Trying an unusual blogging experience here!
I hope you’ll enjoy this post. Before you begin reading, let’s try this: “what do you expect to see through this post? What type of images come to your mind when you read ‘Isla del Sol’? ‘Bolivia’? — please let me know your thoughts by dropping me a comment below: did the results live up to your expectations? – obviously, share your thoughts after checking all these beautiful images out! ♥ Thank you!
This is the third post of a series on our visit to the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. The previous posts focused on people and our perception of their lives, as well as our ‘on-foot exploration’ of the Copacabana town [missed the great images? No problem! Just hop over to the posts using these links: stop 1 & stop 2!]
From our home, La Paz, to the town of Copacabana, we drove some 172 kilometers, route including a ride on a Ferry Boat! Once in town, we took a 2-hour boat, packed with tourists, families, kids, to the mystic Isla del Sol, for an exciting and
exhausting challenging (!!) 3 hour hike through the rocky mountains, towards the pre-Inca ruins, the Sacred Inca Labyrinth, and a well deserved stop at the intriguing ‘floating islands’ [islas flotantes], artificially established fish farms, restaurants & rest areas, for some delicious trout lunch!
According to Wikitravel, “Isla del Sol (“Island of the Sun“) is the largest island on Lake Titicaca, and part of Bolivian territory. An ancient holy site of the Inca, it’s easily reachable from Copacabana“. Considering I love to search for meanings, reasons, traditional explanations, I really loved to learn that, “the Inca [people] legend says that Viracocha, the bearded god who created the universe, emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca and created the sun at this location”… How can something get any cooler than this? That said, we’ve been to the place where it all began… or at least, the spot where the Sun was created! ♥
Lovely, right? And the images are a testimony of that… take a look and enjoy this journey with our traveling family!
The boat ride to the Isla del Sol…
…and snapshots of the floating islands and the fish [trout] farms!
Learning a bit about the island and its features:
A full-day tour took two hours to get from Copacabana to Cha’llapampa, two and a half hours to see the museum and make a round trip hike to the Rock of the Puma, and back to the Inca Steps and two hours for the ride back to Copacabana.
It’s possible to hike from the Rock of the Puma back to Yumani (three hours) and catch the boat from there. Our family just could not do this, and we skipped the extra 3-hour hike, due to exhausted kids… But, our adventure was well-worthy:
- Cha’llapampa, the town on the northern end of the island, is where the boat lets you off. The Gold Museum (Museo de Oro) displays Inca treasures which were discovered underwater off the island in the last decade.
- The sights on the northern tip are ancient Inca sacred sites. The Rock of the Puma, or Titi Kharka, after which the lake is named.
- A short distance from the rock is the Inca Table, a low platform fashioned of stone. which was supposedly used for human sacrifices. The Footsteps of the Sun nearby are a set of natural impressions in rock.
- From Yumani on the southern part of the island, the Inca Steps descend down to the water. At the bottom is the Fountain of Youth.