Even though the border crossing sucked, Copacabana was actually a beautiful welcome to Bolivia. This side of Lake Titicaca is way nicer than the Puno side. Maybe it was the weather when we arrived. Or the fact that the Copa is really tiny. Or the fact that I “splurged” ($10 more per person) on our hotel room in Copa but not in Puno. I just really liked Copa and its beach-like vibe.
I’m glad I saw both sides of the lake though. I’ve concluded the best way to see the floating islands is from Puno and the best way to appreciate the lake is from Copa.
One of the beautiful sites on Copa is at the top of the hill, Cerro Calvario. It’s a steep 30 minute climb from the bottom (which is at 3,808 meters already). I read somewhere that they built the Stations of the Cross up here so that pilgrims who come to Copa for the Basilica of the Virgin (apparently a big deal) have something else for prayer and penance.
Since Marc has been struggling with breathing at high altitudes and still recovering from food poisoning, he decided not to make the climb up. I have to admit, the altitude hasn’t gotten easier. I’m not used to running out of breath so quickly! I feel like I’m out of shape here. The sunset views were well worth the short trek and I’ve learned another thing about Catholicism: the Stations of the Cross. (Yes, I’m linking you to Wikipedia.)
Other than this, I’m sad to say we didn’t see much else of Copacabana. We were still recovering from our food poisoning and were pretty much sustaining on a bread and crackers diet.