This hotel was a super choice in Copacabana, by the Titicaca lake, with gorgeous views. The hotel takes its name from the cupolas that decorate its architecture. When we arrived the hotel was almost complete and we had to take the suite. We did not need all this comfort but after enjoying the views from my new hammock placed in the living room I did not want change my suite for a more modest room :-)))
The restaurant on the roof had excellent international proposals and nice deserts even if all my friends were ill all the night, I guess because of the fruit salad with chocolate (I did not ask that).
It is an hotel more expensive than the average in Bolivia but not expensive at all for European standards. The hotel itself can organise you some excursions to do around: ask for their proposals.
The hammock :-))))
We didn't have reservations when we arrived on Isla del Sol so we set off on foot to look for a place that was clean and inexpensive.
We ended up walking quite far to the top far left to a place called Puerta del Sol. The rooms were clean and comfortable albeit simple. The bathroom was shared.
We paid 25 Bolivianos each for the night.
Nice view of the lake
We disembarked from the boat and there were a few locals, our homestay families, waiting for us. We split up into groups of 2 or 3 and were paired up with our new families. From there we had to walk up the hill to our houses. It was hard going at that altitude and some homes were higher up than others. We chatted at the family home and had lunch which was quinoa soup and fried cheese with boiled potatoes. In the evening we went with our host family to the community centre where we had local music and dancing. We dressed up in the local costumes also with our host family. It was a great experience and I felt very humbled by these people and their way of life.
We had our own bedroom with comfortable beds. The house had a clean toilet in an outhouse. The kitchen and their bedroom were all in separate "houses" clustered around an open courtyard.
This wasn't the greatest place we stayed on our trip to Peru, but it wasn't at all bad either. It's in a very good location just off the main drag in Puno and only a block from the main square. As we had heavy storms, torrential rain and a power cut on both our evenings in this city, being close to the action was important.
Our room was rather small but comfortable and with all the basic amenities. There was a warm duvet and an electric heater (both needed at night at this altitude). The buffet breakfast was pretty good, although the restaurant was too small for the number of people staying there so on our second morning we had to wait to sit down.
Probably the best aspect of this hotel was the helpfulness of the staff. When we arrived we'd had a bit of a difficult journey. Our car had broken down and we'd spent a lot of the afternoon in a repair shop, only to have to eventually resort to a taxi. Then on arrival in Puno we found the route to the hotel blocked by a demonstration so we had to get out and walk - to find on arrival that we were at the wrong Casa Andina! There are two in Puno and we'd apparently been booked into the other. But rather than send us across town the staff here found a room for us and transferred the booking.
They were also very good about supplying candles etc during the power cuts. But one word of warning - we heard that another tourist got stuck in the lift when the power went, so maybe you should think about taking the stairs if you stay here!
You can sleep in some islands in Titicaca Lake.
In TAQUILE you can sleep with locals in their houses. Just ask anyone in the island. They have a social community, so they share expenses and benefits of tourism. Is very basic accomodation, no light, no running water... but is quite interesting!
In AMANTANI you can also sleep with locals, but is a little further and is even more basic.
I slept in PUNO and took a daytrip to the islands. My hostel was "Las Islas", close to "Europa Hostel". It was a medium range medium price (7 USD) hostel with hot water and well located.
A very cool experience. Families will meet you just up from the dock and away you go as their guests for the night. Don’t expect any creature comforts, electricity or running water and settle in for an almost staple diet of papas fritas and potato soup. Tasty enough for this guy :-)
You will probably need to hunch over to navigate into the room you are provided as most doorways seem to be a standard 4 feet or so.
An open air kitchen is built up in the corner of a small closet-like, dirt floored area filled with cooking utensils, smoke and the women cooking up a potato something or other.
The simplicity of these peoples lifestyle is similar to that of Indians in the Amazon, without the vast natural resources the Amazon indians have to draw upon. By no stretch of the imagination would this be an easy life.
Our family was very sweet and worked hard to make our stay a very enjoyable one.
The stay and meals are included in the 30 soles (about $9.00 USD) paid for the entire 3 day trip.
Wonderful in its simplicity
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