The scenery is awesome, the people are friendly and it is cheap. What more could you want from a country on an epic backpacking trip around South America? If we weren't surfing; we would have defiantly spent more time in Bolivia. For us, it was a great way to escape the escalating costs of the Christmas / New Year period. Ecuador is definitely one of the poorer locations of Latin America, and this uncovers many experiences to be discovered.
Copacabana: Casual lakeside town on the shores of Lake Titicaca
Copacabana sounds like a beach in Rio de Janeiro when in fact this is a town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We took a bus from La Paz, which drove for approximately 4-5 hours and arrived at Copacabana in the afternoon. We found a clean and cheap hostel and booked a boat ticket departing for Isla del Sol the following day.
Where we stayed in Copacabana:
Hospedaje Sonia - Clean, cheap and well run.
Why we stayed in Copacabana:
Easy town for visiting Isla del Sol.
Also, we used Copacabana as the last town in Bolivia before travelling to Lima by bus.
What to do in Copacabana:
Book boat tickets for visiting Isla del Sol.
Coroico: Beautiful laidback and lush town
Wow, looking for green scenery near La Paz? We were not expecting to come across this beautiful sub-tropical town of Coroico and only a three to four-hour drive from La Paz. We chose not to do this, but many arrive in Coroico after cycling the infamous Death Road. There isn't too much to do here except take in the beautifully relaxed area and enjoy a few hikes.
Where we stayed in Coroico:
Sleep at Bonita Villa is highly recommended
Enjoy the relaxed and quiet setting with a wonderful host family
Enjoy their homemade delights, namely their orange liquor
Why we stayed in Coroico:
Visit somewhere relaxing after time partying in La Paz and for enjoying a quiet Christmas getaway.
What to do in Coroico:
Enjoy the view from the zipline, better still, ride the zipline!
Take in the beautiful scenery and villages locally.
Stretch those legs and enjoy some of the local hikes.
Isla del Sol
Where we stayed in Isla del Sol:
We found a quiet and cosy room in one of the many accommodation choices on the island.
Why we stayed in Isla del Sol:
We had heard about the highest (in altitude) navigatable lake in the world called Lago Titicaca and wanted to visit, take in the sites and explore ourselves.
What to do in Isla del Sol:
Hiking and anything you can do with a gigantic lake lapping at the shores. A surreal experience to be at altitude and to experience beach-like shores!
La Paz: A capital city like now others
Where we stayed in La Paz:
Why we stayed in La Paz:
The capital city of Bolivia and a rather central location as a stepping stone between locations made a stay here an easy decision.
What to do in La Paz:
Enjoy the craziness of this city, with much to explore including a massive black market
Enjoyed New Year here. With all the fireworks everywhere, we thought we had gone to war. A must experience if here at this time of year.
Try not to be a hit and run case with crazy traffic around the winding and fast streets
Uyuni: a stopover town for the local sites
An easy place to jump on a tour and see the salt flats
We found that one day was plenty and did not see a need for an extended tour.