On our way to Peru, we took the bus from La Paz to Copacabana, which would be our last stop in Bolivia.
Copacabana is set on the shores of the Titicaca Lake. Next to it there is a smaller lake called Wiñaymarka and both are connected by a small strait of water called Strait of Tiquina. The trip was a fun ride because we had to cross this strait in a ferry: we in one boat and the bus in another one. Everybody out of the bus and into a tiny boat! The bus itself rode a different boat – looked more like a raft actually and it was much slower.
We went for a walk on the beach, it was really sad to see how dirty it was! Plastic bottles, beer bottles, all kinds of rubbish was there in the sand and sea. We have seen it often in Bolivia, there is the habit of throwing the rubbish to the floor wherever you are. This includes boats!
Titicaca Lake was a sacred lake for the Incas and the Isla del Sol even more! It is said that in this island is where the God of Sun was born! The people living here are either quechua or aymara – they have their own language. As soon as we set foot on the island, a local guide came to show us around – for a price obviously.
It was also in Isla del Sol the only place in all our passage through Bolivia where we really felt like tourists being exploited. At least 3 times during the crossing of the island there was somebody seating under a Boleteria/Ticket office saying you had to pay to cross that part of the island! It wasn’t much (5 or 10 BOL) but it was annoying as there was no explanation why you had to pay, you just do. There was also an old man on the way that was putting on a fence (when we met him) that asked for money as well, as he was supposedly “keeping the tracks in good conditions”.
This meant we had to stay in Copacabana for an unknown time. Every day we would get up, check-out of the hostel, go up the road to check the ticket office if the buses were running and come back to check-in again! This lasted 4 days!
While we were there, we managed to climb the Mount Calvario, a mount with 12 lookouts representing the stages of Christ’s life. We went there for sunset and it was beautiful and relaxing. It had a great view to the Lago Titicaca. It is impressive how such a huge mass of water is located so high above the sea.
We also tried the local speciality, trout! You can eat it in many ways in Copacabana. In Bolivia we also tried sopa de choclo (corn soup), sopa de mani, sopa de quinoa and pique-macho (this last one was famous but not for us – fried potatoes, with fried meat on top, sausages and egg! Too much fried food!).
Language – Spanish
Currency – Boliviano (BOL)