The La Paz area has so much more to offer than most realize. History, culture, ancient ruins, waterfalls, islands and vast forests beg the intrepid traveller to be explored. Our 7 day all inclusive package explores the best of La Paz, giving you an in depth experience that combines off the beaten trail with some of the more popular must see attractions like Tiwanaku and Isla del Sol. We offer this package with 3 to 5 star accomodation (best price guaranteed), and our signature cooked to order lunches, served in the beautiful Bolivian countryside.
- Ancient Ruins Day 1 La Paz City Tour
- History Day 2 Andes/Ruins/Forest Day
- Local Cuisine Day 3 Coroico/Yungas
- Local Culture Day 4 Tiwanaku/Copacabana - Customizable Days 5-6 Isla del Sol/Isla de la Luna - Private Day 7 Palca Canyon
Includes: Accomodation (3 to 5 stars depending on package), Listed Tours, Private Transportation (Airfare to and from La Paz not included), Breakfast and Lunch (Dinner included on Isla del Sol and in Coroico), Entrance Fees, English/Spanish Speaking Guide
Itinerary: As this is a private tour we are flexible in regards to our itinerary. We understand that after a few days of travel it’s nice to sleep in for a change. We are happy to accommodate for this, as well as making some other slight changes to the itinerary. For example, those wishing to do the Death Road may opt to switch out the “Andes, Ruins, Forest” tour to do so. It is best to keep in mind that this tour was designed to cover the most of the La Paz area while minimalizing superfluous transport time. We require a minimum of 2 travelers to book, and limit groups to 7 travelers.
Day 1, La Paz Our tour begins with the city of La Paz, administrative and political capital of Bolivia. Founded in 1548, La Paz is as rich in history as it is in culture. Starting from the iconic San Francisco Church, birthplace of La Paz we travel on foot to Plaza Murillo, where the Bolivarian wars for independence began. We then head to grab a salteña on the plaza. Salteñas are the traditional empanada of Bolivia, and are enjoyed as a midmorning breakfast treat. Walking to Calle Jaen we explore the most intact early colonial street in La Paz before heading to the city’s teleferico, or gondola line. From there we have a bird’s eye view of the city and the canyon of the Choqueyapu River. We stop halfway up the red line to visit La Paz’s Cementario General or general cemetery. This “city of the dead” is enormous, and its park-like atmosphere is a favorite spot for Paceños (demonym for people from La Paz) to stroll on the weekend. After a stop in El Alto we return to the downtown area to take lunch and sample some more local food. After lunch we either continue to visit more sights downtown, such as the lookout at Killi Killi, or return you to your hotel to rest up a bit.
Day 2, Andes, Ruins, Forest A tour of our own design, we explore the history of the ancient trade routes that fueled the Andean economy for centuries. We depart by private transportation from La Paz and head up high, to a 5000 meter pass on an ancient Andean trade route used continuously for at least 3000 years. From there we cross the continental divide and head down to a series of “tambos”. These stations were used by the Inca and Tiwanaku peoples as relay points for messengers (chasquis) and for trade caravans crossing the Andes to stop and rest. Some of these tambos are still well preserved, and it is in one such tambo that we stop and cook lunch. After lunch we depart for a walk in the cloud forests of the “Yungas”, the foothill region to the east of the high Andes. These foothills shelter a biodiversity nearly equal to that in the lower Amazon Basin, with riotous vegetation and many rare, colorful bird species (more in this region than in all of North America combined!). From there we continue down into tropical warmth, to the 18th century colonial village of Coroico where we spend our second night.
Day 3, Coroico The village of Coroico is a meeting point of cultures and home to many peoples. It also has some of the best fried chicken this side of Kentucky. Coroico is a wonderful place to shop for locally made crafts as well. We have several options for our day in Coroico, including a hike into the unique, moss covered cloud forest on Mt. Uchumachi, a drive out to a secluded group of waterfalls for swimming and BBQ cooked next to the water, or simply a relaxing day spent by the pool sipping umbrella drinks. Any way you choose you can’t go wrong. At 1500 meters t’s a nice way to catch your breath before heading back to the thin air of the Altiplano. We conclude the day with private transportation back to La Paz.
Day 4 Tiwanaku/Copacabana Shrouded in mystery until quite recently, the ancient city of Tiahuanaco is still far from being completely excavated and surveyed. The area around the site was inhabited as early as 3500 BCE, and saw the rise of Chiripa, first civilization in the Americas, around 1500BCE (note: we can amend the Tiwanaku itinerary to accommodate a visit to the Chiripa site upon client’s request). With the development of the suka kollu, a type of agricultural pond, the settlement grew rapidly during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, and began to influence the surrounding areas. As a city-state, it blossomed between 300CE and 1000CE, and was home to as many as 500,000 people at its peak. Due to changing weather patterns around the turn of the first millennium CE the city began to decline and was abandoned sometime around 1080CE. Although much of the site was disturbed by looting, which began soon after Tiahuanaco’s decline, it is possible to observe the high level of social sophistication, and technical stone work that were characteristic of Tiahuanaco during its height. We depart La Paz between 7am-8am for the 1.5 hour drive to Tiwanaku and tour the main sites of Puma Punku, the Pyramid of Akapana, Temple of Kalasasaya, Puerto del Sol and the ruins complex’s stone and pottery museums. After completing the tour we begin our drive to Copacabana, where we will spend our fourth night. After touring the town and the incredible grottos perched above the stunning Titicaca shoreline we sample the area’s local cuisine for dinner. Fried fish is the local specialty here, with much more to choose from.
Day 5-6, Isla del Sol/Isla del la Luna
Isla del Sol is a jewel of South American travel. From white sand beaches with turquoise water to the island’s 80+ ruins there is too much to see in just one day, and with a backdrop of 6000 meter peaks towering over the water the sunrises are unforgettable. After breakfast in Copacabana we begin our journey to Isla del Sol by private boat, stopping at Isla de la Luna on the way for an hour long walking tour of that Island and it’s ruins. After arriving on Isla del Sol we are met by mules to take our bags up the hill to the picturesque village of Yumani. After lunch we walk to the Inca ruins at Pillkukayna, a well preserved two story structure. Dinner options in the village of Yumani include chairo (a Bolivian stew with beef or fish and potatoes) pizza cooked in a wood fired oven or fresh caught trout. On day two we head to the Inca ruins at Chincana, popularly known “the labyrinth”. This hike crosses the length of the island with stunning views of the high Andes and the Peru side of the lake along the way. After lunch cooked at the ruins we return to Yumani, and gather our things before returning to Copacabana by private boat. Clients have the option of returning to La Paz that evening or spending another night in Copacabana.
Day 7, Palca Canyon
Located to the southeast of La Paz, and lost in eternity, Palca Canyon is the hidden gem of La Paz travel. Eons of rain have sculpted the sedimentary rock into a masterpiece the likes of which Georgia O’Keefe or Salvador Dali would feel perfectly at home in. Temperatures here can be much higher than in chilly La Paz, which is often a welcome change for those travelling in the Altiplano. Several smaller canyons spur off to the sides, and offer a unique environment to hike in, as the narrow canyons wind and twist into the silence. To the Aymara this was a place to make offerings to the Pachamama, or Earth mother, and to reflect and commune with the spirits. The occasional presence of water creates lush oases of moss and deep green plants that starkly contrast the rock. We cook lunch in the canyon, and spend the day exploring, hiking and enjoying this unique and surreal environment. As time allows we can return to La Paz early in the afternoon for clients wishing to rest up a bit and get ready for a flight or to do some shopping.