Island of the Sun
Two popular pilgrimage sites the Inca (A.D. 1430-1532) held in high esteem—the Islands of the Sun and the Moon—straddle the borders of Peru and Bolivia at Lake Titicaca. These islands became a popular pilgrimage destination for the Inca, after they built temples for worshipping around A.D. 1500, prompted by their belief that the sun and the moon first arose from the islands.
According to one of the Inca creation myths, this island in the middle of Lake Titicaca, Island of the Sun, is where the waters that once covered the Earth receded and the sun god, Inti, first emerged. Today, the island—which is located on the Bolivian side of the lake—is still home to dozens of Inca and pre-Inca ruins connected by hiking trails. Among the most impressive sights are the Chincana, a labyrinth-like structure, and the sacred Titi Khar’ka—Rock of the Puma—which gave the lake its name.
- Alex Saberi/National Geographic Creative