Traveling between Peru and Bolivia through Copacabana

This time of year, tourists flood the routes that take you from La Paz  to Copacabana and from there to Puno and Cusco, back and forth. Read on to get all the tips to make the most of this route, and of a short stay in Copacabana on your way to or from Cusco.

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foto: worldynomads.com

Getting to Copacabana from La Paz or Cusco

If you’re in La Paz and want to get to Copacabana, go to the main bus terminal on Uruguay Avenue for the best buses available. Tourist buses travel directly to Copacabana, stopping only at the Tiquina strait which must be crossed by boat at a cost of 2 Bolivianos (not included in the cost of tickets).

Here are the tourist bus companies that make this route, and their schedules:

Trans Titicaca

  •        La Paz to Copacabana: 8 am and 14 pm
  •        Copacabana to La Paz: 13:30 pm and 18:30 pm

Vicuña Travel

  •        La Paz to Copacabana:  8 am
  •        Copacabana to La Paz: 13:30 pm

Diana Tours:

  •        La Paz to Copacabana: 8am
  •        Copacabana to La Paz: 13:30 pm
Lake Titcaca, Copacabana, Bolivia
All images creative commons non commercial. http://www.ashmolephotography.coml

If you’re coming from Cusco, and you want to get to La Paz, there are many companies that offer bus services through Puno and Copacabana.

Between Copacabana and Puno you will travel for about fou hours. Remember Peru has an hour difference with Bolivia.  The companies that cover this route are:

  • Empresa de Huayruro Tours: 18:00 pm
  • Empresa de Trans Titicaca: 18:30 pm

From Copacabana to Cusco, you will travel for about 10 hours, with either of these companies:

  • Empresa de Huayruro Tours: 18:00 pm
  • Empresa de Trans Titicaca: 18:30 pm

Pick your bus service and schedule, and buy online right here: www.ticketsbolivia.com.bo

Please take into consideration that some buses make several short stops along the way, picking up passengers and sometimes women from local communities who make a living by selling food and beverages on the buses. Since these stops are not in the official itinerary, they may be upsetting for tourists.

The trip between Copacabana and La Paz takes around 4 hours, covering a total of 155 km and crossing the bolivian altiplano region, with snow-capped mountains far away and the shores of lake Titicaca. The trip between Cusco and Copacabana covers around 528 km and stops in Puno, where several passengers get off or on the bus.  As we said before, sometimes buses make other short stops along the way.

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Foto: commons.wikimedia.org

In Copacabana for a day 

Copacabana is a town on the shores of the highest navigable lake in the world: the Titicaca. The lake, sacred to the Incas and other indigenous communities of  the Altiplano, is on the border between Peru and Bolivia. As the largest Bolivian town on it’s shores, Copacabana is known for its mystique and beauty, and for the best trout you’ll ever eat.

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If you don’t have much time and want to make the most of your visit, you can choose one or several of these options:

City tour 

  • Visit the church of Copacabana, of mestizo baroque style, where you will find the image of the Virgin Mary of Copacabana, Bolivia’s patron.
  • Horca del Inca, an observatory about 20 minutes from the main square
  • El calvario, a mountain you can climb through stairs, a sort of pilgrimage that takes you to an altitude that allows for an amazing view of the lake and the faraway snow-caped mountains.
  • The beach is one of the most popular places. You will find different kinds of boats for pleasant water activities. And some of the best restaurants for eating trout.

Copacabana – Isla del Sol 

One of the most popular things to do when you are in Copacabana is visit the Island of the Sun. The boats leave from the dock and cross the lake for about an hour and a half. On the island you will be able to see Incan ruins and experience the peace and energy of one of the most sacred places of the Incan empire.

The boats back to Copacabana leave at 16:30 pm, reaching Copacabana at around 18pm.

 

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Getting around Bolivia by train

If you plan to travel to Bolivia, one of the safest and most comfortable options is to do it by train. It’s also an efficient way to get to or from Argentina and Brazil, and to connect to one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations: the Uyuni Salt Flat. Read on to  find out how to plan your trip by train! 

tren 3

Traveling by train offers many advantages. It’s a comfortable and environment-friendly, and it can help avoid road blockades and other issues that may arise with bus travel. There are two train companies in Bolivia which offer train service: Ferroviaria Andina and Ferroviaria Oriental.

Ferroviaria Andina S.R.L. has been offering its services to travelers for more than 15 years, covering the routes between Villazón, Tupiza, Atocha, Uyuni and Oruro, in the East of Bolivia, through Wara Wara del Sur, and the bolivian South West through Expreso Oriental. The company strives to offer its clients quality service and a pleasant travel experience.

In the East, trains stations can be found in the following towns and cities:

  1. Villazon train station (border with Argentina)

Address: Antofagasta Av.

Phone number: 591-(2)-5972565

  1. Tupiza train station

Address: Corner of Pedro Arraya Av. and Avaroa St.

Phone number: 591-(2)-6942529

  1. Atocha train station

Addess: Buch Av.

Phone number: 591-(2)- 6949113

  1. Uyuni train station

Dirección: Corner of Ferroviaria and Arce Av.

Teléfono: 591-(2)- 6932153

  1. Oruro train station

Adress: Corner of Velasco Galvarro and Aldana St.

Phone number: 591-5274605

tren 4

On the other hand, Ferroviaria Oriental has been offering its quality service to travelers since 1997, covering the routes of la Chiquitania, el Pantanal and Chaco Boliviano with the train companies Expreso Oriental, Ferrobús and Tren Mixto, in the Bolivian South West. Train stations in this region are located in the following towns and cities:

  1. Santa Cruz Train Station

Address: Avenida Montes 3er anillo interno.

Phone number: 800140008

  1. San José de Chiquitos Train Station

Adress: Avenida Gallardo.

Phone number: 591-72120667

  1. Estación de trenes de Roboré

Dirección: Barrio Villa Barrientos.

Teléfono: 591-(3)-9742027

  1. Puerto Quijaro Train Station (border with Brazil)

Address: Luis Salazar de la Vega Av.

Phone number: 591-(3)-9782174


  1. Yacuiba train station (Border with Argentina)

Address: San Martín Av.

Phone number: (591-4) 6822308

  1. Villamontes train station

Address: Avenida Méndez Arcos.

Phone number: 67899348

SA

Tips:

  • Make sure to be at the train station at least 30 minutes before departure.
  • Train tickets are in high demand all year long, but especially in the months of July-August and December-February. Book in advance in order to guarantee your trip!
  • Buy your tickets online right here: https://www.ticketsbolivia.com/
  • Wara Wara del Sur and Expreso del Sur assign seats one month before the trip for Executive class, and a week before departure in Salon class.

La Paz is a must in July

In the month of July, the city of La Paz celebrates the call for liberty from Spanish rule made in 1809. This is a very special date for all paceños, and the city is known to celebrate with concerts, theater, dance and the traditional berbena on the 15th, a huge street party at Plaza San Francisco where people can eat, drink and enjoy free concerts. Thus, tourists in La Paz will be able to enjoy much more than the usual breathtaking sights, cable car rides across the city and towering mountains.

Chola PAcena El Diario

This year, the celebrations will include at least 150 cultural events, including art and photography shows, food festivals, folklore and poetry readings. Some of the highlights will be the Chola Paceña beauty contest and the University’s Folkloric Dance Parade, taking place on the 30th of July, where university students perform folkloric dances from the entire country.

La Paz teleferico

A stop in La Paz is a good idea, a must, really, if you’re traveling to nearby destinations like Copacabana and Puno, and even to others like Uyuni and Cusco. It is located at a strategic distance from many important destinations, and there are many bus companies that offer their services to and from La Paz. 

la Paz Luna
Foto: Tommy Sdenek Aliaga Solares