Isla de La Luna

Only three kilometers (1.8 mi) long and one kilometer (0.6 mi) wide, tiny Isla de La Luna is the Island of the Sun’s neighbor to the west. The island is known as the female counterpart to Bolivia’s birthplace of the sun, and it is traditionally recognized as the place the moon was told to rise up to the sky. The Island of the Moon holds significant historical importance in Inca tradition, but also has ancient ruins with architecture that points to pre-Incan dates. What’s more, religious pilgrimages to Isla del La Luna suggest the spiritual significance of the island, both then and now.

A perfect half-day trip from the Sun Island, or from the shore of Copacabana, many tours include the island as a stop, but it’s usually just a quick layover. If you want a longer stay on the island, it’s best, though costly, to commission a private boat who will wait as you wander.

Most visitors, either solo or on tours, make it a point to see the Court of Women, an ancient Inca nunnery where “chosen” young Inca girls were used as an offering to the sun and moon. The Court of Women is also referred to as Acllahuasi or Iñak Uyu; it is open from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. For a period of time from the 1930s to the 1960s, the island was used as a prison for political detainees, and it was these prisoners that actually rebuilt the 35 room main palace, which had been destroyed over time.

Since it is not as touristed as Isla del Sol, there are no accommodations, only a small community village that inhabits the island. It’s possible, however, to camp anywhere on the island, as long as permission is granted by the locals. Not only is it a small island, but resources are limited. There is no solid water supply source, and decent land for agriculture is scarce, so if you do decide to camp, bring your own supplies.