covered with hieroglyphic-like carvings. No one knows if these carvings represent a form of writing or are merely decorative. Should these carvings prove to be aform of symbolic writing, what a story they might tell! The statue popularly known as El Fraile is almost devoid of carvings

    Was this review helpful?

  • darthmilmo's Profile Photo

    Museum

    by darthmilmo Written Sep 29, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is an interesting museum included in the price of admissions to the Ruins. It contains a good range of ceramics, crafts, and bones of the inhabitants of Tiahuanuco. Notice the skulls in the picture. Similar to meso-american indians (in Central and North America), the inhabitants of Tiahuanuco used several techniches to alter the skull. For them, having this alteration done was a sign of wealth and nobelity.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Gateway of the Sun

    by jlvillalba Written Jun 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The entrance side of the Portal of the Sun atop the Kalasaya mound. The entire upper panel is intricately carved with a repeating pattern of the images seen in the view above. The monolith has broken and was found partially downfallen in modern times. It has been restored to its original position. The fissure is visible above the right corner of the doorway

    Was this review helpful?

  • The Faces

    by jlvillalba Written Jun 10, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The famous carved figure on the decorated archway in the ancient (pre-Incan) city of Tiahuanaco, known as the "Gateway of the Sun," most likely represents Viracocha, flanked by 48 winged effigies, 32 with human faces and 16 with condor's heads. This huge monument is hewn from a single block of stone, and some believe that the strange symbols might represent a calendar, the oldest in the world. A huge monolithic figure, facing east in the direction of sunrise, stands as silent witness to an unknown civilization established around 2200 years ago.

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Akapana Pyramid

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 1, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Akapana from a Distance

    The pyramid originally had seven stone-faced tiers, but unfortunately in the past, much of the Akapana stonework was scavaged to build railroad tracks, homes and churches in the area. It is now about 18 meters tall and covers an area 180 x 140 meters. There is disagreement on whether Akapana was built on a natural hill or was totally man-made. They have found no artifacts while excavating the middle, so that is the rationale for saying it was built on a natural mound. Extensive new excavations are being done now on Akapana. They may resolve this issue. See also a separate travelogue for more information and pictures.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    New and Old Museum Buildings

    by AlbuqRay Updated Jan 22, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museo Litico and Ceramico

    The new building, housing the Museo Litico Monumental, is on the left. The Museo Ceramico is in the older building on the right. You may only take pictures in the courtyard of the Museo Litico and in the lobby of the Museo Ceramico. You can see that many school children also visit Tiwanaku. Pay your entry fee to the whole site (including Puma Punku) at the new museum. The Megalito Bennetto Pachamama is now inside a big room in the Museo Litico. The Museo Ceramico has pottery pieces and shows the chronological development of the Tiwanaku civilization.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Courtyard in the New Museum

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museo Litico Courtyard

    The original Megalito Bennetto Pachamama is in a large room to the right but photography is not allowed in there. This large monolith was originally found in the Templete Semisubterraneo. At one time it was moved to La Paz and displayed in the Templete Subterraneo Park by the soccer stadium. The park now has a replica instead (see my La Paz tips).

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Three Levels in Tiwanaku Religion

    by AlbuqRay Written Dec 30, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kalasasaya and Templete Semisubterraneo

    There were three levels in the Tiwanaku religion...Alaxpacha (upper), Akapacha (ground) and Manqapacha (lower). They are represented at Tiwanaku by the Akapana, Kalasasaya and Templete Semisubterraneo, respectively. This picture was taken from the top of the Akapana pyramid and shows part of the Kalasasaya on the left and the Templete Semisubterraneo on the right.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    View of the Kalasasaya from the Akapana Pyramid

    by AlbuqRay Written Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of the Kalasasaya

    This is the view of the Kalasasaya from the Akapana pyramid looking northwest. Puerta del Sol is in the back corner. El Fraile (the priest) is in the southwest corner. Monolito Ponce is in the middle of the inner wall. The outer wall is made of red sandstone and is 3 meters high, covering an area 130 x 120 meters. You can see the village of Tiahuanaco and its cathedral in the left background. The old shoreline of Lake Titicaca is just behind the buildings on the right side of the picture.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Tiwanaku Megaphone

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tiwanaku Megaphone

    At the west end of the inner wall of the Kalasasaya, there is a stone with a hole in it shaped like a human inner ear. If you stand in the middle of the Kalasasaya and someone speaks into the other side of the hole, you can hear them clearly. One wonders what words have flowed through this stone over many centuries.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    View to the Northwest from Akapana

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View to the Northwest from Akapana

    In the foreground you can see an unexcavated stone sticking out of the ground; there are many like this. In the center are the older north side excavations. Part of the Kalasasaya is in the right background and you can see the Puerta del Sol and El Fraile in the northwest and southwest corners, respectively. The square area just to the west of El Fraile is Putuni or the Palacio de los Sarcofagos. Part of the village of Tiahuanaco is in the far left background.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Putuni - Palacio de los Sarcofagos

    by AlbuqRay Updated Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Putuni - Palacio de los Sarcofagos

    Putuni is an almost square area (55 x 60 meters) just outside the Kalasasaya. A German archaeologist excavated it when no one else was interested. It turned out to be the graveyard of rich people. There were many gold and silver artifacts. The village and cathedral of Tiahuanaco are in the background.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    North Wall of the Kalasasaya

    by AlbuqRay Written Dec 31, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    North Wall of the Kalasasaya

    The walls of the Kalasasaya are made of red sandstone and andesite and form a platform 3 meters tall. Some of the stones weigh as much as 150 tons. The north wall is the wall that would have faced Lake Titicaca.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Tiahuanaco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

86 travelers online now

Comments

Tiahuanaco Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Tiahuanaco things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Tiahuanaco sightseeing.

View all Tiahuanaco hotels