Isla del Sol is located on the Bolivian shore of Lake Titicaca, at 3,800m altitude. Ancient sacred place, the legends say that the sun was formed in its sacred rock, from which Manco Capac and Mamma Occlio (Adam and Eve) came out to found the city of Cusco and the Inca Empire. Today it is inhabited by three Aymara communities.
Two hours by boat from the nearest city, it has remained relatively isolated for a long time until the entry of tourism and motor boats not many years ago.
The island maintains ancestral rites, llamas sacrifices and night ceremonies high up in the mountains. They live in harmony with the land, cultivating, grazing and fishing in the lake that gives them life. They make offerings to the Pachamama all the time: when they drink, when they kill animals or in ceremonies, using the coca leaves.
It is a magical place: eagles predict the destiny of people and approximately every hundred years a woman capable of becoming fire and flying is born. There is gold that appears and disappears predicting the death of the one who finds it; souls attacking at night; underground roads that reach Cusco below the lake, turning the person who crosses them into an elder; ancient men who used to inhabit the island before the sun formation cultivating in secret and appearing at night in certain places of the island; there is a city sunk in the lake from which people take figures of gold and ceramics that they exhibit in the small local museum. Some even say that the Island is Noah’s Ark and that the lake was formed with the Universal Flood.
I went there for the first time in 2006 and since then I have returned seven times more. First, I was attracted by the landscape and the calm that is breathed there, but then I started to see that the Island is much more, a way of understanding the world that surrounds them completely different from the Western one, with other values and other priorities that make this place a very special place.