We arrived in Copacabana from La Paz after a 3 hour bus ride and trudged up the hill to our preferred hotel, without a booking. They were fully booked but advised us to turn up anyway and luckily a non-confirmed booking meant we got the room! It was a great place to hang out and, after our recent escapades elsewhere in Bolivia, the perfect place to relax for a few days. So this post will be short!
Staying by the beautiful Lake Titicaca is a little deceptive. In many parts, the opposite banks are so far away that they’re invisible and it gives the feeling of being by an ocean, but 3811m high it’s anything but. We spent a couple of days of doing not very much other than exploring the town and climbing the two peaks that straddle either side of it for some lovely views and a great sunset over the lake. On our 3rd day we decided to hop on a boat to Isla del Sol. After a tourist-packed and painfully slow 2hr journey we arrived at the tiny port of Cha’llapampa. As we decided to stay on the island for the night we took the advice of the owner of our hotel and waited for an hour at the port to allow the tourist crowds to head off down the trail we’d be taking. The advice was perfect, we had the whole route to ourselves for the day, with only the odd tourist off on the horizon ahead of us. We wandered the island and had lunch in the middle of the Chincana complex of Inca ruins (on a conveniently placed Inca picnic table) with an amazing view of the lake. After walking the picturesque length of the entire island we had a well deserved beer before spending the night at a lovely little eco lodge near the town of Yumani.
The next morning we popped by another small Inca ruin on the way to a tiny pier where we took a boat – same size but all to ourselves this time – back to the mainland. From the town of Yampupata we walked the 16km back to Copacabana, visiting a small, dusty museum along the way. We had to find the owner to unlock the front door for us but there was a mummified corpse inside – and who wouldn’t want to see that! – so it was worth the hassle.
The following day, after our few days of relaxation, we cought an afternoon bus to the Bolivian/Peruvian border. There we said goodbye to Bolivia and walked across the bridge into Peru which seemed to be pretty lively. For some reason there were bands playing and market stalls all along the 200m walk to the Peruvian immigration office, where we jumped back on our bus to dingy Puno. There we had an overly complicated change of buses and headed on, overnight to Cusco.