After exploring the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca we decided to travel to Isla del Sol on the Bolivian side. We purchased bus tickets in Puno from Cusi Travel. They had forgotten to book our taxi transfer to the bus terminal so I went to their office and the owner flagged a cab and paid for the transfer.
The bus was a Tours Peru operated bus full of foreign tourists. In the terminal we had to pay 1 sol departure tax to board the bus. Our bus departed from Puno, Peru at 7:30am.
We had to cross the border into Bolivia at Yunguyo, getting your passport stamped first in the Peru side and then walked across the border to the Bolivian side. We had to pay 100 soles (220 Bolivianos) for the stamp on the Bolivian side. From there it was an 8km trip to Copacabana, Bolivia.
El autobús cuesta 5.5$ y tarda 4 horas
El paisaje es muy bonito por las vistas del lago y la de los volcanes
El estrecho de Tiquina hay que pasarlo en barco , por eso hay que bajarse y tomar un barco para los pasajeros y otro para el autobús vacío
The bus cost 5.5$ and takes hours
The countryside is very nice due mainly to the lake and volcanoes views
The Tiquina strait must be crossed by boat , for this reason you leave the bus and take a boat for the passengers and another for the empty bus
El autobús regular cuesta 9$ aprox y tarda más o menos cuatro horas incluyendo el tiempo para pasar a pie las fronteras de Perú y Bolovia y hacer transbordo de autobuses
En la frontera se pueden cambiar Bolivianos
The regular bus cost 9$ arox and takes 4 hours more or less including the time youneed to cross the borders on foot and to change the bus
In the border you may change Bolivianos
Nuestra primera idea fue hacer Cuzco Puno en tren , pero al final decidimos hacerlo con el autobús turístico First Class (25$) que tarda 9 horas siguiendo prácticamente el mismo recorrido que el tren pero para en Andahuaylillas , Raqchi , Sicuani , la Raya , Pukara y Puno.
Creemos que fue un acierto
Our first intention it was to make Cuzco Puno by train , but finally we decided to do with tourist bust First Class ( 25$) that takes 9 hours following practically the same route as the train but stopping in Andahuaylillas , Raqchi , Sicuani , La Raya , Pukara , and Puno
We think it was the right decision
It is possible to travel nowadays like 100 years ago. Traditional people are still living like then but it is becomming more and more modern. So you will come to floating islands with a motor boat but if you will pay it will be possible that the locals will drive you round in this slow boats. It is all about the money... :)
Totora is the local plants that grow by the lake and that are used for building almost anything here.
They make boats, even 2 storey, nowadays only for tourists, some like canoes, some like medium sized boats. It takes about 2 months to make a boat and lasts about 2 years, before the totora gets rotten and the boat starts sinking...
When you visit the Uros floating islands you will see how locals move from island to island. They use wooden rowing boats, for people, stuff, totora... If you go early in the morning you can see small children going to school in their own boats...
Being a lake, the obvious transport here is boat. There are local boats that go to the islands for local transport, that you can see at the harbour in Puno.
Most tourist agencies offer daytrips to the main islands in the lake.
From Copacabana there are 2 boats daily to Isla del Sol, at 8:00 and 13:30h.
Don't forget your 3 pesos to sail on a reed boat on the Titicaca lake between the Uros Islands... It's optionnal, though...
N'oubliez pas vos 3 pesos pour naviguer sur un bateau de totora sur le lac titicaca, entre les iles Uros... C'est optionnel, toutefois...
The waters on the lake can get quite rough and swells will send the boat rocking back and forth. This is also compounded by the fact that these boats typically emit heaps of diesel exhaust that you may be forced to inhale. :-(
One way to keep from getting sick is to sit dead-centered in the boat (minimizing both horizontally and vertical movement) and look out over the horizon. Sitting or laying down is the worst possible thing you can do at this point.
If you are unsure of your ability to cope with motion sickness, pop a Gravol or two 1 hour prior to your trip. On our trip, we administered Gravol to 2 different European women and offered the same advice given here... they bounced back within a half hour.
Who's that aboard the ship? Is it an Inca Princess? No, it's just me, with my handmade llama-wool coat... and smelling like a llama!!!
¿Quién es esa a bordo del barco? ¿Es una princesa inca? No, tan sólo soy yo, con mi abrigo tejido a mano con lana de llama... ¡y oliendo a llama!!!!
Sailing Titicaca lake is a beautiful experience; we took the ship at Copacabana and crossed the lake till La Paz; we also visited the Sun Island. Aboard service was excellent, specially typical food.
Navegar por el Titicaca es una hermosa experiencia; tomamos el barco en Copacabana y cruzamos el lago hasta La Paz; también visitamos la Isla del Sol. El servicio a bordo fue excelente, especialmente la comida típica.