Bolivia Hop: Cusco to La Paz
*Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*
When planning our travels through South America, we wanted to stick to a certain budget. The biggest expense? Getting from place to place, especially since we wanted to visit 4 different countries. Our first stop was Cusco, Peru and after that, we wanted to visit La Paz, Bolivia. We looked at plane tickets but flying is always so expensive. We had never taken an overnight bus before on our previous travels but bloggers kept suggesting it. After some research, we stumbled upon Bolivia Hop (www.boliviahop.com). They offered an overnight bus from Cusco to Puno, and then a bus ride from Puno to Copacabana, Bolivia. After Copacabana, they drive you to La Paz! This worked out PERFECT for us because we wanted to visit Uros Island in Puno and Isla Del Sol, located off of Copacabana.
After a week in a comfy airbnb in Cusco, we were nervous to start our long journey to La Paz with Bolivia Hop. The night finally arrived and we made our way to the Bolivia Hop terminal in Cusco. This was NOT easy to find, as we got dropped off at the PeruRail terminal and had to walk around at nighttime, searching for the Bolivia Hop Terminal. We asked locals and they all pointed us in different directions. After walking around for way too long, we finally spotted the small Bolivia Hop sign and rejoiced. We knocked on a closed gate and a man let us in. A woman at a desk checked us in and gave us Bolivia Hop wristbands. We were also able to sign up and pay for the Uros Islands tour. After standing around for a bit with other passengers, we boarded the big bus. It was a 2 story bus with a bathroom on board. We settled into our seat and it was pretty comfortable, especially since we would be sleeping on it that night. Alonzo was our Peru guide and he was EXCELLENT. He was charming, funny and knowledgable. I could tell that Bolivia Hop puts safety first and that was very comforting. The other passengers on board were friendly and after some rules from Alonzo, we all went to sleep.
We woke up the next morning at 5:15 AM. This was a bit too early for us but we managed to get up and walk to a restaurant for breakfast. You sign up for this breakfast the evening before. You don’t have to go to breakfast but there weren’t many other options besides sleeping in on the bus or bringing your own food. Breakfast was basic: scrambled eggs, toast and jam, coffee and pineapple juice. We ate, and mostly used the restaurant bathroom to freshen up before our Uros Island tour. We hopped on a boat right after breakfast and headed to the islands made completely of reeds. Our Bolivia Hop guide was the best and gave us lots of facts about the islands and its inhabitants. The islands are small but worth seeing and feeling. The reeds were so squishy to step on! After a 2 hour tour, the boat took us right back to the bus, which continued on to the Peru/Bolivia border to get our exit stamp and entry stamp into Bolivia. It was really cool to walk across the border! Luckily, we had gotten our Bolivian Visas in Los Angeles so immigration was a breeze for us. For others though, it took quite a long time and we ended up getting to Copacabana much later than scheduled.
Since we got to Copacabana later than predicted, we had only 50 minutes to eat lunch and then ride a Bolivia Hop boat to Isla Del Sol. We opted to stay the night at Ecolodge La Estancia on Isla Del Sol but other passengers stayed in Copacabana or continued immediately to La Paz that day. The boat ride to Isla Del Sol was long but smooth. Andrew slept the entire way! Once on Isla Del Sol, the Bolivia Hop guide showed us the meeting point for pick up tomorrow. Easy enough! After hiking UP AND UP to our hotel that was way farther on the island than we thought, we made it and settled in for the night. If you don’t mind a long and hot hike, I highly recommend Ecolodge La Estancia. It was a STUNNING property, with the best staff and home cooked dinner and breakfast. The views were incredible and although it wasn’t the cheapest option, it was a nice splurge. Since the walk to the hotel is so far, donkeys take your luggage up while you hike! The next day, the same donkeys took our luggage back to the dock. What a sweet complimentary service!
After the long boat ride back to Copacabana, we ate lunch and made our way to the Bolivia Hop bus. It was time for the final leg of the trip: the journey to La Paz! We had new guides and they split us up onto 2 buses. After getting our bus assignment and seat, it was time for one last journey. Our guide was so sweet! On the way to La Paz, the bus and passengers have to cross a body of water on a ferry. We disembarked the bus and got onto a small ferry. The bus also was taken across the water! Once across the water, we were able to buy snacks and use the restroom while we waited for our bus to get onto shore. Once it arrived, we hopped back on the bus and made our way into La Paz. It was about 10 PM when we arrived in La Paz. We were nervous about hailing a taxi at nighttime in a new city but of course, Bolivia Hop has thought of everything. The guide had already organized taxis, given them each persons hotel/hostal/airbnb address and the taxis were already paid, courtesy of Bolivia Hop.
We hopped into our taxi and thanked our courteous guide. We arrived safely to our airbnb and couldn’t believe the long 2 days we had had. NONE of this would have been possible without Bolivia Hop. It was so great that a service like this exists. It made our trip from Peru to Bolivia a breeze. We barely had to think about anything, as the guides handled everything, from breakfast to boats to prepaid taxis. We were SO impressed with Bolivia Hop that we used them again for a trip to Chacaltaya Mountain and Valle De Luna.
There is an office located in La Paz so we simply found the office, went in and booked our day trip. It was so easy! They picked us up at a meeting point and dropped us back off. Bolivia Hop is safe, affordable and fun. It was a nice change to meet new people, as Andrew and I are traveling just us two for 3 months. We met people from all around the world, including other parts of the USA. I cannot say enough good things about Bolivia Hop. They went above and beyond to ensure each passenger was safe, comfortable and most importantly, they made sure everyone got to where they needed to go. Again, I would highly recommend Bolivia Hop!
You can book everything here: www.boliviahop.com