After a succesful descent down the Yungas Road we finally reached our destination for the next three days – the little town of Coroico located in North Yungas Province. Although the town was rather full with hotels and residentials, we had something different planned.
Carl had booked us a stay in an eco-lodge ‘Hostal Sol y Luna’. I had never been in an eco-lodge, but it sounded intriguing. Perched on the slope of one of the mountains surrounding Coroico, about 15 minutes walking distance from the city, the eco friendly hostal has large grounds comprising of various stay options for weary travellers looking for some peace and quiet. We chose to stay in the ‘Casa Grande’ which was the main building, containing reception and several rooms. Alternatively it is possible to camp or rent a private self-contained cabin with a spectacular view to the mountains and the rainforest.
The main building or ‘Casa Grande’where our room was
Staying in ‘Sol y Luna’ was a welcome change after some of the dreary hotels we stayed at during our trip so far. The room we had booked was simple, but light and spacious with beautiful views and the low level bed was comfortable (made me think of home where we have the same type of bed), although it was the time to whip out the mosquito net, as you would expect being in tropical surroundings, there were plenty of creepy crawlies we did not want in our bed.
Our room – excuse the messy bed
The showers and toilets were located outside, just near the entrance, but the weather was relatively warm, so it was not a problem.
The place had it’s own little restaurant which possibly was my favourite thing there, as it served fresh juices, which I did not hesitate to drink every single day (I am not sure if my dentist will be impressed by the time I come home). Apart from juices they served a decent variety of freshly made delicious food and every morning we had pancakes for breakfast.
The little restaurant area where many pancakes where eaten
The place itself is purely dedicated to relaxation and staying close to nature with many dedicated walks offered around the grounds, a pool, a hot tub and many sunloungers or hammocks where to chill out with a book or just gazing over the tree tops. It was wonderful to go to sleep in a silence with just some cicadas making some noise behind the windows and waking up early to the birds singing. I did not hesitate to enjoy all the amenities and managed to finish a whole book and get a terrible sunburn (possibly came with me from La Paz where I forgot to use my sunscreen for just one hour!).
These were the views from the surrounding area
The pool with many sun loungers where to read and sunbathe
Use the sunscreen, kids! Those little bubbles are my burnt skin
We throughly enjoyed our stay and it was a good way to recharge our batteries after the noise and movement of La Paz and just being on the move all the time. On one of the days we walked down to the town itself, but it was so small, it only took us maybe an hour to walk all around it without that much to see, apart from stocking up on some snacks and having a peek in the market.
Exploring the grounds
Our three days of stay flew by way too fast and soon it was time to pack up again and get to our next destination – town on the shores of Lake Titicaca, called Copacabana. Our road took us through La Paz again, where we were stuck for few hours just trying to get through the crazy traffic of the city and then it was miles and miles of rather colourless plains with mountains looming by the horizon.
I was getting rather sleepy when a stretch of blue water appeared. It was bluer than anything that I have ever seen and, even though I did not study the map carefully before departing, I instantly knew that this must be Titicaca. As we were flying past it, I reminisced about the times when I was at middle school learning the geography of the world and had to learn all the names of the largest mountains, rivers, lakes and other landmarks. Lake Titicaca was among them, but, even though I might have been able to point it out on the map and had seen the pictures of it in text books, I never ever imagined that I would be able to see it with my own eyes at any point of my life.
This picture had to be taken, of course
Before getting to Copacabana we had to cross the Strait of Tiquina which divides the upper and lower lakes of Titicaca. This was done via a ferry, which was a rickety wooden thing, but it was good fun and cost us close to nothing.
Getting on the ferry
Once we managed to get across the strait, it was another 40 minute ride on windy roads near the shore until we reached Copacabana. I must admit, I was slightly upset as I expected it to be much warmer and nicer there, but I must have been tricked by the Mediterranean-like blue waters. In reality it is never truly warm in Copacabana due to it’s high altitude. The town itself was quaint, scattered with many touristy cafes and the usual street stalls selling all the tourist tat. There are boats going from the town to the near Isla del Sol full with Inca ruins, in fact, Incas believed that the Sun God was born there. Unfortunately, we did not go to Isla del Sol, as Copacabana was only a brief stop for us on the way to the border, but we did enjoy a stroll down the shore of the lake and a terrible pedal boat ride with an ancient boat that barely moved. On the way back, we came across something like a festival, which Bolivians love so much, accompanied by loud drums and many people dancing on the street in colourful clothes.
One of the many wooden piers on the shore of the lake
The locals dancing to some traditional music in the centre of the town
Despite the slight chill in the air, it was a nice change to be near the water after weeks in dry, dessert-like mountainous areas, but it was time to cross the border to head into Peru so we packed our stuff about what felt like the millionth time and got back on the road again.
I know, it feels like I have not written that much about Bolivia, but no worries, we will be coming back after our adventures in Peru, so more to come.