Copacabana is a tourist spot and the main town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It’s recognized for its famous Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, where the Virgin of Copacabana is housed. A relatively small town, Copacabana sits between Mount Calvario and Mount Niño Calvario, near La Paz. It’s sometimes referred to as “Copa,” and despite being popular with tourists, it maintains its small town charm.
The name is from the Aymara phrase kota kawana, which means "view of the lake." Despite Rio’s claim, this is the original Copacabana, which lent its name to the famous Brazilian beach. Do not miss seeing the Copacabana Cathedral, as Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia. The statue inside is believed to hold healing powers and was originally carved with cactus.
Hike 30 minutes up the hill of Cerro Calvario to get a bird’s-eye view of town from the north end of the beach; just remember the altitude and note that you may need to pace yourself. If you are hungry, try out Copacabana’s local specialty: trucha, salmon fished from Lake Titicaca.
If you need money, there is one ATM, but it only supports bank-issued cards. You can withdraw money from inside, but you will need your passport for identification so you are better off ensuring you have money beforehand if you plan to buy souvenirs in Copacabana. And, don’t bank on the free Wi-Fi working in restaurants along the beach; it’s typically a ploy to attract customers.