After clearing customs at La Paz Airport, meet your English-speaking guide for the transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Standing at 3,600m above sea level at its center, La Paz is one of the highest cities in the world, and you'll need to take time to acclimatize on arrival. One way to do this, locals will tell you, is to drink mate de coca (coca tea), made from leaves of the coca plant and consumed across the Andes, especially in Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. Dinner will be on your own this evening, and a light meal is suggested to help with altitude acclimation.(Accommodations, La Paz)
Your morning is free for exploring your surroundings. In the afternoon, meet your guide in the lobby for a city tour of La Paz, plus Moon. Your guide will regale you with stories of the city's mysterious past; a living history which treasures the pre-Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic rites on its streets. You'll visit some of the indigenous, colonial and modern areas including the Indian Market, as well as breathtaking panoramas, all framed by the majestic "Illimani" mountain. Our next stop will be the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon. Before returning to your hotel, we'll end the tour with a cable car providing breathtaking aerial views of La Paz. Tonight, you'll be a guest for dinner at Pan de Oro, located in a colonial house dating from 1832. You'll have the sensation of going back in time, as well as enjoying some of the best local cuisine with a folkloric show.
(Breakfast, Dinner & Accommodations, La Paz)
(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, La Paz)
Today we make an early overland journey to Huatajata; an indigenous on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We'll board a hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island and visit the Sun Virgins Temple "Iñak Uyu". During Inca times, the Isla de la Luna housed chosen women known as the "Virgins of the Sun", who lived a nun-like lifestyle. They wove garments from alpaca wool and performed ceremonies dedicated to the sun. Continuing to Sun Island, you'll visit the Inca "Grand Staircase", an archaeological site, dating back to the 15th century and the Sacred Fountain; taste the water which is believed to give eternal youth and happiness. We'll enjoy lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological Restaurant. Perched on an authentic Inca terrace, it offers spectacular views of the Lake and the Royal Range of the Andes. Afterwards we return by hydrofoil to Huatajata. You'll tour the Andean Roots Eco Village, including the Altiplano Museum, the Mud Igloos and the mortuary towers of the Urus Chipayas. You'll meet the Limachi family, builders traditional reed boats used for epic expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving at your hotel, you'll have a welcome drink and dinner. Later that evening, a visit the Native Observatory Alajpacha to learn about the Aymaras Cosmovision and watch the southern constellations.(Breakfast, La Paz; Lunch, Sun Island; Dinner & Accommodations, Hotel Inca Utama, Huatajata)
After breakfast, we'll take the hydrofoil cruise to the Kalauta Island. The ruins of this ancient stone village hosts one of the largest necropolises in the area with its mysterious Chullpas mortuary towers; some of them multiple stories high. Enjoy a navigation on Lake Titicaca, swinging among totora-reed canals to reach the Urus Iruitos Floating Islands & Quewaya Sustainable Project, dedicated to preserving the 5,000 year old culture. On the return to Huatajata, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Royal Range of the Andes. Then you'll partake in a native lunch buffet (Apthapi) and sample varieties of local Andean food. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure. Dinner will be hosted at the hotel, and later, an audiovisual experience of the "Mystic World of the Kallawayas". These are the natural healers of Bolivia, and believe that you first must heal the soul in order to heal your body. Tata Benjo, our Kallawaya, will bless visitors and answer questions while casting his sacred coca leaves.(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Accommodations, Hotel Inca Utama, Huatajata)
Today we will make an overland journey to the archaeological site of Tiwanaku (1.580 BC-1.000 AD). Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, Tiwanaku is an ancient site of one of the oldest civilizations in the Americas. The Sun Gate, the Temple of Kalasasaya and the Pyramid of Akapana are just some of the samples of a glorious past. After our visit, there will be lunch at a local restaurant highlighting regional specialties. Arriving in La Paz, we'll stop for a wine tasting at Hallright's. This classy wine bar is run by 2 Australians, offering a wide range of Bolivian wines. Although Bolivia is one of South America's lesser-known wine regions, it's already developing a reputation for exceptional wines. Returning to your hotel, tonight dinner will be on your own.(Breakfast, Huatajata; Lunch, Tiwanaku; Accommodations, La Paz)
(Breakfast, La Paz)