Lake Titicaca is divided roughly in half between Peru and Bolivia. Although the fishermen of both countries cross the border without hesitation many times a day, there is no regular connection on water between the two shores. Therefore I arrived in Bolivia by bus, and my first Bolivian town was Copacabana, which gave its name to a famous beach in Rio. To be honest Copa did not impress me much – it seemed rather like a pile of rubbish inhabited by lots of ants-locals. My days there coincided with a local religious festival, which meant that Copa was full of Bolivian visitors, music, noise, homemade fireworks and food scraps all over the ground. But my goal there was different. Early next morning a boat took me to the North of Isla del Sol – the Island of the Sun.
Tripadvisor and the rest of internet suggested that Isla del Sol is way more touristic than the Peruvian Titicaca islands. I reached a completely opposite conclusion. Isla del Sol rises above Lake Titicaca, silent and calm, and offers commanding views in every direction. The trek along the mountain ridge takes a few hours and lets you observe all the beauty in zen-like peace. Walking this path, I was full of wonder for the amazing landscapes put in front of me and for the journey that took me to this wonderful corner of the globe.
Nothing much to add to that really
The trek follows the path from the Inca ruins in the North to Yumani village in the South. I spent the night in Yumani, drinking in the wonderful sharp stars and hugging the many blankets protecting me from the mountain cold.
A hippie commune occupies a beach in the North East. Meditating
Chicana, the ruin of the Inca palace, is in the North. The ruins are all over the island, but disappear in its powerful nature
According to the legends of the Incas, the Sun was born on Isla del Sol, in addition to the founders of the Inca dynasty – Manco Cápac and his sister-wife Mama Ocllo. They appeared from these two niches in the North close to Chicana:
A ritual table from the Inca time, probably a sacrificial altar. Today the local shamans conduct ceremonies over it. One of them is hidden behind the table.
The view to the North from the Northernmost extremity of the island. Several years ago the archeologists found “Bolivian Atlantis” next to the tiny island on the photo. A rich ancient settlement was hidden deep below the waters of Lake Titicaca, proving that the level of the lake fluctuated significantly over the thousands of years. The settlement was culturally linked to Tiwanacu culture, about which I will write later.
The view to the South. The trek follows approximately the highest points of each mountain. The altitude is around 3900 metres.
Views of Isla del Sol