I decided to break up the journey between Puno in Peru and La Paz, the capital of Bolivia with a stop in Copacabana and a trip to Isla del Sol (Island of the sun). Isla del Sol is the site of the main Inca creation myth – it was here legend has it that Viracocha (the creator god) had his children (the first Inca) Manco Kapac and Mama Ocllo spring from the lake and found Cusco and the Inca dynasty.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world at about 3,800 metres, and the waters are a beautiful blue, reflecting the sky, surrounding hills and distant snow-capped mountains. There’s something other-worldly about the whole lake Titicaca area – it’s almost as if the lake exists in a region between heaven and earth, but in neither.
Having arrived in Copacabana about three hours after leaving Puno, we stayed the night in Copacabana and caught the earliest passenger ferry the next day over to a small village called Challapampa in the North of La Isla del Sol. About 45 minutes walk North of the port, perched on a cliff with breathtaking views across the lake lie the sacred rock, and ruins of the Inca temple of the sun.
From here we spent a few hours walking about 7km South across the island towards Yumani. It may not sound far, but at this altitude, on the undulating island paths it took a good three hours with a few rest stops. The walk was truly spectacular, the views across the lake towards the mountains in the background were unforgettable.
We arrived in the small village of Yumani close to sunset, and quickly found a very cheap room (US$2) with views across the lake towards the mountains, and settled down for the night.