Lake Titicaca straddles Bolivia and Peru and is the highest navigable lake in the world (with the funniest name). The largest island on the lake, Isla del Sol, is considered by ancient Incas and modern-day Quechuans and Aymarans, to be the birthplace of the first Incans. It is said that the sun god descended from the sky and set foot on the island, giving birth to the first Incas. The brilliant light on the island makes it easy to believe that gods once played here.

Our bus dropped us off in the town of Copacabana. We ate a quick lunch before catching a boat to the island. We sat on the boat’s roof, soaking in sun, and made quick friends of the other tourists. It was too late in the day to organize our own transportation to the northern tip of the island, where you can do a day hike through ruins back to the main town. We were, however, lucky to meet Matt, from England, who had pre-arranged a boat and had a guide travelling with him.

We formed a group of eight with Matt, John, Jill, another English guy, a Cypriot and an Algerian girl who lived in France. Together we boarded another boat that brought us to Cha’llapampa, a pristine village where we began our  hike to Chincana, a labyrinth of ruins on the northern part of the island. Supposedly, this was a seminary for Incan priests.

Along the way, our guide pointed out two large footprint indentation in the stone trail. “God’s footprints,” he told us, reverentially.

We continued walking along the ancient Inca trail, and were privy to some incredible vistas. The sparkling water, hilly landscape and dramatic sky were enchanting.

We hiked along the steep path for another four hours; the latter half of which was in complete darkness aided only by flashlights. When we finally arrived back in Yumani, the village on the southern end of the island, we were thrilled to see the table at our hostel set for dinner. Delicious lake trout appeared and disappeared into our hungry, tired bodies. Sleep was perhaps even more delicious than the trout.

The next morning, we had to get a boat at 10 am, but we had just enough time to snap some pictures at the Fuente de la Vida (Fountain of Life) – from which we did not drink for fear of contracting a parasite (of death).