Valle de la Luna
Villa de Guadalupe
Punta del Este
Copacabana is a small town in Bolivia located on a very unusual piece of land. The Lake Titicaca serves as border between Bolivia and Peru and Copacabana is an extension of land into that lake, a peninsula. What’s peculiar about this peninsula is that it’s connected to the mainland on the Peruvian side. So to go from any place in Bolivia to Copacabana it is necessary to either cross the lake or to go through Peruvian territory. As visitors, we did not have to worry about the geographical peculiarity. It has been resolved with some ferries capable of crossing busses full of people at Tiquina, a narrow point in Lake Titicaca between the peninsula and the Bolivian mainland.
Copacabana like La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, is located in the Andean plateau. The road between these two places was in very good condition when we visited in 2001. Views from the road are breathtaking and there are restaurants along the way. The trip took us a couple of hours each way but we stopped both times to eat and take photos.
In the town of Copacabana one can see the sanctuary of the Lady of Copacabana. We do not know the entire story of this revelation of the Virgin Mary or why it is called the Lady of Copacabana. We were told that she is the patron saint of the mighty Titicaca Lake. Some days of the week the image is placed looking toward the town and other days toward the lake. We were lucky to get there on days when she was overlooking the town.
In Copacabana we saw the great devotion the people of Bolivia have for the Lady of Copacabana. We were told that every Saturday the town is crowded. Anyone that had acquired a car during the week would take it there to be blessed in front of the sanctuary. On Saturdays people from all over the Andean plateau, from places further away than La Paz, can be seen there.
Although Copacabana is a small town it is a colorful place. From what we could see it is rather well set up for tourists. Beyond a doubt, the trip by road or water is worth it. The paintings found in the sanctuary are more than enough reason to go there. The trout served in the restaurants is also another good reason to go. It is an ideal spot to relax and or use as base for exploring the islands on the Titicaca Lake. We went there as part of a group tour to the lake and returned later by road on a private tour. We simply wanted to pay our reverences to the Lady of Copacabana.