You know that feeling when you climb up a lot of stairs, like a lot, and you’re out of breath but that’s ok because it was a lot of stairs… well, when you climb up three steps and you are just as out of breath then it’s a weird feeling. That’s what happens when you visit Isla del Sol (Island of Sun) in Bolivia as it stands at an altitude of 3,000m.
Isla del Sol is a rocky, hilly island in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. It is given it’s beautiful name as Incas believed that the sun god was born there. It can be reached by an hour long boat trip from Copacabana (in Bolivia not the famous Brazilian beach) which is around a 4hr bus ride from the Bolivian Capital of La Paz. The island is sparsely populated and the main income is farming, which is evident when you reach the island, and tourism is also now a source of income for the island.
We took a small boat from Copacabana to Challapampa on the island. That was when we saw the steps and underestimated how tiring they would be to climb. We watched as the owner of the guest house we were staying in ran up the many tiny steps up the hill while we had to stop midway to catch our breath back. We left our bags at a hostel in Copacabana as the steps are too much to take with a huge travelling backpack.
We checked into the guest house and had a little sit down to recover from the altitude. Then we took a wander around and saw the sun set over the beautiful island. It was one of those sunsets where it feels like somebody just flicked a switch to turn the light off and with not very many lights around it really was dark. Isn’t it something special to see real dark? I feel like we don’t have many moments in life where it is well and truly dark, especially when living in a city. We ate dinner at the guesthouse and headed to bed. It gets very chilly at night due to the altitude so we wrapped up warm.
The next morning we woke up and walked to the other side of the island (Yumani) and took in all the gorgeous views around us. The sun was streaming over the bold blue lake; the air was fresh and crisp and there was a scattering of pure white clouds. Farmers worked on terraced terrain while sheep peacefully grazed. The views from the island were stunning. We timed our walk so that we reached Yumani in time for the boat back to Copacabana.
So, what do you think of Isla del Sol?
This first appeared on Adventitious Violet