A view of Lake Titicaca from Isla del Sol with terrace farming.

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One of my favorite TREASURES OF TRAVELING in Bolivia was the peaceful island of Isla del sol! The best starting point to explore Isla del Sol is from Copacabana where there are many tour companies practically begging you to come on their half day or full day tour of the famous Inca Island called Isla del Sol!  It is the largest island on Lake Titicaca and it is a great day trip from Copacabana. You can also visit Isla del Luna on a tour as well. I didn’t have a chance to visit Isla del Luna, but I really enjoyed the natural beauty of Isla del Sol!

On Isla del Sol you will see beautiful rolling hills that are covered in terraced fields of different foods, but mostly quinoa. You will see Bolivian’s livestock all over the island from llamas, donkeys and pigs. We also witnessed a group of Bolivian women washing and drying their clothes.  As you hike around this enchanting island, you will see stunning views of the island and of Lake Titicaca.  

What to take on a day trip to Isla del Sol you ask? Well, one of the most important things is water! Make sure to take plenty of drinking water for when you hike around the island.  You can also buy water on the island, but it is always important to have your own so you stay hydrated. Also, don’t forget to take along sunscreen to protect you from the sun’s rays; remember that you are closer to the sun as Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world where the altitude is more than 12,600 feet! I would also suggest to bring your own lunch, but there are many places to buy some food along the trails. One of the most important things you should not remember to bring is cash to pay for the tourist tax that you must pay to the islanders for walking along their paths. Consider it a hiking pass that you buy for walking on the trails of each part of this beautiful island.  

You can easily take a tour of the island from one of the many tour companies in Copacabana or you can do it on your own by taking a ferry from Copacabana to the north side of the island and hike down to the southern part of the island stopping along the way to witness the sights and sounds of the Isla del Sol!  Once you get to the southern end of the island you can catch a ferry back to Copacabana. It generally is about a 1 to 2 hour boat ride depending on what part of the island you are going to.

The trip to Isla del Sol can all be done in one day so it makes for a great day trip from Copacabana!  You can also stay a night or two on the island in one of their hotels so you can spend more time on Isla del Sol to relax and take in the beauty of the island.  One of the great things is that you won’t be bombarded with lots of noises as there is no motorized transport on the island.  There are actually numerous hotels, many very small and offering basic accommodation and the majority offer some type of food or restaurant as well.  It is a fairly remote island which can make it a wonderful place to get some peaceful rest and relaxation if you have been traveling and or backpacking around South America for a while.

Isla del Sol is a beautiful island so if you have plans to visit Copacabana, make sure to set aside at least one day to visit and hike around parts of Isla del Sol.  You won’t be disappointed in this island and it’s numerous treasures that await you!  Have you been to Isla del Sol?  If so, what did you think about it?    

—  Luke Keeler

Check out the map below to see where Isla del Sol is located at!