Words can not express how much we have loved Lake Titicaca. Many people have been waiting for a comparison of the Peru side versus the Bolivia side.
Honestly, there is no comparison! They are so dramatically different from each other, we might as well be visiting the same ocean on different sides of the world.
Puno (Peru) is a must-see to catch a glimpse of the civilization that lives on the floating islands of Uros.
Check out our Facebook Live video below.
And I must say, for the first time ever…our hotel specifically had a huge impact on the quality of our experience. It is totally worth the splurge to stay at Hotel Libertador Lago Titicaca.
There is simply no substitute for staying on this private island in Puno with panoramic views and it’s own hiking trail! The luxurious rooms and bathrooms were a true pleasure. And our room views were so impressive, it was tough to decide if we should stay in or go out.
The hotels is more like a resort, with every amenity one can imagine. But, our favorites were the epic lounge areas including fire places and floor to ceiling windows…and the buffet breakfast. I am not one to brag about a buffet, but wow, this one is stellar. They have thought of everything.
It didn’t feel like we were in the big city of Puno at all. It was an unforgettable blend of luxury meets nature retreat. We especially loved it that our boat tour picked us up directly from the hotel’s private dock. The Uros islands blew us away, and we are so thankful to have had that experience before the culture disappears.
The Uros Islands are inhabited by a diminishing population of people who live on hand-made islands made of reed grass. Our tour gave us insights into the lifestyle, culture, and construction of this incredible floating village. It was an experience and insight that we won’t soon forget.
Now, we have entered into Bolivia with a flawless border crossing into our 3rd South American country. The only surprise was when only got a 30- Day Visa, instead of the 90 that we were expecting. But, apparently this is customary, as tourists are always expected to apply for an extension in La Paz.
The Copacabana (Bolivia) side of Lake Titicaca is something entirely different than Puno. It has more of a small town feel, with an incredible crescent-shaped cove. The whole atmosphere is that of a beach town, yet the town lacks the hustle and bustle of a resort place.
The surrounding areas are totally raw nature, the beaches lap with waves, and the town is distinctly low key. It feels a little bit European and in some ways reminds me of Lake Superior on the Minnesota side.
We had the absolute pleasure of staying at Hotel La Cupula. We originally hoped to book Hostel Las Olas, but the funky cliff-side hotel was fully booked. Instead, we were delighted to learn that the neighboring Hotel La Cupula has the same owners. And, it was equally impressive with it’s breathtaking white and blue theme building, including arches, steeples, and lots of stained glass.
The property offers stunning views of the Copacabana cove and Lake Titicaca. The expansive property is full of gardens and lounge areas to take in the sights. And the hospitality was top notch, we felt like royalty during our visit.
During our stay, we picked the brains of the owner, to help us find some authentic, off-road adventures around the lake. We were not disappointed that we skipped the typical tourist tracks (Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna) in favor of something more unique. We spent a full day, offroading around the peninsula that encompasses Copacabana and a few other tiny villages.
In this experience, we felt a true connection with nature and a genuine understanding of the magnitude of Lake Titicaca. We met locals and cherished outstanding views at Mirador Sampaya that we are certain most other travelers don’t get to see.
So, the verdict is….if you can, see BOTH sides of the Lake Titicaca! We love them both for all of their uniqueness.