Copacabana and Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Bolivia, South America

After an amazing couple of weeks in Peru, we decided to add Bolivia to our South American adventure.  We were very keen to go and do some hiking on and around Isla Del Sol, the Island of the Sun.  This island is believed to be the birthplace of the Inca’s, and is surrounded by Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.  At 3,800m above sea level, it was going to be a real tester for lung capacity!

DSC06211

View from the hotel room in Copacabana

A bus ride to Puno (from Cusco) brought us to the lake.  A unique experience on the local bus, with the Peruvian’s on board abusing the bus driver every time he made a stop, and telling him to hurry!  No idea why, as it made the bus go slower and slower each time they yelled, certainly made the trip more interesting though!  We stayed in Puno for the night (due to it being so slow!), and then moved on to Bolivia, and the small town of Copacabana the next day.  As you can see from the photo above, it was a beautiful little town perched on the edge of the great lake.  We spent a lazy day or two chilling in and around town.  One evening we went up the hill overlooking the town and the lake.  We gained 200 metres in elevation from 3,800m to 4,000m and felt like we had climbed Everest!

Expressing the joy of 4,000m+

Expressing the joy of 4,000m+

The next couple of days were spent hiking.  From the above photo (where Mirella is showing how much fun elevation over 4,000m can be) you can see the peninsula and beyond, Isla del Sol.  We spent one day catching a taxi out to the tip of the peninsula, and then hiking 20km or so back to town along some old pre-Colombian trails.  The views were breathtaking (literally).

Cordillera Real mountains

Cordillera Real mountains

On the way back, we stumbled across a small village, and there were some small man-made reed islands on the lake where the locals served food.  Surreal experience to say the least, as we crossed a series of makeshift bridges to an “island” made of river reeds.  There were trout farms in the middle of the reeds, and we chose our fish, and then sat down to one of the greatest fish meals ever!

Reed island lunch!

Reed island lunch!

The next day, after a couple of fortifying beers in town the night before, we took a boat over to Isla del Sol, and hiked another lazy 20km across the spine of the island, popping up and over 4,000m on a number of occasions.  We discussed that the Incan people, whilst masters of astrology, mathematics and construction, were not that clever with path building, as sticking to the coast of the island would have made the hike a lot easier!

Inca Trail over Isla del Sol

Inca Trail over Isla del Sol

More incredible views, and some amazing ruins made this a great day out, and was topped off by a great meal at the end of the hike, and a new friend at the boat launch home.

A new buddy

A new buddy

Whilst only a very short sojourn in to Bolivia, it was a great taste of an amazing country, and I am sure there will be a return visit in the future to explore more…

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