Copacabana is located on Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side. As you might have guessed, I am not talking about the Brazilian Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro :)
The Bolivian Copacabana is quite a backpacker hang out with lots of laid back bars and hostels. It is a popular stop for buses going back and forth between Puno (Peru) and La Paz (Bolivia). The way to Copacabana is super beautiful with breathtaking views of the Lake Titicaca. So make sure you don’t sleep around that time and miss the scenic views.
There is actually not so much to do in Copacabana apart from relaxing, having a beer and hanging out with fellow travelers. So rather than making Copacabana a trip of its own, make it a stop while crossing the border between Peru and Bolivia. For a more ‘active stop’ you can go hiking on the moon and sun islands which can be reached via ferry in Copacabana. The Peru Hop bus from La Paz to Puno stops in Copacabana for a few hours and a popular thing to do is to take the ferry from Copacabana to Isla del Sol. To read more about the trip, click here. But there is no need to stay an extra night in order to visit Isla del Sol as you can do it as part of the bus stopover. If it is not integrated in your bus tour, do let the bus driver know though so he won’t leave you stranded there in case of any ferry delays.
Copacabana also has lots of souvenir shops with the typical Bolivian / Peruvian clothes. If you do spend the night in town and have a bit more time during the day, explore the rest of Copacabana (it’s not that big so you can walk everywhere) and visit the Basilica. I only saw the Basilica from the outside as we visited Copacabana as part of driving from Bolivia to Peru so I didn’t have time to visit the Basilica plus the Sun Island (hence, no Basilica photos below).
Waterfront Bars and Restaurants
As you probably expected the town will not make the most luxurious stop during your bus trip.. But it is definitely worth having a cold beer in one of the bars and enjoying the sun. They also serve food though I must admit I had the worst burger ever here. I don’t even think the thing I received was worth to be called burger. But then, looking at this place I guess I should have known.. Oh and don’t forget your hand sanitizer, there will likely be no soap in the washrooms. I tend to stock up quite a bit when looking for hygienic products like Hand Sanitizer and other similar items, as I honestly feel like I should really be keeping in check with the number of nasty bacterias I’d pick up and transport using my hands while anywhere, especially using public toilets. And, as usual, bring your own toilet paper.
If you haven’t yet bought all your souvenirs in La Paz or Peru, there is another chance now! So convenient, everyone sells the same stuff..
Isla del Sol: The Most Popular Trip from Copacabana
After a cold beer on the waterfront, head over to Isla del Sol for some hiking or just for exploring ‘something new’. Here is my post on Isla del Sol.
In case you like beer in cheese sauce…
And this is where I ordered my burger… I wasn’t that tempted by the beer in cheese sauce :)