Coppacobana and Lago Titicaca

Copacabana Travel Blog

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We left Cuzco at 10pm on an overnight bus to Coppacobana. This wasn't to be our best trip and we got ripped off in so many ways.

First we bought the tickets for 80 Soles each because it promised to be a direct night bus. We had heard that it would be much cheaper to go to Puno on a local bus (35 soles) and catch a collectivo to Coppacobana from there (5 soles or so) but as we wanted to go direct to get some sleep we figured the extra cost was worth it. When we arrived at the bus terminal I found out that the tickets cost only 60 Soles there so we paid 20 Soles to the travel agency, ughhhh! At about 6am or so we were woken up and told that we had to get onto a collectivo because the bus we were on was going direct to La Paz - so much for a direct bus! Then at the border we had to get off and carry our luggage for about 50 meters to the border. There was the next surprise, Nicole needed a visa for 300 Bolivianos even though we had checked on the internet before and it had said that she wouldn't need a visa. Changing all the Soles we still had on us we had 280 Bolivianos so 20 short which we had to borrow from the bus company lady who was accompanying us and hiring the collectivos on our behalf. Then we had to walk a bit more and got onto another collectivo, thus vehicle number 3 so far - so much for direct bus! We should have just gone via Puno then.

We arrived in Coppacobana at about 8:30am and now had to pay the lady back so Nicole set off to draw some cash but there are no ATMs in Coppacobana. Well, I later found one but it didn't have a keypad but only a fingerprint reader, odd.  Thus I had to go to the bank to ask for a cash advance on my credit card. For this they charged me 5% comission, actually more like 5.5% because drawing 1000 Bolivianos they gave me 950 and kept 50. Add to this the credit card overseas cash advance fee and the foreign currency translation fee I probably paid about R100 to withdraw R1000. Bloody hell! With my new Bolivianos in hand I returned to pay the lady back her 20 Bolivianos but she now claimed that she had to change 10 Soles to get the 20 Bolivianos but now when she would change the money I gave her back she would need 25 Bolivianos to get 10 Soles or she would lose money. That was such bull, I changed my soles at the same place and I got a rate of 2.4 Bolivianos = 1 Sole so there is no way that as a local they would have only given her 2.0.

That evening on Isla del Sol we wanted to open a bottle of wine to drink with the sunset when we discovered that my pocket knife with the bottle opener was gone. That along with my spare rechargable batteries and the new head lamp we had only recently bought. I think we got pickpocketed on one of the collectivos which just adds to the rip off from that bus company.

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photo by: aliciaaa