High in the Andes mountains lies Lake Titicaca, one of the largest lakes in South America. Since before the time of the Incas, the lake has played an important spiritual role in the lives of the local population. Visit the lake and enjoy spectacular views, a fascinating natural environment and encounters with ancient indigenous cultures.
Lake Titicaca is located in southeast Peru, on the border with Bolivia. The colour of the water varies from azure to indigo and the lake seems to stretch far across the altiplano (high plateau). The entire lake is a protected nature reserve, home to numerous migratory birds and aquatic birds. The city of Puno is a great starting point from which to explore Lake Titicaca; rent a boat to visit the floating Uros islands or participate in a colourful festival along the lakeshore.
The Inca creation story begins at Lake Titicaca. According to the legend, God Virachocha rose up from the water and created the sun, the stars and the first Inca monarchs. Visit the temple ruins around the lake to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the Incas.
There are several ruins in the area around Lake Titicaca but also on the lake itself, such as on the small island of Amantani. This island is home to 6 villages where the local people still speak Quechua, the Inca language. There are no hotels on the island so visitors often spend the night with local families. Two mountains, the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Pachatata (Father Earth) give the island its characteristic appearance. The trail to the top leads hikers through valleys and terraces before letting them arrive at the majestic Inca temples and other ancient ruins. The sweeping view of Lake Titicaca is spectacular.