I arrived here in a mini bus from Desaguadero border (Peru). These mini buses go to La Paz, but will stop at the road junction if required.
So I was left there, all alone in the road, and had 15 minutes walk to the ruins. I was preparing my heavy rucksack for the walk, when a nice taxi-bike stopped by me and asked if I wanted a ride. Of course I do! It was really cheap (less than 1 USD) and I really thanked him to avoid me all that walking under the sun...
When looking at options of how to reach Tiahuanaco, there are on one side the organized tours and on the other the taxi. The first enterprise charges per person (10USD) and the second – per car, per day (30USD). Even for two people, the taxi becomes a bargain, since it can pick you up at any desired time from your hotel, unlike the tours, which start at 7:00 a.m.!? As new fledgling businessman, my driver was trying to get out of me more money after the fact (and oh, boy, how annoyed I am when somebody is pushing me out of the hand-shake agreement). Generally, they say, it is an Arab trick – the negotiations start, not finish, with the contract. No true, rather it has to do with the latitude.
There are basically 2 ways to get to Tiahuanaco:
- From Peru
- From La Paz
I arrived by bus from Puno (Peru). Took there a local bus till the border of Desaguader, passed customs and took in the bolivian side a mini van full of local woman on their way to La Paz.
These buses to La Paz pass by the road junction that leads to the tiny town of Tiahuanaco. Just tell the driver to stop you there. Walking from there to the ruins is about 15 minutes, but there are frequent taxis and bikes passing by.
Most people visit the ruins in organized tours of half day from La Paz.
But is easy to come here on your own, you just have to take a bus in La Paz (Jose Maria Asin street) and it will take you there in about 1 hour. Buses use to be crowded, but they are frequent and cheap.
You can also take buses going to Desaguadero (border with Peru), but they will stop you at the road junction, about 15 minutes walking to the ruins. Tell the driver in advance to stop at the junction.
The best way to get there and the cheapest as well is to take one of the many vans from the Cementerio of La Paz. The fare is dirt cheap at under $1 USD an hour.