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Isla del Sol

Easily the highlight of any Lake Titicaca excursion, Isla del Sol is a large island with several traditional communities, decent tourist infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants, a few worthwhile pre-Columbian ruins, amazing views, great hikes through terraced hills and, well, lots of sun.

The island’s permanent residents – a mix of indigenous peoples and émigrés – are distributed between the main settlements of Cha’llapampa, near the island’s northern end; Cha’lla, which backs onto a lovely sandy beach on the central east coast; and Yumani, which straddles the ridge above Escalera del Inca in the south and is the biggest town on the island. Unfortunately, due to a conflict between island communities, it is only possible to visit Yumani.

Extensive networks of walking tracks make exploration fairly easy, though the altitude and sun may take their toll: carry lunch and ample water. The sun was born here and is still going strong.

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