What to see on Island of the Sun in 1 day?
Copacabana was my first destination when I travel to Bolivia. It is a city that borders Peru and is commonly visited by tourists from all over the world to be able to sail in the world’s highest (navigable) lake and to visit some of its islands, such as Isla del Sol which is the largest on Lake Titicaca and is on the Bolivian side.
I arrived at Copacabana because I wanted to visit Isla del Sol, like almost everyone who goes there. But if you give a chance to Copacabana it has its charm.
The first thing I did when I got to town was to find a hotel and leave my stuff there and then I left for Isla del Sol. This may not have been the right approach because the island deserves more time. My recommendation after I’ve been there is to stay on the Isla del Sol at least one night. The next day, you can stay in Copacabana if you feel like it or you can continue your trip.
How to get to Isla del Sol? (on your own)
As soon as you arrive in Copacabana they will offer you tickets to go to Isla del Sol. So don’t worry about looking for agencies for excursions. What you have to do is ask several times the price to different people, so that way you can avoid getting ripped off. I asked several times, they’re all next to each other. In addition, if they hear that one offers you 25 Bolivians next door offers you 20 to go with him.
Another thing you can do, if you are tired of asking, is to say that they offered it to you at 20 and if he leaves it to you at the same price you buy it at the moment.
* 20 Bolivians is the usual price each way and is roughly equivalent to about three euros. The trip I did in February 2017 and it may change over time.
The boats are all quite similar and take about two hours to get to the island and another two hours to return. So this is something you have to keep in mind.
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If you take the last boat, I think it is the one that leaves at 13:00h, you arrive at the island at 15:00h and the last boat comes back at 16:00h, that is, you have only an hour to see the island, which means you won’t see anything.
I took a boat that left at 10 in the morning, which gave me time to see a lot.
The best option is to stay there, go out on the boat at 10am, go to your hotel/hostel and make the different routes of the island quietly.
To go to Isla del Sol you have the option to go to the north or south, each pier has its schedules.
What to see on Island of the Sun?
Isla del Sol is less than 10 kilometers long and about 5 km wide. It is a sacred place where you can still hear the locals speak Aymara and Quechua (native languages).
The island is divided into three communities, Yumani in the south (the area I visited), Challa in the coastal area of the center and Challapampa in the north.
The south area is the most visited and here we can visit the Fountain of Life. After climbing the stairs, you can see it from the jetty. You can also visit the archaeological ruins of Pilkokaina Temple.
In the south you will also find accommodations, restaurants and cafés.
To get to the north, you have to walk or use a boat. The walk takes about 3 hours and goes down a pre-Columbian path. In this area of the island, you can see the archaeological sites of La Chincana; known as the labyrinth of stone walls, the Temple of the Sun, the Sacred Rock, and the Table of Ceremonies. There is also an interpretation circuit and an archaeological museum.
From Challapampa it is possible to visit the Island of the Moon by boat.
The island in general is very nice. You can see archaeological sites of the Inca culture, pre-Hispanic paths, sail the highest lake in the world at about 4000 meters above sea level, interact with local communities, and enjoy some peace of mind.
Where to sleep on isla del Sol
As I mentioned above, I did not stay to sleep on Isla del Sol and it is something I should have done so that I could make the visit more peacefully and enjoy the island more.
That’s why I leave you in this section a Booking link to take a look at the accommodations. Prices start at 20 euros per double room.
Enjoy your visit to isla del Sol!
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