The legend of Portillo’s Inca Lake

Legend has it that Portillo’s Inca Lake or Luguna del Incas is enchanted, and on some nights you can hear eerie, mournful cries across the Lake. The origin of these cries is fabled to come from the spirit of an Incan prince who lost his beloved bride.

When the Incas ruled Northern Chile, they performed many of their rituals and religious ceremonies high in the Andes. So it seemed natural that when Illi Yupanqui fell in love with the Inca princess Kora-Ilé, they would have their wedding on a mountaintop.

Kora-Ilé was the most stunning woman in the empire, with eyes the color of emeralds. On her wedding day, she was bedecked in beautiful garments and jewelry. But sadly, as she descended the mountain after the ceremony, she slipped and fell to her death.

Illi Yupanqui heard his princess’ cries, and ran down the mountain to search for her. When he found her lovely, dead body, he was filled with deep sorrow. He decided that Kora-Ilé deserved an exceptional tomb to commemorate his love for her and her beauty. In front the wedding guests, he wrapped her in white linen and placed her into the lake.

As Kora-Ilé’s body sank to the lake’s depths, the water magically turned from a crystalline to a rich emerald, the same color as her striking eyes. Since that sad day, the Laguna del Inca has been said to be enchanted.

#lagunadelinca #losandeschile #portillo fue lugares que hablan! ☺️ @catacaiceo

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To experience the lore and natural beauty of Inca Lake in person, book your summer ski trip to Portillo today. Our 70+ Mountain Travel Experts are standing by for your call at 800-610-8911. You can also get started by filling out a form for a free custom quote.

About Author: Leah Boucher
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now living in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com as Director of SEO + Content, I've been able to combine a litany of skills, passions and interests. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.

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