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Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
January 31, 2007
From journal Copacabana, Bolivia?
Bristol, United Kingdom
October 6, 2005
Well, it is. Isla del Sol ("Island of the Sun") is the largest island in the Bolivian part of Lake Titicaca. Leave the overpriced, dirty zoo that is the Peruvian side and come to this cheap, clean haven of tranquility.
Supposedly, the island is where the founders of the Inca dynasty, Manco Capac and his sister (strong start!), sprang from. There’s a stone to mark the spot and a low-quality Inca ruin in the south. Both are a waste of time and money.
The main things to enjoy about Isla del Sol are the scenery and serenity. I watched the sun go down over the edge of the island sitting on a hill, and the only things I could hear were a goat bleating as it is led home and the waves lapping on the shore far below. It was beautiful.
Lake Titicaca is HUGE. It’s 3,800km squared, which is about the area of Maryland or Switzerland. Now that’s big. In fact, Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela) is the only lake bigger in the whole of South America.
This size makes the lake so peaceful. Rather than describing it as glassy, it’s more like being in a plane, seeing mountains peeking through a layer of cloud. The lake just seems like a huge blanket smothering all sounds. After the chaos of Cusco, such tranquility is bliss.
Isla del Sol is about an hour and a half by boat from Copacabana, which should cost about BOB15/$2 return. Remember the return; otherwise you’ll get stung trying to get off the island.
I caught a convenient 1:30pm boat, which links up well with buses from Peru or La Paz. Then I stayed overnight at Hostel Puerta del Sol (basic BOB20/$2.50) and had a day to explore the island before returning on the 4pm ferry.
Most importantly, this allows you to see the sunset from Isla del Sol. Find a quiet spot of the island (facing west of course!) and enjoy. Remember to bring some warm layers, because the lake is at 3,800m and gets cold once the sun has set.
From journal Where the Sea meets the Sky