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Archaeological Tour from Santa Cruz: Pre-Inca Ruins of Samaipata

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Key Highlights

  • See the world′s largest carved stone at the Samaipata site
  • The enigmatic pre-Inca ceremonial ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    Daily

    Duration

    10 hours

    Start time

    Start time: 0800h (08:00am)
    Duration: 10 hours

    Meeting Point

    Your hotel in Santa Cruz(We would require your hotel details in order to arrange your pick up. If you do not have this information at the time of booking, please contact the local activity operator at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details)

    Ending Point

    Your hotel in Santa Cruz

  • Overview & Itinerary

    Overview

    The pre-Inca ruins of Samaipata, located 120 kilometers from the town of Santa Cruz, are one of the most intriguing ancient sites in all of South America. Situated in the remote mountains of central Bolivia, the site is perched 1949 meters above sea level and is said to have had considerable religious significance during the pre-Inca period. The ruins of Samaipata, named El Fuerte (The Fortress) by the Spaniards who discovered it, consist of the stone hill with many fascinating giant carvings of jaguars, snakes, geometrical figures, and a water tank with conduits. Many visitors have also sensed a special energy emanating from the red sandstone rock and the ruins.

    The ruins command a panoramic view of the Andean mountain range and the lowlands.

    For history and archaeology buffs, this tour to Samaipata (El Fuerte) is a must-do in Bolivia.

    Itinerary

    You will be picked up from your hotel and taken in a private vehicle for a full day’s sightseeing tour to Samaipata, located about120 kilometers from Santa Cruz. A private English-speaking guide will accompany you on this tour.

    Leave Santa Cruz crossing the sub-tropical plain and the villages of La Guardia, Porongo, Espejillo, El Torno.

    Arrive at the village of Samaipata situated at 1920 metres at the foothills of the Andean Range. Samaipata’s main attraction is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the pre-Inca ruins of a ceremonial site, named El Fuerte (meaning ‘The Fortress’) by the Spaniards who first discovered it. Situated on a hill about 10 kilometers from the village, this archaeological site offers a spectacular view of distant mountain ranges. Its predominant feature is the world’s largest carved stone, featuring animals and geometric designs. Walk around and see the 100-metre long stone slab with seats, tables, tanks and carvings of jaguars, shakes and zoomorphic figures. El Fuerte has religious significance and was later used by the Incas to protect the borders of the Sun Empire.

    Return to the village after the visit to the archaeological site and stop for lunch in a local restaurant.

    After lunch visit the Archaeological Museum in Samaipata. The museum has some Tiahuanaco artifacts and some local pottery.

    Begin your return journey to Santa Cruz.

    At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel in Santa Cruz.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Transportation in a private vehicle
    • Private English-speaking guide
    • Lunch
    • Entrance fee
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.