Copacabana: the starting point for visiting Isla del Sol

Copacabana: the starting point for visiting Isla del Sol

Welcome to Copacabana, home to some 6,000 inhabitants. It’s the starting point for a trip to Isla del Sol, nicknamed the Island of the Sun, and to discover Lake Titicaca on the Bolivian side.


Copacabana is a pleasant little town with a central market, a large central street where hotels and restaurants are clustered, and a large church where the blessing of the cars takes place every morning. There are also numerous bars and cafés in the harbor. It was on the main avenue that we dined, at the restaurant Huanchaco, a good address where you can enjoy grilled alpaca, fried trout or vegetarian tacos at good prices, among other things.

To visit Isla del Sol, you need to take a boat directly to the port between 8am and 8:30am, departure time. The journey takes around 1.5 hours to the island’s southern port and 2.5 hours to the northern port. The outward crossing was an ordeal for us, as the lake was rough due to the wind and the boat’s captain was probably inexperienced! The company “Amazonia” had loaded the boat to its maximum passenger capacity, was using only one engine out of the two available, and the captain was sailing perpendicular to the waves at a slow speed. As a result, there were a lot of sick people on the boat and a lot of fear of capsizing, which made us think we were going to end up in the local newspaper’s news section! A very bad memory and a lesson learnt: take a good look at your boat before leaving and do NOT get on with this company!

Once we arrived on the island, and after 20 minutes of recovery with our legs completely flagada, we set off to discover the island. The problem, if you don’t sleep on the island, is the time allotted for the crossing on foot. The boat leaves at 3:45pm from the South Port, leaving us just enough time to walk (about 3H30) without, unfortunately, being able to take full advantage of the ruins and landscapes! By this we mean taking longer breaks without having to speed up our walk because we didn’t want to miss the boat! The scenery is very pretty and is apparently similar to the island of Amantani but we can only repeat what other travelers have told us.

There seems to be a fairly large choice of hotels, and there’s no need to book in advance, especially if, like us, you’re coming in December, the low season. We spotted an inexpensive address halfway along the road where we’d have liked to put down our suitcases for the night. It’s this little house with green shutters, what do you think? It’s like being alone in the world! You’ll also have the choice of staying with local people or booking at the ecolodge Palla khasa, more expensive and modern and ideally located facing the lake (

We only spent 11 days in Bolivia, including 3 days in the south of the country. It was enough time for us to get a good overview of this country of magnificent landscapes and charming colonial towns. Our only regret is that the locals are often cold and unfriendly. You can also extend your stay by visiting the Amazonian part of the country, in Rurrenanaque, provided you’re in the right season (June-July-August), which unfortunately wasn’t the case for us, which is why we only spent around ten days and cut the trip short.



  • Copacabana is only a 4h30 bus ride from La Paz (30 bolivianos/p)
  • In Copacaban, on avenue 6 de agosto, there’s an inexpensive hotel, La Academia, where the room rate is 40 bolivianos/p with private bathroom, so you might as well say it’s not very expensive!
  • Boat to Isla del Sol 35 bolivianos return per person
  • Don’t miss the chance to treat yourself to a night at the La Cupula or Hotel Las Olas, one of our favorites in terms of accommodation on our world tour, with a small price for the service!



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