Cusco, Peru to Bolivia
The last few days have been kind of a blur as we have spent most of the time on different busses, but I will do my best to describe them to you as best as I possibly can.
We were so sad to leave Cusco as we made some new friends from Isreal, California, and the UK. We were pretty spoiled with a comfortable place to stay, though Alan and I didn’t have our own room we always made the best of sharing a room with 10+ other people. Having a fire in the common area every night at the hostel was also super nice! Not to mention the fact that we had pretty reliable internet there, more than I can say about Bolivia, but I will save that story for the next blog article. Peru is such a beautiful country; we hope to come back someday!
Our first bus left from Cusco to Puno, Peru at 10 p.m. at night and we chose to use Cruz del Sur one more time, as they are super comfortable and we had nothing but great experiences with them. We purchased the tickets a week in advance as we really wanted to have the front seat upstairs (which is called the panoramica seat/view) it really is the best seat on the bus. The tickets ended up costing us 55 soles each which is about $15.71/person, not bad! The reason we chose to go to Puno was because it’s close to the border of Bolivia, but also there is a beautiful lake called Lake Titicaca (funny name, I know). Since we had all of our bags and didn’t plan on staying in Puno we opted out of going to that lake as we will be going to many lakes and lagoons on this trip.
When we arrived to Puno it was 5:30 a.m. which it was still dark out, but the busses end up at the bus station; which is nice when you are trying to figure out exactly where it is you are trying to go. In the bus terminal there are about 15-20 different bus companies that you can take, but not all of them are headed to the same place so you have to shop around to figure out the best deal and the nicer bus. Alan stayed with our bags while I looked around, as I speak Spanish it makes things run a little more smoothly when trying to purchase our tickets. Well I found out that we will need:
* a passport photo (which we had, woo hoo)
* ($160 US cash per person (which we had)
* a print out of where we were staying (didn’t have)
* a print out of a plane ticket out of the country or what we were doing next (didn’t have)
* a photocopy of our vaccinations (didn’t have)
* a photocopy of our passport (didn’t have)
* visa to Bolivia (which you can get at the border)
Our bus was leaving in an hour so we had to get all of these things in order before we could get on our bus. Luckily Alan’s great with doing these things, so in the terminal there is a little internet shop that you can use to get photocopies and use the internet. While he used the internet I got our photocopies of our passports and vaccinations AND guarded our bags. It all cost us 25 soles ($7.14) to use the internet and get everything printed that we needed to. Not too bad for waiting until the last second. We thought we had what we needed, but in the end it all worked out as it usually tends to. Our bus tickets from Puno to La Paz, Bolivia were 60 soles (which is $17 for two people!). Super cheap! Plus, you also have to pay a bus terminal tax, which was 3 soles .86 cents. The bus went from Puno to the border, and then to Copacabana, ended in La Paz.
When we got to the border we had everything we needed accept of course, a second copy of everything I mentioned to you! Luckily right next to the immigration office they have another little shop with internet and a photocopy machine. So while Alan waited in the immigration office I made us photocopies for 4 Bolivianos (which is about .50). One thing I have to mention to those planning on going to Bolivia someday is to make sure that the cash you have is practically in mint condition. They are huge sticklers about the American dollars they accept, so if you have 20’s with pen writing or just look old or are ripped a little they will not take them at the border. We already knew this so we were prepared, but others in line behind us didn’t, so just a heads up. To get our Bolivian Visa it cost us $160 each which is a bit ridiculous, but we had to get our fourth country stamp on our passport.
After immigration we all got back on the bus to head to Copacabana which was about 10 min away to make a stop for about 45 min while people got off that were staying there and those that were headed to La Paz could switch to a different bus. We left our big backpacks at the bus office and walked down to the beautiful lake in Copacabana, which you will see in the pictures below. Absolutely beautiful! Made some friends with more alpacas and then got on our bus. This bus we didn’t have assigned seating so it was first come first serve type of thing, so you can only imagine who was first in line to get on the bus to take her seat….. yep me! Alan was with our bags to get them boarded while I waited in line and sure enough I got the front seats again.
From Copacabana it was daytime so we truly had some of the most amazing views we have had during this amazing journey, we both think that Bolivia is a beautiful country. So much beauty there!
After Copacabana there is a point where the busses cannot cross to the other side so you have to take a ferry and the bus takes a separate ferry also. The cost to cross is 2 bolivianos each, which is about .57 cents, definitely worth being on a boat on that beautiful lake.
We ended up making it safe and sound to La Paz, which is an amazing city, again tucked away in between mountains. We arrived at 5 p.m. after being on the bus for almost a full day, we were ready to relax. Stay tuned to hear about our time in La Paz.
“Nobody owns the world. So feel free to explore it.” -E.A. Cabaltica