Copacabana is a city and municipality in Bolivia, capital of the province Manco Kapac. It was constituted between the Calvario and Niño Calvario hills. It is located in La Paz department, at the shore of the Titicaca’s lake. This place is known for the Virgen de Copacabana’s worship, the biggest religious tradition in Bolivia. It is located 155 km from La Paz city. The name “Copacabana” comes from the aymara’s words “kota kawana”, that means “view of the lake”. Currently, Copacabana is still visited by travelers that want to know its religious celebrations, landscapes, cultural heritage and traditional events.
Travel tips for Copacabana
Due to its altitude, it is common to experience sorojchi upon arriving to Copacabana. We recommend you rest and avoid making physical exercise upon arriving to the city. As with any other place, it is recommended you keep your personal belongings close and avoid wandering the streets on your own late at night. As other cities in the highlands, the temperature in Copacabana varies between extreme cold and heat, so it is advised to clothing for all those temperatures. Bolivia’s currency is the Boliviano. 1 Dollar equals 6.91 Bolivianos, and 1 Sol is worth 2.13. If you take dollars to your trip, consider that they only will accept them if they are in perfect conditions, they can’t be fold or broken. 100-dollar bill is better paid than 50-dollar bill. Almost all the hotels and shops don’t accept credit card and if they do, they will charge 4% or 8% more. Drink bottled water to avoid stomach deseases.
Best time to visit Copacabana
You can travel to Copacabana during all the year because its climate is warm and temperate. If you want to participate in their traditional celebrations, you can travel in Febrary, because they celebrate the Fiesta de la Candelaria (dedicated to the Copacabana Virgin), or you can travel at the beginning of August, because they celebrate the Copacabana festivity.
Climate in Copacabana
The climate in Copacabana is warm and temperate. The average temperature is 50.54°F (10.3°C). November is the warmest month of the year, with an average temperature of 54.32°F (12.4°C); and July is the coldest month of the year, with an average temperature of 46.04°F (7.8°C). Summers have rainier seasons than winters.
Things to do in Copacabana
The tourist places to see in Copacabana are:
Location: Plaza 2 de febrero Church that was built in 1619. It has a morisco architecture. Inside this building you can see the statue of the Virgen de la Candelaria. This church is an important center of pilgrimage for bolivians, Peruvians and other catholic travelers.
Museo del Poncho
Location: Baptista 42, Copacabana Museum that shows typical bolivian textiles. The gallery explains the origin and history of the poncho and other clothes important for the bolivian culture.
Nightlife in Copacabana
Location: Av. 16 de Julio, Copacabana Hours: 7 p.m.-4 a.m. Price: unknown Disco with trending music, perfecto to enjoy with friends. They offer several drinks and cocktails.
Km Zero Resto Bar
Location: Av. 6 de Agosto, Copacabana Hours: 12 a.m.- 12 p.m., 2 p.m.- 12 a.m. Price: unknown Bar where play music Bolivian bands. Also, they offer drinks and cocktails.
Where to eat in Copacabana
Location: s/n zona garita, Av. 6 de Agosto, Copacabana Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Price: unknown Restaurant that offers delicious varied dishes. Although they take time serving them, it is worth the wait.
La Posada del Lago
Location: Av. Costanera, Copacabana Hours: unknown Price: unknown Restaurant that offers varied dishes and drinks.
Typical dishes in Copacabana
Trucha a la criolla
Typical dish elaborated with trout, rice, lettuce salad, onion, tomato and French fries.
Typical fish soup elaborated with k’oa, a plant that grows in the high plateau region.
How to reach Copacabana
Copacabana by train
Currently it is not possible to reach Copacabana by train.
Copacabana by flight
Copacabana doesn’t have its own airport. The nearest airports are: Aeropuerto El Alto (La Paz, Bolivia) and Aeropuerto Internacional Inca Manco Capac (Juliaca, Perú). The first one is located 3 hours average from Copacabana and the second one is located 3 hours and a half average from it.
Copacabana by bus
There are buses that go from La Paz and Puno to Copacabana. The average distance from La Paz to Copacabana is 91.2 miles (146.8 km), and the average journey time is 3 hours and a half. The average distance from Puno to Copacabana is 138.7 miles (223.2 km), and the average journey time is 4 hours.
Accomodations in Copacabana
Hostal Luz Hostal Luz Yhobimar
Location: Calle Max Paredes Entre Avenida 16 de Julio y Bolivar s/n, 0012 Copacabana Price: 68.09 bolivianos (32 soles) Hotel located 200 meters from Nuestra Señora de Copacabana Cathedral. It offers free Wifi, rooms with TV, and it has a restaurant.
Hostal la Casa del Sol
Location: Calle José Ballivian, zona Munaypata, Copacabana Price: 82.98 bolivianos (39 soles) Hotel that offers rooms with shared and private bathrooms. It has a terrace and garden. Also, it rent cars and bikes.
Hotel Mirador del Lago
Location: Av. Costanera Esquina Buch S/N zona Litoral, 0012 Copacabana Price: 121.29 bolivianos (57 soles) Hotel that offers continental breakfast, free Wifi, and rooms with terrace and panoramic view to the lake. Also, it has private bathroom and TV.
Hostal Villa Imperial
Location: Av. 6 de Agosto, 9999 Copacabana Price: 123.41 bolivianos (58 soles) Hotel that offers free breakfast, free Wifi; and rooms with TV and in some cases private bathroom. Also, it has a good city view.
Hostal Lucero del Titicaca
Location: Av. Jáuregui entre las calles Oruro y Pando, 5912 Copacabana Price: 151.07 bolivianos (71 soles) Hotel that offers rooms with TV, free Wifi, and private bathroom with shower. Also, it has free private parking and they rent bikes.
Location: Calle Michael Pérez 60, 3153 Copacabana Price: 206.40 bolivianos (97 soles) Hotel that offers rooms with private bathroom, TV, sofa, and view to the lake. Also, it offers free breakfast, free Wifi, and free transportation to the bus station.
Important dates in Copacabana
Fiesta de la Candelaria
Traditional celebration dedicated to the Copacabana virgin. Locals dance typical dances and they make a procession with the virgin.
Fiesta de Copacabana
August 4th to 6th
Festivity celebrated in honor to the virgin of Copacabana, the queen of the nation. Locals organize religious and cultural activities like processions and typical dances.
Fiesta de la Cruz
Festivity that commemorates the meeting of the cross of Jesus with St. Helen. Locals celebrate with typical dances, music and a mass.