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Cusco to La Paz Priorities: Puno VS Copacabana VS La Paz VS Coroico

Cusco to La Paz Priorities: Puno VS Copacabana VS La Paz VS Coroico

Jun 29th, 2017, 12:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Cusco to La Paz Priorities: Puno VS Copacabana VS La Paz VS Coroico

Hi all,

My wife and I, plus two of our friends, are travelling to a few places across Peru and Bolivia (plus Buenos Aires) for 3.5 weeks - most of the trip is planned, but we're hoping for a bit of advice for one section spanning Cusco, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia!

Here's what we were thinking (and only the first day leaving Cusco and the last day, leaving for Uyuni, are set in stone)...

Day 1: Leave Cusco at night for an overnight trip (Bolivia Hop Bus) ...
Day 2: Arrive in Puno, do a quick early morning touristy island tour, then continue on the Bolivia Hop Bus to Copacabana (arrive 1:30pm)... hang out then stay in Copacabana overnight
Day 3: Do a trip out to Isla del Sol, get back to Copacabana in time for the 6pm Bolivia Hop Bus to La Paz... arrive in La Paz at 10:30pm.
Day 4: La Paz
Day 5: La Paz
Day 6: La Paz
Day 7: La Paz
Day 8: La Paz, then overnight bus from La Paz to Uyuni

So here are some key questions:

- Is it okay to rush through Puno, in and out within a few hours? We've heard it's just a tourist trap and it wasn't originally in our plan - we just added it in because the Bolivia Hop Bus stops there anyway.

- Should we stick to the Bolivia Hop Bus? We've read good things, and we like that they can guide us through the border and give decent advice on stuff.

- Should we cut one of the nights in La Paz to stay overnight on Isla del Sol? We've struggled to find some decent accommodation, and we've read that there are some local issues with crossing from the south to the north. Is it worth just heading over on the morning ferry and coming back in the afternoon for the 6pm bus to La Paz? Can we do a bit of hiking, catch some views and see some ruins in that time?

- Coroico looks pretty interesting - would it be worth dropping off some days in La Paz to head out to Coroico? And how long would we need to make it worth it? Especially if we were to fit in the La Senda Wildlife Sanctuary..? How would this fit in?

We're heading out in just over three weeks, so we'd really appreciate any advice from keen travellers who have set foot in these places!

Thanks in advance!

Dion_NZ is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 12:24 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Sorry! One more thing: I forgot to mention, after a three day tour of the Salt Flats, we're catching a night bus back from Uyuni to La Paz, then we'll have that whole day in La Paz, then we stay the night and fly out early the next day... so that's one more (tired) day in La Paz... a lot of time in La Paz!
Dion_NZ is offline  
Jun 29th, 2017, 04:13 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,559
The Uros islands are the main reason many people visit Puno and they are now very touristy, almost like a theme park. There are less touristy options involving trips to less visited floating island and places like Taquile. Always Travel is a v.good operator and a good place to start.

I much preferred Copacabana. The town itself is very nice and we found the trip to Isla del Sol much more enjoyable than Uros and Taquile. We did a half day which was plenty.

We have travelled Cusco - La Paz a couple of times once by overnight bus and once using the Inka Express tour bus from Cusco to Puno - worth considering. I have no experience of Bolivia or Peru hop.

LP is definitely worth a couple of days although you could squeeze the highlights of La Paz and El Alto into one full day. If you are only ther for a day I would highly recommend Banjo Tours for a day tour. Detail of our time with them and the trip from Cusco to LP via Copa can be found on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/bolivia/

We didn't make it to Corioco and regret it. From what I here it is worth a couple of days and is a very laid back sort of place. I think you do have too much time in LP. Have you though about a side trip to the Amazon - Madidi NP is amazing and you can fly from LP to Rurrenabaque. We did have a lot of details on our old blog but sadly Travelpod closed down and I have yet to transfer all the stuff. If you do want to consider, let name know and I would be pleased to make some suggestions. I think you would have enough time to make it worthwhile there.
crellston is offline  
Jul 1st, 2017, 03:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 4
Thanks for your reply!

I don't think we're looking at spending any real amount of time in Puno, and to catch the same bus we only have 2-2.5 hours so we couldn't do Taquile, unfortunately... or if we did, it would be by sacrificing time in Copacabana.

Would you rate spending time in the actual town of Copacabana over a visit to Isla del Sol? We're wondering if we can get some more time to go to Coroico if we just have a half day (around 4-5 hours) in Copacabana, but we'd need to leave out Isla del Sol... or we do a half day in Copacabana, stay the night then visit Isla del Sol the next day for a few hours before moving onto La Paz.

Thanks for the Banjo Tours recommendation! Sounds good because we've actually booked a Salt Flats tour with them already.

Earlier in the planning stages, we looked into heading into the Amazon for a while, but we didn't have enough time when we factored in the other places we were visiting, and it didn't seem right to rush such an experience so we decided to leave it for another trip. I wish we could go though!
Dion_NZ is offline  
Jul 1st, 2017, 03:30 PM
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Just read your blog entries - sounds like it's worth spending the day in Copacaban over Isla del Sol then!
Dion_NZ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2017, 01:27 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,559
Given the time you have, I would probably spend that in Copacabana. The downside to that is that you would miss some fantastic views of the mountains on the way there and back. As I recall the return trip took around 4 hours and I think boats left at around 8 am and 1 pm.

The cathedral and markets are really nice and you could walk up to the top of the hill on the edge of town and probably get some great views (although we never actually made it up there.)

Good choice of Banjo Tours, I am sure they will do a great job for you. We met Ben the owner when he had just started Banjo on our first trip to LP and took some friends with us this time. If you happen spot be there on a Sunday do try and visit the Cholita wrestling - hilarious!
crellston is offline  
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