2 million population and growing...
La Paz Travel Blog› entry 31 of 45 › view all entries
All tourists arrive through El Alto, which is the part of the city up on the altiplano . They apparently started building this in 1985 and this is still in full flow; now with a population 1 million, with another 1 million in the valley of La Paz city. ItÂ´s amazing to get the views of cities like La Paz and Cusco, looking down from surrounding hills and cliffs up here in the Andes, or even looking from the bottom up to all the buildings clinging to the steep sides of the valley.
La Paz is a lot bigger than we expected. A lot busier too with, it appeared, the majority of the worldÂ´s supply of Toyota Hiace minivans acting as the cityÂ´s transport.
We popped into an art museum and managed to catch the World Press Photo display in arguably the cityÂ´s most prominent landmark San Francisco. Well recommended if you see it in a city near you.
We took a day trip to Tiwanaku, booked through our hostel. The place is definitely a must do in terms of getting a full historical picture , but our tour wasn't that great due to the guide. Anyway, briefly, Tiwanaku was a major site for the pre-Inca peoples and was occupied for far, far longer than the peoples known as the Incas were around.
Final thoughts: La Paz is also The place to buy yourself a Llama foetus. Apparently you bury it under the doorstep of a new building for luck. Anyone?
Extra Tiwanaku info if you're interested: Just found this leaflet from our tour (Kanoo Tours) 70Bs pp.
This archaeological site is a little over 70km west from the city of La Paz towards the border town of Desguadero. Tiwanaku (also spelt Tiahuanaco and Tiahuanacu) was founded around 200BC and after many years grew from a small village to a much larger city with population estimated anywhere between 200,000 to 1.
Although the site is still under investigation [obvious signs of recent digging while we were there - but no people as it was a weekend - T] large areas have been uncovered and many parts restored [how authentically, I'm unsure of e.g. "the faces"]. Your guide will talk you through the history of the site and in both museums. For those who have visited sites in Peru you will be interested to find how Tiwanaku influenced many of the other civilisations futher north.
Tiwanaku is one of the most important ancient civilisations in the world and more is being learnt about it every day.