La Paz Maravillosa, between Culture & Traditions
Discover this tour focused on the many Andean cultures : the discovery of the Tiwanaku ruins and its still very much alive culture, the Titicaca Lake, wedge Andean civilizations, full of legends and mysteries finishing by the traditional and cultural side of La Paz.
We propose you two dinners : the first one in the Gustu restaurant, one of the best in South America, and one other in a "peña", where you will enjoy typical Bolivian food during a traditional folk dance show.
PROGRAMME DAY TO DAY
El Alto Airport - La Paz
Our guide will pick you up at the hotel lobby to spend half-a-day learning more about the history and culture of Bolivia.
Located very close to Plaza Murillo, the National Museum of Ethnology and Folklore (MUSEF) occupying the palace of the Villarverde marquises, a beautiful colonial house built in 1730 and declared National Monument in 1930. The museum presents a wide and extensive collection of articles that tell the story of the many cultures of Bolivia from the pre-Inca time to our time.
Our guide will explain us the signification and symbolic of the textiles, masks, ceramics and feather art that we will admire. We will also see a vast collection of coins and banknotes from the colonial time.
Our guide will pick you up at 09:00 am at the hotel lobby. Today you will discover the most traditional side of the city, walking into the day-to-day life of the “paceños” (inhabitants of La Paz).
You will first enter the indoor market of the Plaza San Francisco (Mercado Lanza) where many workers have breakfast. You will then take the cable car going up to El Alto and enjoy a unexpected view over the city and the mountains that surround it. You will fly over different neighborhoods and the general cemetery, in which you will then enter to discover the Andean post-mortem traditions: here the families leave elaborated offerings on the graves. Walking from the cemetery down to the historical center you will walk through the traditions of clothing and traditional celebrations of the city.
In the Los Andes Street you will feel like carnival is coming. It is the tailor’s street and every shop is filed with colorful costumes and masks. You will end our tour in the Witches Market (“Mercado de las Brujas”) where the locals buy all the necessary artifacts for ceremonial offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth): coca leaves and other medicinal plants, miniature figurines in sugar and lama fetuses.
Transfer to and from the restaurant.
It is culture time tonight! We will have dinner in the Peña Huari. In Bolivia, the “peñas” are the bars and restaurants where only traditional music is played. During dinner, professional dancers will perform and presenting the folkloric dances of the region and the country on the stage. Every dance counts with a different colorful costume and a specific story: love ritual, fight between Good and Evil or between villages, cult to Mother Earth (“Pachamama”) etc. Ready for a festive evening !
La Paz - Yumani
Hrs : 6.00am. You leave your hotel to the village of Huatajata, stop at the Inca Utama hotel, from which the view of the lake is amazing. Then, you head to Copacabana by hydrofoil (about 1h30), where you visit the basilica ant the port. You go back on the hydrofoil to go to the south part of the Sun Island (about 30 min), where you visit the Pilcocaina temple. You head then to the village of Yumani for lunch. Spare time during the afternoon, when you could enjoy the bucolic landscapes.
Night at La Posada del Inca.
Yumani - La Paz
Spare time during the morning, although you have the possibility to meet a family from the village, sharing with us their way of life in the island. At the end of the morning, you go down the “Gran escalinata inca” long stairs, crossing the sacred fountain, where the underground water, according to the legend, give endless youth. You have lunch at the Uma kollu restaurant, from which the view to the lake is outstanding. Then, you head to the Moon Island, where you visit the sun virgin’s temple Iñak Uyu. You go back to the village of Huatajata on hydrofoil, where you visit the eco-village “Raices Andina”, the Altiplano museum, the Kallawayas museum and the Urus architecture. You go back to La Paz at the end of the afternoon.
La Paz - Tiwanaku
Departure from the hotel by private vehicle for the archaeological site of Tiwanaku (1h30). Guided tour of the pre-Colombian vestiges considered amongst the most important of the continent. Do not miss the recently built lithic museum keeping some monumental pieces discovered on the site. Return to La Paz in the afternoon. Free time for the rest of the day.
Transfer to the restaurant.
Treate your taste buds tonight with a gourmet dinner in the best restaurant in town ! Voted as one of the 50 best restaurants in South America, the Gustu is the culinary delight of La Paz ! The Danish star chef, Claus Meyer, co-founder of Copenhagen's Noma, a three-time winner of the World's 50 Best Restaurants has chosen Bolivia to open his new restaurant.
His philosophy: meet Bolivia, through its products. That is why the chef Kamilla Seidler (Danish) and Michelangelo Cestari (Venezuela) and their Bolivian team work uniquely and exclusively with Bolivian products seeking appreciation and recognition of the local production and the hands that make it possible to make a unique Andean fusion cuisine !
You will be delighted by the 5-course tasting menu pairing with the drinks (alcoholic) that best marry it.
Transfer to the restaurant.