Polaroid of the week: The mystical Isla Del Sol in Lake Titicaca

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polaroid of the week bolivia isla del solOur last stop in Bolivia before crossing over into Peru was the beautiful Isla Del Sol within the massive Lake Titicaca. An easy trip from the Bolivian town of Copacabana, you could spend only a day, but we spent the night to have more time to explore the 3200 square mile island. The trip turned out to be one of our highlights in all of Bolivia!

The harsh, rocky island is inhabited by 800 families who live entirely off farming, fishing and some tourism. There are not really any roads and definitely no motorized vehicles of any kind. Even cycling would be nearly impossible along the paths up and down the steep hills. Instead, locals rely on the help of donkeys and llamas to carry the bulk of their materials. The island is covered in these furry animals, and loads more sheep everywhere you look.

Life here is hard, and it isn’t much easier on the tourists. We stepped off the ferry in Yumani on the southern side of the island and onto to solid ground, only to be forced to climb 210 stairs up to the village. Once we’ve made it, though, we were rewarded with sweeping views over Lake Titicaca, the Bolivian Cordillera and Peru across the lake.

There is a clear, well-worn path up and over to the northern side of the island, a hike that took us 5 hours to accomplish. We saw the Chincana Inca ruins, a big stone complex full of mazes on the northern tip of the Isla Del Sol. The island was regarded as the home of the supreme Inca god Inti (the sun god) and it was here that, according to the Incas, the creator god Viracocha arose from Lake Titicaca to create the world. He created the Incan version of Adam and Eve, Mallku Kapac and Mama Ocllo, who went on to populate the world from here, making Lake Titicaca the true birthplace of the Incas.

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Tags : bolivialake titicaca


  1. A little over 6 months ago I visited Lake Titicaca from the Peruvian side. I hope you guys are stopping in Puno. I loved hanging out downtown, sipping on some of the amazing local hot cocoa.

    I am headed back to South America this month, and if all goes well, will be able to do a loop through Bolivia. My home base will be in Argentina.

    Hope you guys are having a blast!
    Alana recently posted..The End of the Holidays

    1. Hi Alana, we actually did stop in Puno last week and it turned out to be a lovely introduction to Peru 🙂 Enjoy your return to South America! Argentina is a great home base and close enough to Bolivia for a visit 🙂

  2. Hi Dani,
    would you recall where did you sleep on Isla del Sol, Noth end or South? did you like the place you stayed at, would you have a name of it?
    thank you.

    1. Hi Helena, yes, I do 🙂 We slept on the southside. There are a few hostels right on the hill (where the ferry docks), and many more up in the village. We ended up staying right on the hill because we couldn’t be bothered to walk all the way up into the village 😀 There are always some guys at the dock offering their hostel to new arrivals – just follow one of them and have a look. If you don’t like it, you can still walk all the way up and stay somewhere in the village. Our place was called El Palacio del Inka, if we remember it right. It was very basic but totally alright for one night. Enjoy Isla Del Sol!!

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