Copacabana is a picturesque town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side, just a 4-hour drive from La Paz. It's probably the closest thing to a beachside city on the coast that Bolivia will have with a very lively feel, sandy beach and a hundred passenger ships lining its dock.
Less than half an hour from the Peru border and a relative paradise compared to Puno, which is the equivalent of the Peru side of the lake, it has developed as a retreat for lively travelers, the perfect stopover on the way along of the trip between countries to see the secrets of Titicaca.
The most famous which is Isla del Sol, is the mythical birthplace of the most revered of the Inca gods, Inti, the sun. Legend also says that the first Incas emerged from a sacred rock on this same island.
Just a short boat trip from Copacabana, visiting the island is something you have to do, a 4 hour round trip gives the opportunity to get a feel for the sacred island and see some of the archaeological sites, terraces and temples, on the south side. If you have more time there are also basic hostels available to spend the night.
The rocky outcrops and the few distributed eucalyptus trees give an air like in the Mediterranean. Back in Copacabana you can reward yourself with a cold beer as the sun sets over the bay at one of the many bars that line the coast.
Rising above the city is the famous Calvary, a sacred hill and consecrated place of worship that has become an important pilgrimage site. For the non-religious among us Calvary challenges us with a half-hour altitude-test climb, rewarded with some of the best panoramic views of Lake Titicaca around, especially at sunset. Bundle up well.
Despite the mild and sunny weather during the day, you will soon feel the cold surge, when it gets dark and the temperatures can get below freezing.
Hostels, restaurants, and bars of varying quality and prices are found throughout this small town that is as popular on local vacations to escape the urban chaos of La Paz as it is for foreign travelers. Copacabana offers something for everyone and all budgets…. Make sure you don't miss it !
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