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Getting Around Bolivia By Boat

Landlocked Bolivia has surprisingly decent public boat travel, taking advantage of Lake Titicaca and the many rivers in the east. Boats on the lake generally leave from Copacabana, either at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m., and the vast majority head to Isla del Sol. These are inexpensive, though slow, so you may have to plan your day around the departure times. You can rent a private boat for trips to other islands, like Isla de la Luna and the Islas Huyanamarkas, which will cost a good bit more than the public launchas but can be shared among travelers and are at your disposal as far as coming and going.


Long wooden speed boats travel Bolivia’s rivers, and although they are uncomfortable, they provide an awesome authentic experience. Try the Guanay - Mapiri trip, which leaves at 7 a.m. (east to west, 9 a.m. west to east), for four hours of scenic river riding, with drop-offs along the way. Public boats all have set times for departure and arrival (though this is relative...), so if you want to make your own schedule, talk with a boat owner and see what they charge for private rental. Most conductores are more than willing to sell their services, $25 for a couple of hours is a reasonable price for you and a day’s salary for them. Remember that you are paying for their driving, boat, and gas, so be reasonable when negotiating prices.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Bolivia: Getting Around Bolivia By Hitchhiking, Getting Around Bolivia By Plane, FCA Train Schedule, Getting To and Away, Getting To and Away From Parque Nacional Sajama, When To Go, Getting Around Bolivia By Bus, Getting To and Away from Trinidad, Getting To and From San Ignacio de Moxos and Getting To and From San Borja.

By Margaret Rode
A self-professed city girl, sassy staff writer Margaret Rode hails from Chicago where she received Bachelor degrees in English Literature and Spanish...
24 Sep 2009

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