Puma Punku, Tiahuanaco

#7 of 10 in Historic Sites in La Paz Department
Ruin · Hidden Gem · Mysterious Site
Pumapunku or Puma Punku (Aymara and Quechua puma "cougar, puma," punku "door"; Hispanicized Puma Puncu) is part of a large temple complex or monument group that is part of the Tiwanaku Site near Tiwanaku, in western Bolivia. It is believed to date to AD 536.

Tiwanaku is significant in Inca traditions because it is believed to be the site where the world was created. In Aymara, Puma Punku's name means "The Door of the Puma". The Pumapunku complex consists of an unwalled western court, a central unwalled esplanade, a terraced platform mound that is faced with stone, and a walled eastern court.
At its peak, Pumapunku is thought to have been "unimaginably wondrous," adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, and visited by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests, and elites decked in exotic jewelry. Current understanding of this complex is limited due to its age, the lack of a written record, and the current deteriorated state of the structures due to treasure hunting, looting, stone mining for building stone and railroad ballast, and natural weathering.
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  • Only those who have been there will realize how powerful this place is and only imagine what ancient secrets we still don't know.  more »
  • Arriving at Tiahuanaco by road via Desaguadero, it was quite journey, the road was in good conditions, the town roads not so, there in the main plaza you will find the replication of many of the...  more »
  • Amazing ruins. Incredible history with so much still to be uncovered it is mind blowing.
  • Pre-incan temple from the Tihuanakota culture. Must visit with a guide to get around (~2 hrs outside La Paz and about 1km from main Tihuanaco site) and to appreciate the meaning of what you are looking at. Tour operators are plentiful in historic downtown La Paz.

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