Chincana Ruins

Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol's most spectacular ruins lie near the island’s northern tip. Its main feature is the Palacio del Inca, a maze of stone walls and tiny doorways, also known as El Laberinto (the Labyrinth). Within the labyrinth there is a small well, believed by pilgrims to contain sacred purifying water.

If you’ve the energy, climb nearby Cerro Uma Qolla for a great view.

Three natural features on the rock’s western face also figure in legend. Near the northern end is one dubbed the Cara de Viracocha (Face of Viracocha) – your guide will point it out with the help of a mirror (and some imagination). At the southern end are four distinctive elongated niches: the two on the right are locally called the Refugio del Sol (Refuge of the Sun); the ones on the left are called the Refugio de la Luna (Refuge of the Moon). According to tradition it was here during the Chamaj Pacha (‘times of flood and darkness’) that the sun made its first appearance, and later Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo appeared and founded the Inca Empire.

Immediately south of the rock you’ll pass the Huellas del Sol (Footprints of the Sun). These natural markings resemble footprints and have inspired the notion that they were made by the sun after its birth on Titi Khar’ka.