Today we’re going to discuss the bus trip from La Paz to Copacabana, Bolivia.
I wasn’t even going to write about this trip because I figured, wow another boring bus ride that probably won’t rank in search results anyways so what’s the point? Well it turned out to be far from that and one of those trips through the unknown that is most memorable and also incredibly unique, even from my perspective.
I took a cab to the terminal only to realize it was the wrong station, another cab and 15 minutes later I was at this spot which isn’t even really a terminal but where buses leave for Copacabana every 30 minutes, score. If you’re going somewhere, always clarify which bus station, yes? There are big old buses and mini-buses to choose from and I think I chose poorly.
Immediately after arriving some dude sold me a ticket and I hopped on a big old bus. He said it was leaving now but his idea of now is more like within 30 minutes. While sitting there I realized there were mini-buses which are probably a nickel more and considerably nicer, oh well. My ticket cost 30bs for the 3.5-4 hour trip to Copacabana which is famous for being on the beautiful Lake Titicaca and housing the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana.
Sure enough after we get going, we stop again for another 30 minutes or so as people load up all sorts of grains and I get this family all around me. Let’s just say the lady next to me should have paid for two seats as she surely took up half of mine. You cruise through really quaint countryside and realize how lots of Bolivians live…
I had a cold shower recently and that’s nothing compared to people living in clay huts without electricity or running water at this altitude. That said, the scenery where they live is breathtaking but I’m sure they’d also appreciate some modern conveniences. You don’t see many people but countless sheep and cattle with white cap mountain peaks in the background.
Suddenly you’re at the end of the road, literally. I’m not sure if it’s some river or a thin part of Lake Titicaca but you have to get off the bus and take a passenger ferry across while the boat rides on this somewhat makeshift looking boat / barge of sorts. There you can buy freshly fried fish and sardines; I bought a combo and strolled around devouring it with a smile on my face.
Once you take the ferry and get off on the other side, immigration checks your papers and there is a big food court, I had an out of this world soup but really not much clue what’s in it. I noticed they also have them here in Copacabana and it’s a new favourite of mine. I know there is beef and some have more than others.
Great views as you pull away and about 45 minutes later, you’re in Copacabana. It’s not what I expected at all but quite like it; most come here just for a night and use it as a gateway to Isla del Sol which is where the Inca’s believed the sun was born. It’s a 1.5 hour boat ride out and people stay the night or do a day trip.
If you’re going to make this journey, just jump in a mini-bus.