Live the Photo: Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Isla del Sol, sacred to the Aymara and Quechua, is found in the southern part of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Inca mythology suggests it to be the birthplace of the sun and the site of Inca creation.
Found within Lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol is at considerable elevation. Lake Titicaca sits at 3820 m about sea level – the altitude and sun may take a toll on the day if you are not adequately acclimatized. Most people come to Isla del Sol via Cusco or La Paz, and should have already adjusted!
Life on the Isla del Sol is simple – most are farmers and live in simple adobe huts with thatched roofs. There are no motorized vehicles on the island. There are plenty of tourists and hikers that visit the island daily (I found the local kids would run up to me, requesting money for the pictures I took, saying that I had to pay for the pictures of them).
The hiking network makes getting around the island easy and the views are worth the effort. The walk along the ridgeline is around 3 hours (Lonely Planet describes the walk as moderately strenuous). The terrain is harsh and rocky, but the tracks are good. Head out to see the Inca ruins, including Pilko Kaina, and climb the Escalera del Inca (Inca stairway). The air is crisp – the views a brilliant splash of sapphire and turquoise – the altitude giving a chiseled look to the rugged landscape and vistas.
Isla del Sol is easily accessed from Copacabana where you can buy a day ticket including boat ride to the island. It is also possible to make the trek to Yampupata from Copacabana (approx: 5 hours), taking a boat the remainder of the way. When I visited Isla del Sol, I took the day ticket – I would have loved to have had more time to explore on the island and was thrilled to have had the time to walk about.
Links and Info
Trip Advisor – is it worth spending the night on Isla del Sol? I only spend the day hiking on the island, taking photos and soaking it all in. I didn’t have the time to spend the night – although the commentary on Trip Advisor makes it an interesting option to consider.
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