Rain will not ruin the Gaudet family’s inspired parade! Off to Copacabana….
(Photos: Michelle Gaudet)
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We arrived in Puno late in the evening to torrential downpours. We had traveled most of the day through rain storms that only intensified as we left the Colca Canyon and traveled through the mountains towards Lake Titicaca. For the first time since we had started our travels in Peru, we were experiencing weather that was cold and damp, the kind of weather we experienced back home in Canada during the late fall and late winter.
It poured rain for 4 days straight. Being cooped up in a small hostel room with very little to do was not good for anyone in our family and homesickness started to set in. With no end in sight for a week from the wet and cold weather, we decided to make a detour around Lake Titicaca and spend a couple weeks on the Bolivian side in Copacabana.
We took a dedicated tourist bus company to cross the border into Bolivia that left each morning from Puno. Not knowing what to expect and with limited Spanish, we thought that this would be the best choice to make the border crossing as smooth as possible. After a couple hours on the bus, we all disembarked with backpacks and relative ease, we crossed through the border office, walked up a hill, spoke to guards on the Bolivian side who stamped our passports and we got back on a different bus. Within another hour we arrived in the lakeside town of Copacabana.
Our eco hotel was built on the side of a hill overlooking the town and had alpacas that lived in the garden on the property. We spent a couple weeks exploring the area, with several day trips that would take us on ferries to hike the north and south ends of Isla Del Sol. We carried on our travels in Bolivia and spent a few days in the chaotic but charming city of La Paz. With nicer weather in the forecast for Puno, we bused our way back around the lake to Puno so we could spend time exploring Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian side.
(Photo: Michelle Gaudet)
We arrived back in Puno to blue skies and fair weather. The first tour we booked was a boat tour of the Uros Floating Islands. We woke up early the next morning and made our way down to the main port. After a speedboat ride out to the islands, we were met by a local family who showed us around the floating island they live on with a demonstration on how the islands are created by the reeds that grow in the lake. We were transported to several islands on a traditional boat also made from the reeds.
A few days later we decided to go on a second tour that would take us to the ancient Sillustani Burial Towers. Sillustani is located on windy hills overlooking the enchanted waters of Lake Umayo. The Chulpas are Pre-Incan and Incan stone burial towers that housed mummies awaiting rebirth. On our way back from Sillustani our bus made a stop at a local homestead. The family that lived there welcomed us into their home and served us several local dishes made from potatoes. The kids introduced us to their alpacas.
With over 3 weeks spent touring the stunning Lake Titicaca region of Peru and Bolivia, it was time for us to travel on to our next destinations. We once again boarded a bus and spent the day driving through the countryside until we arrived in Cusco, the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
Michelle Gaudet is a Canadian writer, artist, and photographer. Last year Michelle and her family took their first family travel adventure backpacking southern Peru for 3 months. She currently lives in Canada while traveling and worldschooling with her family as much as possible. Michelle is the Director of Digital and Social Media for Spiritual Niagara and is building a new career in travel focusing on family adventures and group retreats. You can find her family’s adventures on Instagram .