On Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest altitude lake in Bolivia, is an island, which is believed to be the birthplace of the sun itself.
A short ferry ride away from Copacabana in Bolivia lies an island packed with history and beautiful nature. Lake Titicaca itself is on the border of Peru and Bolivia, but Isla del Sol and the neighboring uninhabited Isla de la Luna are located on the Bolivian side. Ferries operate daily and make the island quite easily accessible.
Isla del Sol, the island of the sun, is named after an Inca legend. It is the birthplace of the sun god Inti itself. According to the story, the first Incas, Manco Capac, and Mama Ocllo, who were children of Inti, were born on the island.
We stayed in the town of Yumani on the southern side of Isla del Sol. The island has steep hills and thanks to the high altitude it isn’t any easier to walk up to the top. There are no motor vehicles but you can rent a donkey to carry your bag.
Our hotel was on the shore but we made sure to spend the whole day exploring the island before we retreated back to our base in the evening (to avoid running up and down). Yumani and the whole island is very small and peaceful. On the evenings we normally shared few beers and played cards on the terrace in front of our rooms, while watching the villagers finish their work and disappearing to the road up the hill.
Titicaca lake is the highest altitude lake in the world in 3,812 masl. Its clear blue waters are surrounded by the Andes rising up in the horizon with snowcapped peaks.
WHAT TO DO IN ISLA DEL SOL?
- Isla del Sol offers trekking (short trips since the island is quite small). The view from the top of the island is magnificent.
- Inca ruins scattered around the island. They are not as impressive as Machu Picchu but personally I still found them interesting.
- Visit the neighboring Isla de la Luna.
- Relax and enjoy the laid back island life.
BEAR IN MIND: A conflict between the communities of north and south sides of the island has caused that tourists can’t enter the north part. Find more recent information if you are planning on visiting the island.
• Yumani, Bolivia