Isla del Sol is an island in the southern part of Lake Titicaca and it is a place of peace and mysticism. Before my plans to travel to South America even started I had great curiosity to visit Lake Titicaca and the ruins from the Inca Empire in Isla del Sol, that they say, was the place were humanity started.
The only way to get to the island is by boat, so from Copacabana we went on a day tour to Isla del Sol. The boat took about 2 hours and it was an easy ride, the waters in Lake Titicaca are smooth.
The legend of Isla del Sol
The most known legend from the Incas says that after the great flood the area of Lake Titicaca fell into darkness for a long time. Then Viracocha, the Inca god of creation, emerged from the waters where he created the Sun God, Inti. After that he also created the world’s first two Incas – Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo (the Adam and Eve of the Andes). It is said that Manco Cápac came out of a large rock known as Titi Qala, a famous site of the island.
Exploring the Island
We arrived early morning to Cha’llapampa on the north side of the island were a large community lives a simple life based on fishing, farming and tourism.
Exploring the island was done by foot following the trails from one side of the island to the other. The trails are easy to follow and it was an amazing day. Maybe it was because I loved to hear about all this ancient myths, but it was also possible to see and talk with people living there which was a treat.
There are over 80 ruins on the island with most of them dating from the Inca period. The most famous ones are Titi Qala, the Chincana building, Q’asa Pata, Pillkukayna, and Chucaripupata a Tiwanaku ritual site.
We started by exploring the ruins of Chincana that are full of details in which our guide had extensive knowledge. There is a set of rooms like a labyrinth with very low roofs and doors. I felt really tall!
We stop half away to have lunch in Yumani, were we had a meal that was included with the tour. A delicious fresh trout from Lake Titicaca was served. Normally I’m not a big fan of trout but I must say it was really nice.
We end up the trip on the southern side of the island doing the Inca Steps, a stone staircase with 206 steps leading up to the Fountain of Youth. They say that you will prolong your life if you drink from it. There was also a little farm with a lot different medicinal plants and animals that I enjoyed to walk around.
We came back to Copacabana that day and for me it was just perfect the amount of time that I spend there but is possible to stay overnight, there are lot of accommodations to choose around the island.
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More stories from South America coming soon!