Your travel guide to Copacabana | Bolivian Life

Your Travel Guide To Copacabana

Located on the glimmering shores of the world’s highest navigable lake is an unassuming town featuring beautiful nature walks, ancient sites, stunning sunsets and quaint little restaurants.

Only a stone’s throw away from La Paz, many tourists crossing the Peru-Bolivia border stopover in Copacabana to relax by Lake Titiccaca, soak in the panoramic views, savor freshly caught trucha, and explore what the Inca’s believed to be the birthplace of their empire.

A quaint little town to explore, Copacabana is dotted with shops, restaurants and bars lining the main streets. And if it’s amazing views your after, there is no better place than the summit of the “Stations of the Cross” walk to observe Lake Titicaca in all its glimmering glory.

Bolivian Life Quick Tip:

As voted the best way to travel around Bolivia and Peru, we highly recommend choosing Bolivia Hop as your means of transport. Their safe, flexible and trustworthy service have proven to be the best way of getting the most out of your time in South America!

Top Things to See and Do in La Paz

Isla del Sol One of the best ways to grasp the sheer magnitude of Lake Titicaca is to take a boat trip from Copacabana to Isla del Sol. Here you will discover ancient Inca ruins scattered throughout the island as well as Aymara villagers busy farming the land and tending to the sacred sites. Walking from one side of the island to the other is a cathartic experience and one which will enable travelers to witness some of Bolivia’s most breathtaking scenery.
Cerro Calvario (Satioans of the Cross Walk) – This short but steep walk, is a great way to understand the layout of Copacabana and the surrounding region. The trail begins on the northern end of town near near the red chapel at the end of Calle Destacamento 211 and climbs past the 14 Stations of the Cross. After a 35 minute hike to the summit, you are rewarded with breathtaking views over Lake Titicaca, made even more spectacular if you’re there in time for sunset.

 

Basilica de Virgen de la Candelaria – Impossible to miss, this stark white building is home to one of the most precious objects in Bolivia. Revered for a series of miracles she is believed to have worked in the area, a statue honouring Our Lady of Copacabana remains safely inside the sixteenth-century cathedral. Celebrants believe if they take her outside, there is a real risk that Lake Titicaca will flood the town.
Copacabana Waterfront – While it doesn’t quite compare to its Brazilian namesake, Copacabana’s waterfront is still a great place to chill on a warm day. Stroll along the esplanade checking out the two giant Inca statues at the end, pedal along the lake using a rented swan boat , or enjoy a cold beer at one of the nearby rooftop  bars.

 

Museo del Poncho – a small yet welcoming museum dedicated to textiles and weavings throughout the Bolivian Andes. Spread over two floors, the exhibits – labelled in English and Spanish – provide a fascinating look into the country’s many varieties of poncho. A small shop is attached to the museum selling beautiful pieces made by local artisans. Hours are Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm and Sunday 10:30am to 4pm and entrance is 15 Bs ($2 US). The museum is located just east of Avenida Costanera, on the left side of Calle Baptista (when facing the lake).

 

Hike to Yampupata – A pleasant, yet relatively unknown activity in Copacabana is the 20km (4-5 hour) hike to the sleepy town of Yampupata. Heading north out of town, follow the road along Lake Titicaca, passing a number of small villages, empty ruins and llamas along the way. The hike is a great way to observe how the local farmers and fishermen in the area live; much the same as they did fifty years ago. If you do plan to do this hike and haven’t quite adjusted to the altitude, make sure to take it slowly as Copacabana lies about 3800 meters (12,602 feet) above sea level.

Where to Eat & Drink in Copacabana

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Where to Stay in Copacabana

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Shopping in Copacabana

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Events & Festivals in Copacabana

Festival of the Virgen de la CandelariaAt the beginning of February each year, people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the glimmering shores of Lake Titicaca to honour the Patroness of Bolivia, Our Lady of Copacabana. From the 2nd to the 5th, the usually sleepy fishing village of Copacabana comes alive with music, eating, drinking and dancing to celebrate a mixture of traditional Andean beliefs and Catholic tradition.

Getting To, From & Around Copacabana

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Useful Information

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Further Reading

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

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