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View from Sun Island to the Royal Mountain range and Moon Island
Sun Island
The Sacred Lake of the Incas
About Lake Titicaca
Inca Utama
Posada del Inca Sun Island

La Paz

The Andes

The Island of the Sun was known to early inhabitants as Titicaca of "Rock of the Puma", the name which was eventually given to the entire lake.

The island has been credited as the birthplace of all sorts of important entities, including the Sun itself. But the most important and enduring legend is that it was here that Father Sun summoned Manco Kapac and Mama Ocllo and sent them forth to gather the natives into communities and to teach them the arts of civilization and this was born the Inca Empire.

The island remains today one of the most sacred and spiritual of sites in the Andes.

One legend expands the legend of creation, pinpointing the Sacred Rock at Chinkana as the site. At the far northern end of the Island, Chinkana has some restored temples and nunnery.

You can trek there and back or go by boat, hike uphill to the ruins and trek back. Either way take along a box lunch and make it a day.

The views from Chinkana are impressive and the site is worth an hour or two.

On the opposite end of the island are the ruins of Pilcocaina. There is now a hydrofoil port there and the equivalent of two stories of steps take you up to a small but interesting set of ruins, including the Temple to the Sun and Inca palace.

The hydrofoil port is at Yumani, and all arriving boats are met by local children and obligatory llama for photographic opportunities, for a price of course. From the pier you can walk up ancient Inca steps to the fountain and along terraces for spectacular views of the lake and across to the Royal Mountain range. There is also a fountain, named Fountain of Youth, at the bottom of the stairs.


If you do a day trip on Lake Titicaca you have little more time on Sun Island than enough to walk up the steps to the fountain, have lunch and walk back down again to the port at Yumani. This is, however, triple the time that you were able to spend before, all because Crillon Tours has finally opened its own restaurant on the island.

So if you are doing a day trip from La Paz or from the Hotel Inca Utama or you are traveling from Peru to Bolivia via train-hydrofoil, you'll have lunch at Sun Island.