Private Tour: Lake Titicaca, Copacabana and Sun Island from La Paz
Discover the beauty of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana and Sun Island on this full-day tour from La Paz with a private guide. After hotel pickup, enjoy the company of your knowledgeable guide during the ride to the lake. Marvel at the cobalt-blue waters and the glacier-capped Andes. Learn the history of the area’s indigenous civilizations, and meet their descendants at lakeside villages. In Copacabana, visit a 16th-century basilica and enjoy lunch on the waterfront. On Sun Island, which is considered the birthplace of the Incan civilization, walk through splendid archeological ruins. This tour is perfect if you’re short on time but want to experience some of the major sights of Bolivia.
Your Lake Titicaca tour begins early at your hotel in La Paz, where your guide will be waiting for you with a private vehicle. The three-hour drive to Copacabana flies by with the guide’s engaging narratives of local Andean culture and history. Soon, the guide’s words take a backseat as the gorgeous Lake Titicaca comes into view.
One of the largest lakes in South America, Lake Titicaca sits on the Altiplano, a high plateau of the Andes. According to legend, the pre-Incan sun god arose from its depths and created the first humans. You also can’t miss the awesome granite peaks of the Cordillera Real (Royal Range of the Andes). Stop at a lakeside village, and watch the indigenous Aymara practice the age-old tradition of building boats and baskets out of totora reed, an aquatic plant found nearby.
To get to Copacabana, join locals on a ferry. Visit the Basilica of the Virgin, a popular pilgrimage site, and note its Moorish-style domes and blue ceramic tiles. Inside, behold the Dark Virgin of the Lake, believed to have brought about many miracles.
After the basilica, stroll along a walkway of artisan stalls, and stop and talk to the locals about their craft. At the end of the walkway is a lovely lake waterfront, where you can purchase a drink or snack. When it’s time for lunch, expect to enjoy a local restaurant carefully selected by your guide. This three-course meal typically includes an appetizer, main course of grilled meat or fish (vegetarian option available upon request), and dessert. You can purchase drinks and other Andean cuisine.
Afterward, join your guide on a privately chartered motorboat that takes you to Sun Island.
Arrive about an hour later on the island said to be the birthplace of Inca civilization. In Yumani, on the south side of the island, walk in the footsteps of the Incas by climbing over 200 steps they had built leading up a fountain of youth. Wander through the ruins of Pilko Kaina, an Incan temple. Observe how locals still use pre-Incan farming methods on the steep agricultural terraces.
After Sun Island, your guide takes you back to your hotel in La Paz as the sun sets over the Altiplano. With advance notice, you may instead opt to be dropped off in Puno for an additional fee.