Copacabana in Bolivia is the jump-off point to the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca at 3,800 meters above sea level. Lake Titicaca is one of the unmissable attractions in Bolivia. Even if you have been to the islands on the Peruvian side, you certainly would appreciate the beauty of Isla del Sol and Isla Del Luna on the Bolivian side.
Getting To Copacabana:
From La Paz:
From the main bus terminal in La Paz, there are a few tourist bus companies having a daily direct service to Copacabana. It takes 3-3.5 hours and costs 25-30 Bolivianos. Alternatively, there are also buses leaving regularly from Terminal Cementerio. The bus would drop you at the office of the agency next to the Plaza (Plaza Sucre). Most hostels and hotels are located a few meters away from the stop.
Note: At one point of the journey you would have to get off the bus and buy a boat ticket for 2 Bolivianos to cross a section of the lake. Make sure to take all your valuables with you as the bus gets transported on a barge. Upon arriving on the other side of the lake the bus will take 5-10 mins to pick you up.
Buses leave every morning at 0730 and 0830 from the main terminal. Tur Bus has an afternoon service to Copacabana. It takes approximately 3 hours including the border crossing in Kasani.
The bus would terminate at the office of the agency next to the Plaza Sucre. Most hostels and hotels are located a few meters away from the stop.
Bolivia Hop has services to and from La Paz and Puno in Peru. They provide passenger assistance in Spanish and English at the border and also offer hostel transfers and have discounts at certain hostels. They also provide the tour of the lake with their Tour Company Find Local Trips.
Take A Trip To Isla Del Sol and Isla Del Luna:
Isla Del Sol:
Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) is a prominent attraction on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca.
Prime attractions on the South side of the island are Fuente de Inka, there are three pipes from where the water flows each has a distinct taste. The ruins of Sun temple is one of the major attractions on the island from which the island takes its name.It is believed that traditionally this was the site where the Sun God sent Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the founders of the Inca dynasty to earth.
There are numerous restaurants and hostels on the islands if you are planning on spending a night there. Food is expensive than in Copacabana. Hostels, however, costs 20 Bolivianos a night with basic facilities.
Isla De Luna:
Isla de Luna also was known as Coati in Aymarak is a small island near Isla Del Sol. The island is so small that you can walk the entire island in an hour. The main attraction on the island is Iñak Uyu (House of women). Iñak Uyu is the ruins of the Temple of the Virgins of a Sun which resembles an amphitheatre. This temple was the place of gathering for girls from Isla del Sol, they were guided by an old woman (Mamacona) on responsibilities and life after marriage.
You can buy tickets from one the travel agencies in Copacabana. Boats leave at 0830am and 0130 pm from the boat pier next to the anchor monument. If you are planning on spending a night there you can get a one-way ticket for 20 BOB. The same day round trip ticket would cost 30 BOB
Time: From Copacabana, it takes an hour to the island.
Cost: 30 Bolivianos for a same-day round-trip ticket | 10 Bolivianos to enter each island |
Get the view of Copacabana and Lake Titicaca from Cerro Calvario:
Cerro Calvario is located on the edge of the city with crosses perched on the top of the hill. Its a nice walk up the hill which could help you to get used to the altitude. There are 14 points along the way each marked with a cross. It’s the best place to see the sun setting over Lake Titicaca.
Getting There: From Plaza Sucre walk four blocks “3 de Mayo” until you see a fleet of stairs going up the hill.
Visit The Local Market:
The main tourist street in Copacabana is Av. 6 de Agosto. The street is flanked by restaurants, tour agencies and shops selling souvenirs. Mercado Central Central Market is located next to Plaza 2 de Febrero. Try the local “Bunuelo” (deep-fried dough with honey and powdered sugar). You can find them around the central market. It costs 6 Bolivianos for 12 Pieces.
Enjoy the Sunset while dining out on Trout:
Seeing the sun setting over the Lake Titicaca by far has been one of the most unforgettable experiences so far. Every dusk casts a different hue. Just walk to one of the colourful kiosko on lakefront where the local women would try to charm you inside to relish on one of the famous cuisines of Copacabana.
Finding a good vegetarian meal in Copacabana is quite easy unlike in La Paz or most other cities in the country. There are a few Vegan and Vegetarian-friendly restaurants.
Hostal Joshua and Restaurant is a vegan restaurant located inside the hostel. They serve daily meals with vegan options and also have protein bars, energy juices, and many other options. They also have falafel and hummus sandwich to take away, which costs 15 Bolivianos (ideal while going on a tour to the Lake).