Bolivia is a treasure trove of ancient knowledge if you've ever been fascinated with myth, legends, and the mysteries of native South American cultural treasures. This country resembles the Tibetan Plateau in many ways. The highest natural lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, is here. And the capitol city of La Paz, Bolivia is the capitol of the highest altitude in the world. With a picturesque skyline dominated by the Illimani, a forbidding peak soaring impossibly into the sapphire azimuth, La Paz's ruins and the ancient foundations of the church of St. Augustine are testament to the history that still stands here in Bolivia, whose timeless forts and temples have an eerily calming effect upon the visitor.
It was only recently that an earthquake caused part of the monastery of St. Augustine's foundation to expose ancient stones of the Coricancha north in the old Inca capitol of Cuzco, which is in modern day Peru. This place is the dwelling place of the sun, and the home of the infamous sun disc, easily one of the most sacred and revered sites of the ancient Incan Empire. La Paz, Bolivia, is situated 12,000 feet above sea level, on a canyon floor, in the winter is often bathed in a clear, intense sunlight. Once you visit Bolivia, you will feel the power of the sun and the awe-inspiring landscape and understand how this culture came to worship the sun.
With amazing ruins, startlingly preserved and many still in use today, it is no wonder that life has changed little here since the time of old. Bolivia travel is a good option in the warmer months between April and October. The warm air makes the high elevation more tolerable. While winter temperatures are all around more comfortable, the rain can make travel more of a challenge. A great deal of Bolivian tourism is centered upon the many Bolivian holidays, cultural aspects and religious festivals of the native population.
One of the most spectacular displays of ancient ritual of the Bolivian holiday of Yintip Raymi, or the Solemn Feast of the Sun. This is a large, elaborate sun ritual thousands of years old. This festival, which takes place on June 24, was brought back to life in 1944, on the summer solstice. It will help give you a real taste of the distinct culture that thrives here. Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara, the pre-Inca language, are all spoken in Bolivia. But in fact, only about 60% of the population is Spanish speaking. The language barrier, which can become a barrier for Bolivian tourism, can be dealt with easily by hiring a tour guide.
Lake Titicaca holds a great deal of meaning to the Aymara Indians as well as their descendants. This desolate lake is a deep and intense dark blue color. Being a body of water in the mountains, it is subject to rapid changes in weather. Many modern descendants still practice the tradition of weaving the feather light boats out of reed, which they use to traverse Lake Titicaca and travel to the islands of the Sun and the Moon, as they have for hundreds of years. One of the amazing facts of this country is that more than half of the population of Bolivia still adheres to traditional ways of life.
These facts draw curious adventurers to explore Tiahuanaco or Tiwanaku, a solemn, desolate temple fortresses that is the remnant of an ancient settlement at Lake Titicaca. This commanding fortress, home of the most revered ruins and the puzzling carved figures and the solitary sun gate, is truly a mystery, as it was to the Incas. By the time they reached the height of their culture, the site had long been in ruin.
Whether you want to wander the markets of La Paz, hike the ancient temples of the hallowed city of Tiahuanaco, or partake in a tour to the underground lake, Bolivia travel will satisfy your wandering urges and place you under a mystifying spell, captivating your imagination.