D A T C O T O U R
|HOME||South America||Central America||Falkland Islands||Antarctica||Unique
|Located 72 km (44 miles) west of La Paz,
Tiahuanaco sits in a long, desolate wind-swept valley that today barely provides a poverty
level subsistence for its inhabitants.
But 2,000 years ago it is believed that this valley was one great agricultural area and via an immense system of Sukakollu (raised fields) fed the equivalent of all of Bolivia today and allowed for surpluses, freeing up part of the population to feed huge armies. It is thought that Tiahuanaco was a great imperial capital of an immense empire that stretched from Ecuador to northern Chile.
From Bolivia, Footprints Handbook:
"Tiahuanaco was the longest-running empire of all the Andean civilizations. But sometime after AD 1,000 it all ended. The empire collapsed, the raised fields were abandoned and no one really knows why.
"While not visually pleasing to the eye like the more famous Machu Picchu, built by much younger but better known Inca civilization, Tiahuanaco is indeed impressive. You can visit it on a half day or full day (with box lunch) tour out of La Paz or en route to or from the Lake if you have your own transportation.