Boliva: Copacabana – Cerro El Calvario

Without a doubt, an absolute must-do in Copacabana is to ascend the Cerro El Calvario aka Calvary Hill to the top. It’s only about 220m/722ft climb to the top, but the top is at 4,040m/13,254ft elevation so it’s a majorly strenuous effort. The Calvary Hill has the fourteen stations of the cross after the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem (at least that one was flat…). Cross after cross, you relive the painful way of Jesus to crucifixion, panting and breathing hard as you climb higher and higher with oxygen deprivation. Once at the top, there are seven stations of the Sorrows of Mary…. but forget about that for the moment – it’s the absolutely surreal panorama of the Copacabana below that is the holy grail of this climb. The curved bay with the mountains and the town with its beautiful basilica – all look like the panorama of Rio de Janeiro and you finally understand why the Copacabana in Brazil was named after the tiny Bolivian town on the shores of Lake Titicaca.