When traveling in South America, Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca is an absolute must visit destination to meet locals and connect with the beautiful scenery of the island. Here you can read about the hotspots, costs and recommendation to make traveling there a success…
Arriving in Copacabana (city to visit Lake Titicaca | Isla del Sol) / Where to stay in Copacabana ?
I was coming from Puno in Peru and crossing the border on a bus; a few people and I started walking around to find a place to stay. The driver recommended a place but we all ignored it – not the best idea because after looking around for at least one hour, we ended up heading back to the recommended Hotel Mirador, where I shared a room with two South Korean girls, Seojin and Eunji. It was a nice hotel with views of Lake Titicaca, and for only B$40 (ca. 6 USD) / night – pretty decent. We were really excited to have a shower before going for dinner, but the shower was freezing cold, so we didn’t take one.
While walking around and getting to know the Bolivianos a bit, I realised that they were not the nicest people on this earth – a bit lazy and rude was my first impression.
How to get a boat ticket to Lake Titicaca | Isla del Sol ?
The next day, we all got up at 7:30am to pack, check-out, have breakfast ( included) and find out which tour to take to Isla del Sol. I had no idea where or whatever. I was lucky enough because the hotel was right next to the port, so I didn’t have to walk far and thus easily found a tour for B$30 (ca. 4 USD) that started at 8:30am. It wasn’t really a tour, rather more a boat ticket around Lake Titicaca that drops you off at several places such as the Isla del Sol. I jumped straight onto the boat, taking a seat on the roof.
Heading to Isla del Sol / Lake Titicaca
It didn’t take long to meet some girls from the UK. The boat journey to the south port of the Isla del Sol island took over an hour, and they didn’t have a toilet on the boat, which for some appeared to be a problem. One of the English girls needed to go really bad and decided to take a piss into a cup while her two friends covered her with a jacket on the roof of the boat – all this while sailing to Isla del Sol. I told her right from the beginning that she needed more than one cup haha. In the end she needed 4, but don’t ask me how she managed to keep the roof dry. Some parts of this I didn’t see and I didn’t want to, but I thought it was so hilarious, so I had to take a selfie haha.
I met two guys from Croatia (Alex and Joanna) doing a documentary for a local Croatian TV channel. Meeting them was pretty cool.
Arriving at Isla del Sol: The challenge of having only 3,5 hours to visit and hike from the north to the south
When we finally arrived at the island, I got off the boat and had – as always – no idea what to do or where to go. A lady asked me to pay B$5 (ca. 1 USD) to enter the Island and I did. I walked up the stairs, turned around and enjoyed the view over Lake Titicaca. I still didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t have much time because the boat was leaving after 35 minutes to head towards the north island. I asked someone what there was to and they told me to hike around. It is apparently really beautiful passing villages and Inca ruins.
I quickly walked down to ask what time the last boat departured from the north island – 1:30pm and it was already 10:20am, so I had almost three hours. I asked how long it would take to get there? The answer from most was 3,5 hours, which would mean I could get there by 1:50pm. I was sure I could make it and so I walked up again and I spontaneously decided to skip the boat to the North part and accept the challenge.
Countdown: Hiking from South to the North part of Isla del Sol in 3,5 hours
When I started the hike, I knew it was not very enjoyable, more like a rushed hike. I didn’t really like that fact but was okay with it because it’s a typical travel adjustment sometimes required. However, after some time, I realised that it was going pretty fast and I took a break. I took enough time to take photos, meet and talk to some local people and still enjoy the incredible views. Another thing you may think is funny is that I had no idea where to walk and I always had to ask. The locals were all really nice and helpful. I liked the fact that I had to connect with the people I love the most: locals. I was sure I could make it and told them todo es possible in English (everything is possible !) They laughed.
I walked passed some really beautiful villages and houses with well-taken-care-of gardens, which amazed me. I thought “what a beautiful quiet island” and found the peace I was looking for – absolutely no disturbance.
On the island, I crossed another border to the northern and so I had to pay another B$15 (ca. 2 USD). After crossing at that point, I was hiking very fast, realizing that I had plenty of time. I stopped, sat down to relax, enjoyed the views and ate some of my favorite cookies. Some of the views reminded me of the northern part of Mallorca in Spain (best hotspots of Mallorca), which has the same kind of shape.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
At the end of the day, I can happily say that this was a beautiful hike that I really enjoyed, which only took 2.5 hours inclusive of breaks instead of 3.5 hours. Don’t waste your time in Puno visiting such a touristy place that doesn’t add value to your trip or offer anything nice. Stay at least 2-3 days.
I suggest you stay on the island for at least two or three nights at the northern part with a tent right on the beach and connect with the locals. I didn’t have enough time but the island itself was really peaceful, quiet with beautiful landscapes – very nice for couples.
I then headed to the port where I got a ticket to Copacabana for B$25 (ca. 3,50 USD). The feeling I had when I got to the port was amazing. The journey back was really chill, despite a gas smell near the engines, but some hippies were playing some music with drums and a rustle, which was pretty relaxing and enjoyed by everyone.
In my opinion it’s an amazing island and just cannot be missed when traveling to South America.