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Copacabana, Bolivia

Set on the shores of Lago Titicaca (come on, we aren’t 5 anymore! but hehe, titi AND caca, OK ill stop.) this beautiful little town offers lots and little at the same time. It’s the highest lake in South America and also said to be the highest lake in the world that can be navigated by boat.

What it Offers

Amazing views of Lake Titicaca from most, if not all, angles of this town. The best views though are from the top of Cerro (hill) Calvario which is like a 5 minute walk from the centre (to the bottom).

It takes slightly longer to walk up the hill though as due to being at just over 3,800 meters above sea level your breath is hard to come by. Taking it at a slow to steady pace upwards you can reach the top in about 30 minutes and it’s well worth it too. You can see the whole area from the top including the town of Copa and as far as the eye can see on the lake.

We got back down and hired a yellow swan to peddle our way out onto the lake and look back at the town. Very nice but the lake can be a little choppy so you need to keep pedalling or you’ll go nowhere.

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We managed to catch the end of a wedding at the church which had a Mariachi Band playing outside while the immediate family got confetti thrown under their hats or in their hair. Their wedding cars were a procession on VW Beetles which was pretty cool.

The town is very tourist ready with restaurants everywhere and we kept a Mexican running for at least another 6 months eating there at least 5 times in 4 days. There are also some cheap local stalls across the front selling Trucha Plancha (grilled trout) that are pretty good and a staple in the area. Tour operators are also everywhere, the latter, ready to take you on an excursion over the lake or to a neighbouring island. The most popular being Isla del Sol.

Isla del Sol

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The island itself is beautiful. Great views of the lake and the bays while walking around the north side of the island. Just make sure to go for longer than the full day.

We first tried to go for the 1PM boat as we aren’t morning people at all. It takes 2 hours to get there then the boat returns at 4PM so we forgot that idea and went for the full day thinking it would be enough. It wasn’t, not for us anyway.

You arrive at the north of the island at around 10:30AM then walk to the ruins on the north side of the island. The only problem was that we got stuck with a guide that we thought was mandatory, it’s was not. So he waffled on in Spanish for longer that needed and walked pretty slow as he was at least 70. We understood nothing even though our Spanish isn’t that bad, our Spanish regarding Incan history and walls was lacking somewhat.

We then had to pay for this ‘tour’. Due to him waffling on, no doubt an extremely interesting guy, we didn’t have time to walk through the centre of the island which is meant to be very nice and scenic. So we had to get the boat to the south side instead.

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Once on the south side I asked where the ruins were, too far to walk to as the boat was leaving in an hour and it takes 2 hours round trip. So we sat in the bar feeling a little ripped off. Even though we didn’t pay that much for it we just wanted to see more and were under the impression we could.

What it Doesn’t

Incan ruins. Well at least ones you can find. There are signs to them, oh theres signs at the top and bottom of the road both pointing at each other but after walking past the first sign then getting to the second and looking back down the same road we had walked down we gave up and watched a local football match instead.

Other than that there isn’t too much to do in Copa but still a very nice place to rest and recharge for a few days.

P.S Brogan and I went in opposite directions for breakfast one day and I mistakenly left her with the key. On my return to the hostel she was still out and when I scoured the town for her I couldn’t find her. So I got the hostel owners to break into my room (no spare key) with a set of business cards to prise open the window. After 30 minutes of breaking business cards we eventually got the window open at which point Brogan walked round the corner with the key.

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