COPACABANA – ISLAND OF THE SUN AND OF THE MOON
Lake Titicaca, known also as the sacred lake of the Incas, is the highest lake in the world that can be navigated at over 3,800 meters / 12,467 feet. Copacabana is the bay window of Lake Titicaca and ceremonial center of pre-Hispanic cultures, where one of the most sacred sites from the Tiwanacota and Inca periods were built. Since the XVI century, and after having received the Candelaria Virgin statue as a gift, Copacabana has been and continues to be a place of religious pilgrimage. From Copacabana one can visit the Island of the Sun and of the Moon where the ruins of the Inca palaces (Pikokaina, Iñac Uyu) are found, a place for the seclusion of the ñustas or virgins of the sun.
The Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) civilization lasted over a millennium and its empire
dominated portions of what is now Peru, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia
for nearly 700 years. It is famous for its development of a
raised field agricultural system
of "Suka kollus"
which allowed for protection of crops through frost and drought so common in the high Andes. At only 72 Km. from La Paz, the ruin of Tiwanaku ranks among one of the most impressive archeological projects of South America and has been declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO. As proof of the grandness of Tiwanaku we show you the importance of Kantatallita, the perfect construction of the Kalasasaya Temple and the semi-subterranean shrine, the pyramid of Akapana and the famous Puerta del Sol.
HUAYNA POTOSÍ "Cerro Joven"
One of the objectives of every mountaineer that visits Bolivia is to overcome the summit of the Huayna Potosi (6,088 meters / 19,974 feet). These are the most accessible 6000 meters of the Andes forming part of the royal mountain range of the northwest. The Huayna Potosi is imposing, making it impossible to not marvel at its magnificence and beauty. This is ideal for those who seek strong sensations and for those who feel it is always important to be in touch with the mountains’ energy. A sufficient time of getting used to the climate and good physical conditions will assure you exit in your climbing to the summit of the Huayna Potosi.
MADIDI NATIONAL PARK
Madidi National Park is a destination of incomparable natural beauty where 3,235 species of flora and fauna co-exist in perfect harmony with the natives, who still preserve their traditions and millennial culture. It is located in the northeast area of the La Paz District. It sits at an altitude that ranges from 5,600 to 180 meters / 18373 to 590 feet and covers a surface area of 18,000 km2. A varied landscape that includes Andes mountains, valleys and Amazon jungles, Madidi´s magnificent scenery truly defies the senses.
Madidi is one of the areas with the most biodiversity in the world thanks to the presence of 867 species of birds, 156 species of mammals, 84 species of amphibians, 71 species of reptiles and 192 species of fish that represent 50% of the vertebrates in all of Bolivia.
As for the flora, up to the moment 1,865 species of superior plants have been registered and 2,873 probable species, meaning 27% of all the plant species known in Bolivia.
It is important to point out that not even half of the protected area has been studied in depth. Projections for new studies indicate a possibility of registering 707 additional vertebrate species, with which the representation of vertebrates in Bolivia would increase to 76%. The number of vertebrate species could reach a total of 2,077, more than any other protected area of the planet.
The Madidi is also home to 30 peasant communities of Quechua origin who live south and southeast of Madidi for more than 300 years, in the municipality of Apolo and Pelechuco. Attractions include the extensive virgin rainforest, diverse plant and wildlife, river travel amongst other adventures.
Chalalán is a village of great importance located in the heart of Madidi. It is the basis of an eco-tourism project that has been carried out by the indigenous community of San Jose of Uchupiamonas; who hope to guarantee a sustainable management of the natural resources in this area. The entrance to Chalalán and Madidi is through Rurrenabaque, a village of exuberant natural resources and habitat of ethnic groups such as the Chamas, Maropas, Caimanes and Tacanas.
CHALALAN - ECOLOGICAL LODGE
MADIDI NATIONAL PARK
The Chalalán Ecological lodge is fruit of the local community of San Jose de Uchupiamonas’ vision of an eco-tourism project that could guarantee sustainable development for the region while providing the community a livelihood. This exceptional park provides the public an opportunity to enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Madidi National Park.
The Chalalán Ecological lodge was constructed on the banks of the Chalalán River using native materials in order to minimize the environmental impact on the surrounding area. It is an ideal vacation spot for those who are looking for a place to relax while discovering the surrounding Amazonian rainforest.
Chalalán offers a range of tours (from 4 to 6 days) depending on the amount of time the client has available. Their tours include: comfortable lodging; delicious and nutritious homemade food; canoe excursions on the Beni and Tuichi Rivers; strolls along footpaths to observe birds, monkeys; and nocturnal hikes to observe alligators and nocturnal birds. There are also artisan workshops to visit and a myriad of other activities that guarantee your satisfaction during a visit to Chalalán.
STORY OF THE LORD JESUS OF GREAT POWER
The Festival of Great Power is one of the best opportunities to see colorful Bolivian folkloric dances outside of the Carnival season. According to this story, on December 8th, 1663 in the city of La Paz, convent postulants were required to carry with them an image. A nun, Genoveva Carrion, carried with her the image of the three faces of the Lord Jesus of Great Power. The significance of this image was cause of much discussion. After some time, in 1904, one of the devotees had the painting retouched transforming it in an image of only one face; this image was accepted. Since then the Lord Jesus of Great Power image has many faithful followers and worship of this image has spread. Initially the image was moved from home to home, so the devout families began a worship service twice a week programming days of visit and of prayer. In 1930, the Chuquimia and Gisbert families (embroiderers and artisans of the Chijini Neighborhood) took the initiative of preparing the first festival “prestes and pasantes” for the Lord of Great Power. If anyone would like to attend and appreciate the Festival of Great Power, it takes place each year towards the end of May.
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