Lake Titicaca is a large, deep lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru. By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America.
Lake Titicaca is held as a sacred site by the Incas. In the Incan creation myth, the god Con Tiqui Viracocha emerged from Lake Titicaca bringing some human beings with him. The Incas believed that Lake Titicaca was their place of origin, and that upon death, their spirits would return to this lake.
We decided to cross the Bolivia- Peru border through the Lake Titicaca and the cute little towns and islands around it.
Our first stop was Copacabana, a little town on the Bolivian side, that has one of the coolest eco-friendly hostels I’ve stayed at.
Las Olas is placed on a hill side over looking lake Titicaca. From any of the seven suites you have a marvellous view over the bay and the lake. All suites have been individually designed, using as many natural and local materials as possible and respecting traditional ways of construction. They provide a maximum comfort and you will find many artistic details for the eye. From your living room area, from your bed and almost from any point of your room you have a perfect view of the lake through the huge window fronts. (Description provided by the hotel, and confirmed 100% by me)
Seriously, we stayed here just for 2 nights, to rest after a lot of traveling to and from Uyuni. Our room was the Turtle Suite, and it was way bigger than we thought. It had two floors with a big bed each, a small kitchen and even a hammock on the second floor. Through the big windows we were able to appreciate the beauty of the lake.
I have to be honest, we didn’t explore much of the town, because this place was awesome and wanted to stay there forever. It even had their own llamas!! Just there hanging around. So awesome.
On the day we left, we spent most of our time by the “beach”, mainly because our boat to Isla del Sol was leaving from there, but also because it was pretty charming. The road leading to the beach/harbour is full with hippie-bohemian-styled cafés and restaurants and souvenir shops followed by the same hippie-bohemian-styled waterfront restaurants with sun beds or rooftops to catch the very needed sun during chilly days.
And so it was time to catch our boat to Isla del Sol where we would be spending a night.
Isla del Sol
“Island of the sun” is one of largest islands of the lake. It is a rocky, hilly island and there are no motor vehicles or paved roads on the island. It’s house of over 180 Inca period ruins. Among the ruins are the Sacred Rock and a labyrinth-like building called Chicana. In the religion of the Incas, it was believed that the sun god was born here.
From the bottom of the island where our boat dropped us, to the hostel we were going to stay it was about a 3 hour hike or more. Now, let me remind you that Lake Titicaca is considered the “highest navigable lake” in the world, with a surface elevation of 3,812 metres (12,507 ft) so hiking was very, very hard! And we were put to shame by several old ladies, carrying good and even children on their backs, who passed us and left us way behind. But once we reached the top, and could see the lake, it was all worth it.
We had a quick stop at the ruins and also to grab a bite after a good hike.
After that we had to almost run if we wanted to reach our hostel before the sunset, because of course there’s no “street lighting” and it can get very dark. We made it just in time.
After a good night’s sleep we hiked the last hour in the morning to the other side of the island to catch our boat to Copacabana again and out bus to Puno, Peru.
And like that our Bolivian adventure had come to an end, leaving behind very good memories. It is truly a beautiful country where you can really still experience the cultural heritage and where indigenous people walk around with “millennials” giving the cities a very special touch. I’ll be coming back (with a better camera) that is a promise.