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Lake Titicaca

The Lake Titicaca PUNO

Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. By volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America (Lake Maracaibo has a larger surface area, but it is often disregarded as it is directly connected to the sea).

Lake Titicaca PUNO

Home to floating islands and singular cultures, the world's highest navigable lake is, literally, breathtaking.

The Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is a beautiful and much-venerated sacred lake that lies on the border between Peru and Bolivia, near Copacabana. According to Incan mythology, it was from Lake Titicaca that the creator god Viracoca rose up to create the sun, moon, stars, and first human beings. Recently, a large temple was discovered submerged in the lake, adding to its mystery and fascination.

Peru Tour Operator: Classical Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, Machu Picchu tours Puno.Back to top

 

Myth and Mystery

According to Incan lore, after a great flood, the god Viracocha arose from Lake Titicaca to create the world. He commanded the sun (Inti), moon (Mama Kilya) and stars to rise, then went to Tiahuanaco to create the first human beings, Mallku Kapac and Mama Ocllo. These first humans, the "Inca Adam and Eve," were formed from stone and brought to life by Viracocha, who commanded them to go out and populate the world. Thus Lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the Incas, whose spirits return to their origin in the lake upon death.

Peru Tour Operator: Classical Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, Machu Picchu tours Puno.Back to top

History

In 2000, an international archaeological expedition discovered an ancient temple submerged in the depths of Lake Titicaca. The huge structure is nearly twice the size of a soccer field (660 feet long), and was found by following a submerged road that begins near Copacabana. The temple is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 years old. The Bolivian government has pledged to provide funds for further study of the ruins, and the eventual plan is to bring the temple to the surface. However, locals are fearful about the effects that such disrespect of the sacred lake might bring.

Peru Tour Operator: Classical Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, Machu Picchu tours Puno.Back to top

What to See

At 3,200 square miles in size and up to 1,000 feet in depth, Titicaca is one of the largest, highest, and deepest lakes in the world. Like Crater Lake in the USA (also a sacred lake), Lake Titicaca is renowned for its deep blue beauty. In addition to Lake Titicaca itself, several of the 41 islands in the lake are regarded as sacred. Especially important is the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), located on the Bolivia side near Copacabana. The largest of all the lake islands (but still only 5.5 by 3.75 miles in size) , Isla del Sol was regarded as the home of the supreme Inca god Inti. On the north end of the Island of the Sun is the town of Challapampa, home to the fascinating Chinkana (labyrinth). A huge stone complex full of mazes, it is thought be a training center for Inca priests. Unusually for the Incas, the construction is a bit sloppy—some archaeologists theorize that they must have been in a rush to build it. A natural spring here runs under the island and appears again in a sacred stone fountain in Yumani (see below). About 270 feet from Chinaka on the path back to the town of Challapampa is a sacred rock carved in the shape of a puma. Further along the path toward Challapampa are two very large footprints. These are said to have been created when the sun dropped down to earth to give birth to Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the "Adam and Eve" of the Incas. On the south end of the Isla del Sol is Yumani, the largest town on the island and the site of the Inca steps. Here, 206 steps built by the Incas lead up into the town and to a sacred fountain. Made of stone and having three separate springs, it is said to be a fountain of youth. Sunset on the Isla del Sol is magical and best appreciated from the lighthouse on the highest point on the island at 13,441 feet. The sun bathes the sacred mountains in bright colors, and reflects its light in the deep blue of the sacred lake, before sinking below the horizon. The Island of the Moon (Isla de la Luna) is the legendary home of the Inca goddess Mama Quila. The structures on this island were originally built by the pre-Incan Aymara culture, but the Incas left their mark on the architecture as well (such as the typical trapezoidal doors). During Inca times, the Isla de la Luna housed chosen women known as the "Virgins of the Sun," who lived a nun-like lifestyle. They wove garments from alpaca wool and performed ceremonies dedicated to the sun. Also of interest are the Uros Islands or Floating Islands (Islas Flotantes), man-made islands of reeds in the Peru side of Lake Titicaca. They are home to the descendents of the ancient Uros culture (contemporary with the now-extinct Incas), who still live a simple, traditional life. Their religion is a mixture of traditional Indian and Catholic, and they bury their dead on the mainland.
Festivals and Events There are two mountains on the islands, Paccha Mama (Mother Earth) and Paccha Tata (Father Earth), and both are sacred sites. Each year, on January 18, locals dressed in traditional clothes climb the two hills. The pilgrims descend each hill in two groups, then meet to offer coca leaves, grains and alcohol to the Earth.
Getting There The main bases for exploring Lake Titicaca (and other sights in the region) are Puno in Peru and Copacabana in Bolivia. From Copacabana, most tour operators run a day trip to the Isla del Sol, with a quick stop at the Isla de la Luna.

Peru Tour Operator: Classical Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, Machu Picchu tours Puno.Back to top

Top Picks For Lake Titicaca
1 Sillustani and Cutimbo
Gawking at the windswept ancient funerary towers at Sillustani and Cutimbo
2 Isla Taquile and Isla del Sol
Overnighting with islanders on Isla Taquile or Bolivia’s Isla del Sol
3 Dance and music celebrations
Catching one of the lake district’s myriad folklórico dance and music celebrations, especially in Puno
4 Ayavari
Taking a tour with a genial captain aboard the 19th-century steamship Yavari
5 Altiplano towns
Navigating local buses to visit rural altiplano towns en route to Cuzco or along Lake Titicaca’s south shore Peru Tour Operator: Classical Inca Trail, Short Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, Machu Picchu tours Puno.Back to top

16 Travel Destinations In Peru

LIMA TOURS

Lima the City of the Kings , capital of Peru, founded on 1535, is a modern city which, while constantly expanding, has also managed to maintain the elegance of its Historic Center.

VISIT LIMA PERU

Lima, the capital of modern Peru, –known in colonial times as “The City of Kings”–is more than just a gateway to Peru’s fascinating Andes mountains and Amazon basin. Sitting on top of a cliff overlooking a bay on the Pacific Ocean, the buildings and skyscrapers of modern Lima mix with the colonial palaces and churches of its glorious past making for a colorful and exuberant urban environment.

Come to Peru and visit Lima!

AREQUIPA TOURS

Arequipa known as the White City, is surrounded by some of the wildest terrain in Peru. This is a land of active snowy volcanoes, high-altitude deserts, thermal hot springs, salt lakes and, last but not least, the world’s deepest canyons.

VISIT AREQUIPA PERU

The city of Arequipa is located in a fertile valley at the feet of Mt. Chachani and Mt. Misti volcanoes. Arequipa’s city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers beautiful colonial architecture, an attractive colonial style Plaza de Armas, wonderful churches and monasteries, shops, and exquisite restaurants offering the best of local cuisine –one of Peru’s finest.

Come to Peru and visit Arequipa!

ICA, NAZCA  & PARACAS TOURS

In this desert area of Peru we can find traces of the Paracas (700 - 200. BC) and Nazca (200. BC - 700 AD) cultures, Inca ruins and Spanish architecture as well as the desolate beauty of the desert running into the sea.

VISIT ICA PERU

Nazca is located in the central-southern Peru, capital of the province of Nazca, located on the right bank of Aja River, a tributary of the Rio Grande. It is located 450 km south of Lima in a narrow valley. It is a very active city, due to the daily influx of tourists visiting the ancient Nazca Lines, and mining development, agriculture and trade in the area.It is also known for producing Pisco at Hacienda Cahuachi.

Come to Peru and visit Ica!

HUARAZ TOURS

Huaraz is a popular base for expeditions into the Cordillera Blanca and the Huayhuash south of the Callejon del Huaylas. The peaks of the region have for many decades have been the testing grounds for mountain climbers.

VISIT HUARAZ PERU

Located 400 km north of Lima, Huaraz is accessible via a nicely paved highway and can be reached by public bus in a 7 hour journey. Although the city itself is not a major attraction, it offers a great starting point from which to explore the spectacular mountain ranges of the Cordillera Blanca in the Huascaran National Park –home to Peru’s highest peak, Mt. Huascaran at 6,768 m/ 22,205 ft above sea level, the largest Mountain Protected area and a UNESCO World heritage Site.

Come to Peru and visit Huaraz!

CUZCO TOURS

Cuzco is situated at 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level, surrounded by Andean mountains and green valleys. Visit Machu Picchu, by Inca Trail or by train, and enjoy the Sacred Valley.

VISIT CUZCO PERU

The ancient capital of the Inca Empire and one of 24 Departments it is the most popular destination by far, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Steeped in history and archaeological sites, surrounded by marvelous Andean mountain landscapes and with easy access to the lowland Amazon basin, it is undoubtedly a monumental gateway to many great adventures, of which the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is only the tip of the iceberg.

Come to Peru and visit Cuzco!

PUNO TOURS

The small port of Puno is departure point to make tours to Lake Titicaca’s various islands or to surrounding archaeological sites. The Puno town was founded on November 4, 1668, near the site of the colonial silver mine of Laykakota.

VISIT PUNO PERU

Is the gateway to some of southern Peru’s most awe-inspiring natural scenarios, traditional towns and fascinating local cultures. It’s most famous attraction is Lake Titicaca where one can visit the Uros on their floating reed islands, the traditional communities of the Islands of Taquileand Amantani, and the coastal community of Llachon from where you can launch unique sea kayaking adventures on the highest navigable lake in the world.

Come to Peru and visit Puno!

MACHU PICCHU TOURS

Some of the most unspoilt yet accessible jungle locales in Peru, Puerto Maldonado gives the traveler the chance to see, feel and hear the Amazonian jungle like nowhere else in Peru. Nearby are the Manú National Park, and Tambopata National Reserve.

VISIT MACHU PICCHU PERU

Machu Picchu is one of the top tourist destinations in all of South America. This stunning set of Incan ruins has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also classified as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Come to Peru and visit Machu Picchu!

Pto. MALDONADO TOURS

Some of the most unspoilt yet accessible jungle locales in Peru, Puerto Maldonado gives the traveler the chance to see, feel and hear the Amazonian jungle like nowhere else in Peru. Nearby are the Manú National Park, and Tambopata National Reserve.

VISIT Pto. MALDONADO PERU

Some of the most unspoilt yet accessible jungle locales in Peru, Puerto Maldonado gives the traveler the chance to see, feel and hear the Amazonian jungle like nowhere else in Peru. Nearby are the Manú National Park, and Tambopata National Reserve..

Come to Peru and visit Pto. Maldonado!

CAJAMARCA TOURS

Cajamarca is colonial metropolis cradled in a languid valley. The Plaza de Armas is bordered by majestic churches. Not many tourists pass through this way, but dozens of sights from the town’s pivotal past, including the famous Baños del Inca.

VISIT CAJAMARCA PERU

Cajamarca is colonial metropolis cradled in a languid valley. The Plaza de Armas is bordered by majestic churches. Not many tourists pass through this way, but dozens of sights from the town’s pivotal past, including the famous Baños del Inca.

Come to Peru and visit Cajamarca!

TRUJILLO TOURS

Trujillo city is proximity to important ruins of Chimu, which is the world's largest city built out of adobe Chan-chan, also known as "City of the Moon" or "of the Long Walls". Other nearby ruins are the Moche ruins of Huaca del Sol, Huaca de la Luna, and El Brujo.

VISIT TRUJILLO PERU

Trujillo city is proximity to important ruins of Chimu, which is the world's largest city built out of adobe Chan-chan, also known as "City of the Moon" or "of the Long Walls". Other nearby ruins are the Moche ruins of Huaca del Sol, Huaca de la Luna, and El Brujo.

Come to Peru and visit Trujillo!

PIURA TOURS

But the lovely narrow, cobbled streets and charismatic colonial houses of central Piura make up for the fact that there’s little else for tourists to do here. There are also great spots for surfers, like Mancora Beach and Cabo Blanco.

VISIT PIURA PERU

But the lovely narrow, cobbled streets and charismatic colonial houses of central Piura make up for the fact that there’s little else for tourists to do here. There are also great spots for surfers, like Mancora Beach and Cabo Blanco.

Come to Peru and visit Piura!

TUMBES TOURS

Tumbes is in a uniquely green part of coastal Peru, where dry deserts magically turn into mangroves and an expanse of ecological reserves stretches in all directions. It’s also the way for trips to the excellent and popular beaches of Máncora.

VISIT TUMBES PERU

Tumbes is in a uniquely green part of coastal Peru, where dry deserts magically turn into mangroves and an expanse of ecological reserves stretches in all directions. It’s also the way for trips to the excellent and popular beaches of Máncora..

Come to Peru and visit Tumbes!

IQUITOS TOURS

Iquitos is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. It has a unique personality: friendly, noisy, sassy and slightly manic. Travelers come here for an excursion into the rainforest or a river trip along the Amazon.

VISIT IQUITOS PERU

Iquitos is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. It has a unique personality: friendly, noisy, sassy and slightly manic. Travelers come here for an excursion into the rainforest or a river trip along the Amazon.

Come to Peru and visit Iquitos!

CHACHAPOYAS TOURS

This pleasant colonial settlement is now a busy market town and makes an excellent base for exploring the awesome ancient ruins left behind by the fierce civilization of the Chachapoyas (‘People of the Clouds’). "Kuelap" the ruined city in the mountains.

VISIT CHACHAPOYAS PERU

This pleasant colonial settlement is now a busy market town and makes an excellent base for exploring the awesome ancient ruins left behind by the fierce civilization of the Chachapoyas (‘People of the Clouds’). "Kuelap" the ruined city in the mountains.

Come to Peru and visit Chachapoyas!

TARAPOTO TOURS

Tarapoto, known as the "City of Palms", was founded in 1782 under the name of Santa Cruz Motilones de Tarapoto. Capital of the province of San Martín and is located in the high rainforest zone, on shore of Shilcayo river, amid dense vegetation.

VISIT TARAPOTO PERU

Tarapoto, known as the "City of Palms", was founded in 1782 under the name of Santa Cruz Motilones de Tarapoto. Capital of the province of San Martín and is located in the high rainforest zone, on shore of Shilcayo river, amid dense vegetation.

Come to Peru and visit Tarapoto!

AYACUCHO TOURS

Ayacucho is very well known for its artisans that have inherited from their ancestors all they know. This city counts with many churches and temples. During the Holy Week the city is crowded with many Christians from all the country.

VISIT AYACUCHO PERU

Ayacucho is very well known for its artisans that have inherited from their ancestors all they know. This city counts with many churches and temples. During the Holy Week the city is crowded with many Christians from all the country.

Come to Peru and visit Ayacucho!

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