Now that we have spent a few days in the Amazon of Peru, our world tour continued for us. As the next destination we had Copacabana on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia in mind. This place is relatively often referred to as a stronghold for backpackers and also as a great vacation spot for not package tourists. Reason enough for us this small city on Lake Titicaca at 3858 meters altitude to look a little closer.
Please don’t confuse Copacabana with Copacabana in Rio.
The small town of Copacabana counted about 5600 inhabitants in 2012. If one comes with the bus into the city one notices however relatively fast that these numbers of inhabitants are probably already neatly outdated and the city has meanwhile far more inhabitants. For us it went from Puerto Maldenado via Puno to Copacabana – this 14 hour bus tour which went from 400 meters above sea level up to 4700 meters was exhausting and cost about 25 euros per person.
Is a visit to Copacabana in Bolivia worthwhile?
After we had already heard so many great things about Copacabana on the Lake Titicaca our expectations were accordingly high. For us it sounded in many reports, as if this city is a real paradise for backpackers and dropouts. When we totally exhausted from our bus bus (and we had paid 2 Bolivianos per person “entry”) we wanted to take a taxi we wanted to take a cab to our hotel (which was right on Lake Titicaca). Since our hotel was about a kilometer outside of Copacabana and our backpacks were relatively full – we wanted to treat ourselves to the luxury, but found unfortunately just no cab. Apparently there are no cabs in Copacabana and no Uber to get from A – B.
So, with our 4 heavy backpacks and a tote bag, we slowly trudged to our hotel. Arriving at our hotel we quickly realized – that the photos on Booking.com seemed to have a few years under their belt and the hotel had been left to its own devices since then. Renovations and renewals were a foreign word here.
Unfortunately, this impression continued not only to our hotel but to the entire town of Copacabana on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. The beach promenade would theoretically have been a very nice place if there weren’t countless campfires, barbecues and piles of garbage lying around. In between you can find a large number of super nice dogs in super bad condition. (Limping, conjunctivitis, etc.)
The atmosphere along the lake promenade reminded us more of the former Soviet Union than of a beautiful city on Lake Titicaca. Beside the whole garbage and the sick dogs we also found some pedal boats with which still Stalin personally stepped over the Titicaca Lake.
After one must eat of course on a world trip also sometimes Something and our hotel had unfortunately no kitchen provided we had to make ourselves on the search for a good restaurant in Copacabana. There are many restaurants – directly on the lake you can find small huts that offer fresh fish. Since Martina and I don’t eat fish, we couldn’t try out these streefood huts. Another possibility was directly in the streets of Copacabana – mostly you can find restaurants that offer pizza and pasta – often there is also classic local cuisine like Lomo Saltado. The prices for the meals are usually very cheap – however, the quality and service in the restaurant also leaves much to be desired.
What can you experience in Copacabana?
Now, of course, we asked ourselves why one should travel there. Of course, Copacabana is a nice stopover on the way to La Paz – but supposedly there are also some sights that should make a visit to this small town worthwhile.
There is the local mountain of Copacabana – on the way to the top you cantrack the Passion of Christ , so who is devout and possibly must do buses will find here probably a way to do so.
As an alternative to the more Christian-inspired program is a visit to the Isla de Sol. Here ferries go to the island 2 times a day. Many tourists see the visit to Isla de Sol from highlight of their visit to Lake Titicaca.
However, if you don’t want to visit this island you can enjoy the filthy beach promenade of Copacabana. Here you have the opportunity to borrow a jet ski or even with the banana boat across the lake to heat. However, we have also taken distance from it, since the water temperature is nevertheless rather cool and if one should fall in nevertheless rather unpleasant memories with home takes.
Is it worth visiting Copacabana?
As you could probably already read out – Copacabana in Bolivia could not enchant us. We honestly do not understand why this place is considered a paradise for many dropouts. We got to know the place as a run-down town that does not have too much to offer. Of course, you can make yourself a picture of this and for an intermediate stop is worth a stop all the time.