Copacabana, Bolivia sits high atop the Andes Mountains along the shores of mysterious Lake Titicaca. It is locally known as a vacation destination and tourist city for Bolivians and Peruvians as it lies only steps from the two countries’ borders.
I arrived in Copacabana on December 24, 2012 with a goal of arriving just in time to celebrate the Christmas festivities in a new country. Only weeks before I had literally laughed out loud when I received the question of whether Christmas was celebrated on the 25th where I was. I thought it was a ridiculous questions and answered that of course it was. Well the joke was on me! I wondered around this little pueblo looking for a hostel, which was difficult to find because of the holiday, finally checking into a hillside hostel that rivaled any of the hostels I’d been in for months before that point. I went to the little restaurant and was surprised by a group of children coming in to sing and put on a little show. With my limited Spanish I eventually figured out that in Bolivia, Christmas is celebrated on December 24th and I was experiencing the Christmas tradition of children going door to door to sing and ask for presents. Kind of a mix of caroling and trick-or-treat. Totally adorable!
I ended up spending far more time in this beautiful yet dusty town as I got one of my worst illnesses the day I attempted to leave. I was planning to take a boat to Isla del Sol, an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca. I had almost made it to the dock with my bags in tow when I was overcome with the need for a bathroom. I immediately checked into the worst hostel I stayed in during my almost two years traveling, only for the reason that it was right there and I couldn’t bear to walk any further with my backpacks. I spent 3 miserable days in a room with a bathroom that reminded me of the worst public toilet I ever had the misery to encounter. That just shows when you’re sick….you’re really sick!
Some people blow right past Copacabana en-route to either Puno or Cusco on the Peru side or La Paz on the Bolivia side but its well worth a stopover. I had an amazing experience on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca but was pleasantly met with another unique experience with the people of Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side.
Here are some of the photos of this quaint little border town. Enjoy!