When arriving by bus to Copacabana, the first thing the bus driver tells you is that the hostel on the left is only 2$ per night and that meals are even cheaper. Suddenly, you feel rich! You heard that prices were low in Bolivia but you always assumed it was an exaggeration. Welcome to Copacabana!
Copacabana is a charming city on the eastern bank of Lago Titicaca; the highest navigable lake in the world. The city is full of hostels, hotels, restaurants, bars, a couple of museums and interesting point of views. The city itself is quite small and can be seen fully in a day.
Here are the things to do at Copacabana
1) Visit Isla del Sol
It may sound weird to hear the best thing to do in this city is to pack up lightly and leave for a day or two of hiking on Isla Del Sol. Isla del Sol is the biggest island on lake Titicaca and it used to be a very important place in the Inca Mythology. 5000 years ago the island was a sanctuary used to venerate the Sun God. Even today, several archeological sites can still be seen today while hiking around the island. I recommend leaving early in the morning, spending all day walking around the island from South to North and then sleep at the northern village at night. A few villages populate the island and it is easy to get accommodation for less than 5$; no need to reserve you just ask one of the multiple guest house. Want to know more about Isla del Sol?
2) Cerro Calvario
Cerro Calvario is a small slope overlooking Lake Titicaca and the city of Copacabana. Even if it is quite small the view from the summit is absolutely fantastic. Getting to the top is quite difficult even considering the high altitude (4000 meters) but it is worth the trip. I recommend brining some beer/water and food to have a snack up there.
3) Copacabana Cathedral – Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana
With one of the most amazing ceramic dome I have ever seen you wonder how such a beautiful building can end up in a city of this size. The Cathedral dominates the town by size and the main place is just nearby. There is a small museum attached to the Cathedral where you can see a few interesting articles.
4) Take a walk at sunset at the beach
Copacabana has a small beach and there are a lot of things to do there. Renting a small paddle boat is a fun thing to do. You can also take a drink at one of the overly priced (low price anywhere else though) while enjoying the fishing boats docking. There are often Alpacas with their owners; of course they will make you pay to take pictures with them. I don’t usually pay for petting animals but in this case I just couldn’t resist. It was one of the happiest moments in my life.
5) Museo del Poncho – Poncho Museum
This museum may sound like a joke but ponchos are actually an important part of the cultural dressing code. It is a small museum, and a bit hard to find but it is worth the quick visit. Actually, the city is so small you will eventually walk in front of it.
Enjoy your stay in Copacabana!