Puno Titicaca Lake is the highest navigable lake in the world, straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia. Its bright, reflective blue waters are said to be the birthplace of the incas. the lake is home to numerous ruins as well as traditional contemporary villages.
Located in both Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca has been a sacred icon and preferred settlement area of Andean peoples since as early as 1000 BC. Bracing thin air, rugged landscape aside gentle lapping water, the fauna of the highlands, and lake-dwelling indigenous populations are some of the main draws to Lake Titicaca. The folklore of these communities is often considered to be the richest in Peru with many notable religious celebrations, such as Candelaria, taking place throughout the year.
Lake Titicaca is divided in several sections, including the Bay of Puno, the Lago Mayor (on the Peruvian side), and Winaymarca (on the Bolivian side). Lake Titicaca also has 40 fascinating, unique islands floating in its waters, the most well-known of which are the Uros floating reed islands on the Bay of Puno; Taquile and Amantani islands on the main Lake; and Sun and Moon Island on the Bolivian side of the lake.
If you’re looking for information about the highest navigable lake in the world, here’s a guide about the top things to do in Lake Titicaca so you can plan the perfect itinerary through this cultural and natural wonder.
Puno is not only defined by this massive water body. Instead, there’s so much to know of this so-called Folkloric Capital of Peru. The region of Puno was the birthplace of many ancient civilizations as well as Lake Titicaca itself since it is believed that the first Incas were born out of it. Therefore, traveling to Puno is not only about sailing across the lake, but experiencing the everlasting mysticism of these lands.
Despite its geographical prominence and international renown, Lake Titicaca is largely unexplored. Few visitors go beyond the tourist areas, so the Lake still has large expanses of pristine areas with abundant bird life and unique flora. There is even an ecological reserve on Suasi Island providing a showcase of the flora and fauna of this magical region.
Today the shores of the lake are dotted with a diverse array of indigenous communities and old colonial towns, boasting superb baroque churches and pre-Inca and Inca archaeological remains. Many of the inhabited islands show signs of long-standing settlements. The archaeological remains, ancient agricultural terracing, and rich folk tradition hint at an extensive cultural legacy.
For low impact trips to Peru, we recommend a visit to Lake Titicaca with interaction with the local communities to learn about traditional, local lifestyles in a responsible way.
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