Our last day in Bolivia!

Copacabana Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 25 › view all entries
Our last sunrise in Isla del Sol

After breakfast we boated back to Copacabana, visited the famous Dark Virgin and its church, did some local shopping and a strolled the town.

 

Copacabana is the main Bolivian town on Lake Titicaca, from where boats leave for Isla del Sol, the sacred Inca island. The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia. The town is a destination for tourism in Bolivia and is also known by its famous Basilica, home of the Virgin of Copacabana, its trout, and its quaint atmosphere. The town has approximately 6,000 inhabitants. Copacabana's religious celebrations, cultural patrimony, and traditional festivals are well known throughout Bolivia.

 

The name is derived from the Aymara kota kahuana, meaning "view of the lake". A village of about four hundred people, indigenous Aymara chiefly, on the shore of Lake Titicaca, province of Omasuyos (Manco Kapac), in northern Bolivia. It is the location of a famous sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Carmel, and of a convent of Franciscan Recollects. During the wars of independence it was despoiled of most of its rich ornaments and gifts, and ruthless plundering by faithless custodians in the course of political disturbances has further contributed to impoverish it. The edifices, originally very handsome, are in a state of sad neglect. It is a shrine for pilgrims from Bolivia and southern Peru, and on 6 August the feast of its patron saint is frequented by thousands. Before 1534 Copacabana was an outpost of Inca occupation among dozens of other sites in Bolivia. The Incas held it as the key to the very ancient shrine and oracle on the Island of Titicaca, which they had adopted as a place of worship, yielding to the veneration in which it stood among the Aymara from time almost immemorial. There were at Copacabana minor shrines, in which the ceremonial of the Incas was observed with that of the original inhabitants. When the Spaniards first visited the Islands of Titicaca and Loati, in 1534 and 1538, the Andean Cosmovision was abandoned and the Dominicans made Copacabana the centre of their missions. Secular priests then replaced them at the instigation of the Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, and finally the mission and its annexes were entrusted to the Augustinians in 1589.

 

In 1582 the grandson of Inca ruler Manco Kapac, struck by the sight of the statues of the Blessed Virgin which he saw in some of the churches at La Paz, tried to make one himself, and after many failures, succeeded in producing one of excellent quality, and it was placed at Copacavana as the statue of the tutelar protectress of the community.

Leaving Isla del Sol
Many miracles have been attributed to it, and its fame has spread far beyond the limits of its surroundings to all five continents. It is kept in a special chapel, where local Aymaras, Bolivians and those from all over the world are untiring in their devotions. During the Great Indigenous Uprising of 1781, while the church itself was desecrated, the "Camarin", as the chapel is called, remained untouched and exempt from spoilation. Copacabana is the scene of often boisterous indigenous celebrations. On the 2nd of February and 6th of August, Church festivals are celebrated with indigenous dances that the clergy have not been able entirely to reform. Copacabana is surrounded by pre-Columbian ruins of considerable interest.

 

The Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana is a 16th century Spanish colonial shrine that houses the image of the Virgin of Copacabana. It is located in the town of Copacabana, Bolivia on the shores of Lake Titicaca near the Peruvian border in the region known as the Altiplano. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia.


Constructed at the foot of a small steep hill, sacred to the Inca and known as the Temple of Sun, it remains as one of the two principal sacred places of importance to the indigenous peoples and Catholics alike. The other is the Virgin of UrkupiƱa near Cochabamba, Bolivia.

 

In front of the Basilica dozens of cars lined up in the streets to be blessed by the local catholic priest and by the local Inca Shaman. At around 11:00 we departed to the Peruvian border, signed the necessary paperwork and finally entered Peru, our final destination.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Our last sunrise in Isla del Sol
Our last sunrise in Isla del Sol
Leaving Isla del Sol
Leaving Isla del Sol
Leaving Isla del Sol
Leaving Isla del Sol
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copaca…
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copac…
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copaca…
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copac…
Statue at The Basilica of Our Lady…
Statue at The Basilica of Our Lad…
At the Peruvian border
At the Peruvian border
On our way down to the boats
On our way down to the boats
Our donkeys transporting water
Our donkeys transporting water
The lost Fountain of Youth
The lost Fountain of Youth
Our cook at Isla del Sol
Our cook at Isla del Sol
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copaca…
The Basilica of Our Lady of Copac…
Blessing of the Cars
Blessing of the Cars
At the Basilica of Our Lady of Cop…
At the Basilica of Our Lady of Co…
At the Basilica of Our Lady of Cop…
At the Basilica of Our Lady of Co…
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana
Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana
Blessing of the Cars
Blessing of the Cars
Cars are lined up everywhere for b…
Cars are lined up everywhere for …
Cars are lined up everywhere for b…
Cars are lined up everywhere for …
We are about to enter Peru!!!
We are about to enter Peru!!!
Copacabana
photo by: aliciaaa