Blogs from Isla del Sol, La Paz Department, Bolivia, South America


South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol December 13th 2022

This past weekend was my last full weekend in La Paz so I spent it with a combination of tourist attractions and livin' like a local. I spent one full day in Lake Titicaca which is the highest lake (at 12,500 ft) in the world. It borders Bolivia and Peru in the Andes Mountains. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there from La Paz. Part of the trip we took a small boat and our bus took a ferry to cross a section of the lake. The main city, on the Bolivian side is Copacabana (yes I played the song over and over again in the bus :) First I visited some of the interesting architecture in the city including the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana and this super cool Hostal las Olas. The ... read more
Basilica Our Lady of Copacabana
Basilica Our Lady of Copacabana
Basilica Our Lady of Copacabana

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol January 22nd 2020

Another border, another experience! But this time I have our previous experiences to help us. Crossing from Peru to Bolivia had a similar plot to that of Mexico/Guatemala; a bus that leaves you at the border of the leaving country, then change all the money left into the new currency, then walk into the new country, having the passport stamped and then leave with another bus. At the point of changing my last Peruvian Soles for Bolivianos (the local currency in Bolivia) I moved away from the crowd, checked before what the current exchange rate is and then asked another cambio (as the Japanese girl did at the Mexican border) and yes I got a better rate, actually some pennies more that what internet said. I got £5 more than what the first guy offered me. ... read more
Migration control
The boat on the way to the island
The eco house

Bolivia Part 1 Copacabana and Isla Del Sol (01/07/2018 - 03/07/2018) Copacabana Copacabana; a small, pleasant town on the shore of Lake Titicaca (3800m), and my first stop in Bolivia. The Peru-Bolivia border was very quick and easy (20 minutes), and there were no issues. I didn't really know exactly what to expect in Bolivia. I knew the infrastructure would deteriorate (it definitely did, hello bumpy roads and increasingly rustic buildings) and I knew it would be cheaper (great for my bank balance!). But I had also heard the food was nothing to write home about. Regardless of the latter, I was super excited to see what Bolivia had to offer and determined to find some delicious Bolivian food. Here in Copacabana, you can eat your body weight in trout. Interesingly, the trout consumed by the ... read more
At The Border
My donkey friend

Dragging myself from the oxygen deprived city of La Paz, I booked myself yet another bus headed North to Copacabana, Bolivia (no, I could not stop the song in my head) which was to be my jumping point into Peru. As a bonus Copacabana is right on the shores of Lake Titicaca, try not to laugh, which sits at a dizzying 12,500ft and according to Inca legend is the birthplace of the sun. This seemed like a good segue into Peru so I decided to stop and spend the night on the island and enjoy a sun filled day of hiking and get a first glimpse of Inca lore. After a good night's sleep in Copacabana I set out the next morning and caught the first boat bound for the two hour journey to Isla del ... read more

Parc Torotoro - du 12 au 16 avril 2016 Isla del Sol - du 19 au 22 avril 2016 Dans un tout autre registre que nos précédentes découvertes boliviennes, nous avons eu la chance de randonner dans deux régions très reculées où vivent des gens complètement à l'ancienne, parfois sans eau courante... le parc Torotoro et la Isla del Sol. Rien que pour s'y rendre, c'est une aventure en soi ! Pour le parc Torotoro, rien de moins que cinq heures de bus sur un chemin de terre montagneux et tortueux...pour parcourir 130 kilomètres! On s'y rend à partir d'une ville du nord de la Bolivie, Cochabamba, ville que nous avons traversé par une journée de grève générale...pas un seul bus pour relier les 3 kms qui séparent la gare routière du départ du bus, des ... read more

Salimos de la Paz rumbo al lago mas alto del mundo. Un lago que parece un mar. Un lago rodeado por dos países. Un lago con historia. Un lago inca. Un lago con la Cordillera Real (6000m) a su espalda. Pero también con una isla! La Isla del Sol que te enamora desde el primer momento en que la pisas. Llegando antes de lo previsto a Copacabana, tomamos la ultima barca hacia la isla, pero a la parte norte, a la comunidad Challapampa. Y después de 2h ves un pequeño puerto y una hilera de casas detrás, y un burro, y cerdos y cerditos, y patos, y gallinas, y ovejas. Y es cuando observas el cuadro entero que te das cuenta de lo bonito que es, y de una paz que te llena en el momento! ... read more

Yesterday was another hopping off point for an adventure. First, on the docks everyone was preparing to embark on the journey to the island of the sun. It was great because all of these different small boats were leaving at the same time. So the entire way there it was like we were all playfully facing each other and pointing the way. Before our boat set off these three Argentinian traveling musicians/flower children got on and after a few words in Spanish began to play. They were so enthusiastic, other worldly, and bohemian that I couldn't help but be enchanted with them. That the two girls were gorgeous certainly did not hurt. After a couple of songs they disembarked the boat collecting bolivianos along the way and with that boat shook off its tethers and zoomed ... read more
The Grueling Path Begins
The Road Traveled
Dockside and the Cordilla Real

I feel compelled to write. I was eating my meal of trucsha, potato, and rice in this remote village on Isla del Sol. It was pitch black outside, an Andean cold inside, and this girl on the other side of the room was skyping with her mother. If this is the new direction of travel let me be the first to say I do not like it. Travel is supposed to be an unhooking experience. You let go of all your connections, forgoe the familiar, and trudge off into the unknown. This is how travel can change you and the direction you might take. You are free to see the world and yourself in a different light. It can also expose things about yourself that you never realized or had forgotten. I purposely left my phone ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol February 11th 2015

We got on the boat to get to Isla de Sol which is located in the middle of Lake Titicaca. We sat down on the top deck with a bunch of 14 Argentinians from Buenos Aires who had come to Bolivia to dance caporalles, one of the dances danced in Carnaval . They were rowdy, laughing and joking and after an hour into the boat trip, they had finished two litres of some blue syrupy sweet cocktail. For the last half hour of the boat trip they were very drunk, all singing songs about the dance and waving bottles of cocktail in the air. Half way through the boat ride we got caught in a hail storm and it was really cold and windy, but fun. Once we arrived on the island Ronald and I, and ... read more

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Isla del Sol February 11th 2015

We were sold a Cruz Andina each - a piece of jewellery shaped in the form of a cross representing a sacred part of indigenous' people's history. The Andean Cross pre-Inca represented 13 months of the calendar year, and represented three important seasons. 21st March was the summer solstice, 21st June when the energy would enter the earth through the sun and 21stSeptember when the women would come and plant seeds in the ground and look after the earth. The 3 seasons were represented by the sky, the earth and the undergrowth? and these elements were represented by a condor (the sky), a puma (the earth) and a snake (the undergrowth) The Incas living on the Isla del Sol, every 6 months would sacrifice virgin women to the Madre Pachimana (God of the Earth) in order ... read more

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