Lake Titicaca - Bolivia

Going To Isla Del Sol

Going To Isla Del Sol

After see­ing full buses of grin­gos head­ing to Copaca­bana, Bolivia, I think it is safe to say the place changed quite a lot since we were there in 2002. New hotels, high-rise build­ings by the lake, tour oper­a­tors and casa de cam­bio every­where con­firmed my first impres­sion. The world has dis­cov­ered Lake Titicaca.

The scenery was beau­ti­ful. The huge lake, 3,800 meters above sea level. The clouds, so low, us, so high that we feel we can touch the sky. The burn­ing hot sun dur­ing the day and the chilly nights. The local dish, trouts, huge fishes cooked with lemon and tomatoes.

But Copaca­bana also has a darker side. Money, money, money. Con­ve­nience stores import Pringles and US choco­lates instead of sell­ing local del­i­ca­cies, and it has a price. No ATM, but each res­i­dent can change US dol­lars, Euro, Yen, at what­ever rate they feel like set­ting — it´s not like we have the choice. Locals aren´t exactly friendly either: they take the money and run. Of course, this is Bolivia and every­thing is still pretty cheap for us. It´s mostly the atti­tude I dislike.


On our sec­ond day, we took a boat to Isla Del Sol, once of the islands of the lake. We left early in the morn­ing and there was a beau­ti­ful deep blue sky, the lake was clear and the sun was hot. The boat was over­packed: we sat on the roof and enjoyed the ride.

There isn´t much in Isla Del Sol. Mostly a big climb to the top of the island for a bet­ter view of Lake Tit­i­caca. But climb­ing at such a high alti­tude isn´t easy. I felt like I was 100 years old, out of breath every five minute, sweaty and light-headed. It took us over an hour to reach the top, but boy, the view!

We took the boat back with a bunch of Argen­tin­ian back­pack­ers, who played gui­tare drink­ing mate de coca. The clouds behind us, head­ing to the shore as fast as the boat would allow it (packed, once again), pass­ing float­ing vil­lages and bare land.

Worth the alti­tude sickness.

At The Market

At The Market

Playing Foot Table On The Beach

Play­ing Foot Table On The Beach

Bolivian Teeshirts

Boli­vian Teeshirts

Colorful Bus

Col­or­ful Bus

Little Restaurants On The Shore

Lit­tle Restau­rants On The Shore

Going Fishing In Isla Del Sol

Going Fish­ing In Isla Del Sol

Boats On The Lake

Boats On The Lake

Climbing Isla Del Sol...

Climb­ing Isla Del Sol…

Little Girl In Isla Del Sol

Lit­tle Girl In Isla Del Sol



Floating Village

Float­ing Village

From Isla Del Sol

From Isla Del Sol

Finally On Top Of The Island!

Finally On Top Of The Island!

Sunset On The Lake

Sun­set On The Lake


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. @Linguist-in-Waiting — You really feel like you are touch­ing the clouds!

    @Bluefish — You bet… Cana­dian win­ter is hard on every­body. Lack of sun­light too.

    @RennyBA — Ouch, sorry for your back! I also read and catch up when­ever I get a good inter­net connexion. :-)

    @Jennie — I never ever miss home… only if I travel for over 6–7 months I guess. But I´m used to it. I some­times miss con­fort and some sur­round­ings, but over all and I like trav­el­ing best. Freedom!

    @Sidney — 30 years ago? Wow! Yep, must have changed… you were quite a pionneer!

    @Seraphine — I wish I could sell it to a mag­a­zine! :-) Costa Rica is the same… some­times, it´s just way too many con­dos, and they don´t fit on the land­scape of course. But there isn´t much we can do…

    @Khengsiong — I think there are quite a few 5 stars hotel, not west­ern stan­dards, but they charge hun­dreds of US$. Yep, too bad… it spoils a place.

    @Brenda — I don´t mind miss­ing the cold, for sure 😆

    @shionge — Not sure! Prob­a­bly another month or two…

    @kyh — They are quite small, I actu­ally liked the Isla Del Sol est. I think float­ing vil­lages were mostly built for tourists… or maybe not after all.

    @Gail at Large — I had to smile for the pic­ture, but really, I was prob­a­bly coughing! 😆

    @Bluefish — I will email you.

    @Aiglee — Not really. There is one local bank but you have to have a Boli­vian account, can´t with­draw with a Visa or Mas­ter­card. So far it´s the only place where we didn´t have a ATM.

    @Shantanu — Bolivia is a really col­or­ful and beau­ti­ful place. The scenery is unique…

    @Max Coutinho — I don´t blame the locals, I kind of see what they are going through. Yet, I was shocked how it changed since 2002. Yes, this is another Copaca­bana, not as sunny as the famous one though! 😆

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