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1


The lake Titicaca


It's the biggest lake of South America, at 3800m above sea level, with its temperature from 8 to 14°C. Its name means "Mountains Puma" due to its shape of a puma hunting a rabbit. (Incas imagination has no limit...). The lake is divided in two parts linked by a large channel that we can cross by barge, the local ferry. The lake is situated between 2 countries: Bolivia and Peru.

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Copacabana


It's a Bolivian beach resort, very beautiful under the sun but sad on cloudy days. In this season, the beach was not as crowded as its Brazilian namesake. For the record, the famous beach of Rio has been named after the mistake of a navigator who thought he arrived on the Bolivian beach. The name stayed afterwards.

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Copacabana has the shape of a random Bolivian city in its major part, except near the lake, where we retrieve many hotels, luxurious restaurants, aligned pedal-boats on the beach, harrassing sellers to add to the general dirtiness.
The sagging evening still gratified us with a wonderful sunset, a bloody sun reflecting on the lake's surface.

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Nuestra señora del milagro

We admired the beautiful basilica of Lady Copacabana.

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Reaching Isla del Sol

We can find Isla del Sol (the Island of the Sun) at 2 hours of boat from Copacabana. The island touchs lightly the peninsula of Copacabana.

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Isla del sol

The legend says that the first Inca emperor Manco Cápac appeared there, under the Sacred Rock (Titikala). He is said to be the son of Inti (the God of the Sun). It's also said that the Sun and the Moon were created by Viracocha, the bearded god that created the Universe. The two heavenly bodies have appeared from the bottom of the lake. That's why we can imagine how important was the Isla del Sol for Inca religion.

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North of the Island - Challapampa

During the boat trip, we met Zinedine. Not Zidane, the famous football player but a French guy with whom we visited the whole island. Just after laying our feet on it, we started the crossing of the island: 4-5 hours of calm walk from North to South.

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Ruins of Chincana

Some obsidian rocks dated around 2200 BC were discovered there. These remnants have been built by an ancient civilisation and were used by many civilisations after (including the Tiwanaku between 500 BC and1000 AD.). These ruins have been abandonned until Incas conquered the island around 1450 and made it become a pilgrimage place.

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South of the island - Yumani

This village welcomes tourists before their return trip to Copacabana. We discovered there splendid gardens of tropical flowers.

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Summary of the visit


We are mixed. One of us will advise you to go there, the other will recommend you not put a foot on the island.

Some positive aspects:
- how beautiful is the island which is a kind of heaven
- the pleasure of cruising of Titicaca lake
- discovering how traditional is the agriculture, 2nd source of income after tourism.
- the cleanliness of the place

Some negative aspects:
- Three mandatory tolls on the roads, asking successively for trivia. It leaves an impression of paying all the time. It's a good ambush!
- visitors are considered as a milking cow full of money by inhabitants. Children beg for money when others would ask for sweets!
- an overcrowded place even during the less touristic season.

11





On the other hand the name of Isla del Sol fits perfectly with the weather: a radiant sun enlightening the royal cordillera. C'est magnifique !

1


The lake Titicaca


It's the biggest lake of South America, at 3800m above sea level, with its temperature from 8 to 14°C. Its name means "Mountains Puma" due to its shape of a puma hunting a rabbit. (Incas imagination has no limit...). The lake is divided in two parts linked by a large channel that we can cross by barge, the local ferry. The lake is situated between 2 countries: Bolivia and Peru.


Copacabana


It's a Bolivian beach resort, very beautiful under the sun but sad on cloudy days. In this season, the beach was not as crowded as its Brazilian namesake. For the record, the famous beach of Rio has been named after the mistake of a navigator who thought he arrived on the Bolivian beach. The name stayed afterwards.





Copacabana has the shape of a random Bolivian city in its major part, except near the lake, where we retrieve many hotels, luxurious restaurants, aligned pedal-boats on the beach, harrassing sellers to add to the general dirtiness.
The sagging evening still gratified us with a wonderful sunset, a bloody sun reflecting on the lake's surface.



Nuestra señora del milagro

We admired the beautiful basilica of Lady Copacabana.



Reaching Isla del Sol

We can find Isla del Sol (the Island of the Sun) at 2 hours of boat from Copacabana. The island touchs lightly the peninsula of Copacabana.



Isla del sol

The legend says that the first Inca emperor Manco Cápac appeared there, under the Sacred Rock (Titikala). He is said to be the son of Inti (the God of the Sun). It's also said that the Sun and the Moon were created by Viracocha, the bearded god that created the Universe. The two heavenly bodies have appeared from the bottom of the lake. That's why we can imagine how important was the Isla del Sol for Inca religion.



North of the Island - Challapampa

During the boat trip, we met Zinedine. Not Zidane, the famous football player but a French guy with whom we visited the whole island. Just after laying our feet on it, we started the crossing of the island: 4-5 hours of calm walk from North to South.



Ruins of Chincana

Some obsidian rocks dated around 2200 BC were discovered there. These remnants have been built by an ancient civilisation and were used by many civilisations after (including the Tiwanaku between 500 BC and1000 AD.). These ruins have been abandonned until Incas conquered the island around 1450 and made it become a pilgrimage place.



South of the island - Yumani

This village welcomes tourists before their return trip to Copacabana. We discovered there splendid gardens of tropical flowers.


Summary of the visit


We are mixed. One of us will advise you to go there, the other will recommend you not put a foot on the island.

Some positive aspects:
- how beautiful is the island which is a kind of heaven
- the pleasure of cruising of Titicaca lake
- discovering how traditional is the agriculture, 2nd source of income after tourism.
- the cleanliness of the place

Some negative aspects:
- Three mandatory tolls on the roads, asking successively for trivia. It leaves an impression of paying all the time. It's a good ambush!
- visitors are considered as a milking cow full of money by inhabitants. Children beg for money when others would ask for sweets!
- an overcrowded place even during the less touristic season.





On the other hand the name of Isla del Sol fits perfectly with the weather: a radiant sun enlightening the royal cordillera. C'est magnifique !

.