After a month in Cusco and working at Loki Hostel, Lake Titicaca is just what I needed. This breathtaking lake, which is set at over 3,800 meters (12,000 feet), is nestled in the Andes and split by Peru and Bolivia’s border, is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places I’ve ever been. We spent a couple of nights in Puno on the Peru side followed by an even better few days in Copacabana, Bolivia. Both places were the perfect spot to regroup and relax after my time in Cusco. This fascinating lake is a gorgeous dark blue, the people are beautifully traditional, and most importantly, it’s a sacred place of the Inka civilization.
Puno is a convenient spot for traveling out of Cusco before heading into Bolivia. The town boasts a beautiful old cathedral and is just a short boat ride away from the Uros Islands, which are fascinating in themselves and completely worth the tour that we found for as little as $5 USD. These floating islands are made out of reeds and same goes for the beautifully hand made boats used by the locals who live there. On the tour, we learned all about the history and culture of the Uros tribe, visited two of the islands, and enjoyed a reed boat ride in between. The residents also sell beautiful hand crafts and offer visitors the chance to dress up in their traditional clothing. A visit to these islands for anyone passing through Puno is a must!
Next stop on the lake was Copacabana, Bolivia. I was looking forward to entering what would be the fourth country I’ve visited on this trip. I’ve only heard wonderful things about the scenery in Bolivia from fellow travellers and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself (wasn’t exited to pay the $135 visa fee, however!). I would have to say I played favorite to Copacabana over Puno. This colorful and enchanting town that sits on the southern side of the lake is the perfect stop over before heading to La Paz and an ideal place to relax and enjoy the rooftop restaurants and stunning views. Our hotel sat right on the lake, was only $10 a night, and gave us some unreal views of the picturesque sunset each evening.
A must while in Copacabana is a visit to Isla Del Sol (island of the sun), which sits an hour or so boat ride from the town. We also found transportation for as little as $5 USD that took us to the south side of the island. After a breathtaking three hour hike, we were able to enjoy some delicious garlic trout with an absolutely incredible view of the lake. Life on the island is tranquil with no cars, no honking traffic, and it displays some the most peaceful scenery I’ve come across this entire trip.
My overall experience at Lake Titicaca was peaceful and memorable. And to be honest, it gave me some of my life and inspiration back that I might have lost during my time in the black hole of Loki Cusco. I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of Bolivia had in store for us. For now, we are off to La Paz!