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Live the photo, South America

Live the Photo: Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Live the Photo: Isla del Sol, Bolivia

The Background

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.

Getting There

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.

Other posts you may enjoy

South America:  Rurrenabaque:  Bolivian Adventure

Trekking:  Nepal:  Eternal Fascination


About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


14 thoughts on “Live the Photo: Isla del Sol, Bolivia

  1. I loved Lake Titicaca…I was in Peru at the time and spent the night on an island with a local family! Love your photo!!

    Posted by Travel Spirit | November 8, 2011, 8:59 am
  2. This place sounds incredible! How were you able to travel to all these places? Did you mostly do it alone? Did you save up before you went or do you have a job that allows you to work on the road?

    Posted by Jacqueline | November 8, 2011, 5:06 pm
    • I have been lucky to do a lot of travel, in a lot of ways! I spent 7 months traveling in South, Central and North America – I saved like crazy for a few years, scrimping on anything I could, quit my job and hit the airways. Luckily, I was also able to sell some things that paid for my airline ticket! That was really the bonus. I did part of the trip on my own and part of it with a friend. I found the best way to back pack through South America was to take it day by day – meet the other back packers, cut a few corners here and there, but also splurge on the important things! Originally, my trip was supposed to be 12 months, but I chose to do some of the more expensive tours in exchange for a shorter trip! Best decision I could have made as I loved it. Met others who spent the absolute least amount of money all the time, stayed traveling for a longer period of time, but were not always happy! I am getting itchy feet again and am thinking of something shorter – maybe 3-4 months. I am quite unlikely to be able to keep my job with a leave of absence (very scary), but a few months in South East Asia or Africa will be totally worth it! Already looking around the house at what I can sell!

      Posted by Anita Mac | November 8, 2011, 6:22 pm
  3. That’s awesome! Thanks for the detailed response. I know the itchy feet feeling. I’ve been in one place for almost 2 years now, and I’m feeling the need to get out there again. I lived in China 3 years and worked mostly as a teacher in different parts of the country. It was a great way to really learn about the culture and to make lifelong friends. I also had an insane amount of vacation time, which helped create the time and space to explore and travel all over. I’ve never just traveled for an extended period of time though…maybe that’ll be my next adventure. 3-4 months sounds like a perfect amount of time!

    Posted by Jacqueline | November 8, 2011, 6:30 pm
  4. Looks like a beautiful place to visit!! Great shot! 😀

    Posted by Marie Nagle Photography | November 8, 2011, 6:47 pm
  5. Sounds like a beautiful destination!!

    Posted by Steve | November 8, 2011, 11:41 pm
  6. I can only dream of the tropics for now. This place is just so idyllic.

    Posted by Malou | February 14, 2012, 8:36 am
  7. The older I get the more attractive destinations like these sound – quiet – calm – peaceful.

    Posted by readytochangenow | March 3, 2012, 10:29 pm
  8. Brings back great memories! Love your picture.

    Posted by Smith | June 14, 2012, 10:49 am


  1. Pingback: Monday Morning Series – Isla del Sol, Bolivia | traveldestinationbucketlist - February 13, 2012

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