Titicaca: the highest navigable lake in the world

Terra Explorer
December 16, 2020

Can you imagine exploring the turquoise and deep blue waters of the second-largest lake in South America and being part of its natural wonders? Without a doubt, another adventure destination kayaking in Peru that should not be missed.

According to the Foreign Trade and Tourism office, Titicaca is one of the most visited destinations in the country. It could not be otherwise as it has an unequaled cultural, animal, and plant richness.

Then, if you are looking for a new adventure, Terra Explorer invites you to learn how to get to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, which also serves as a natural border between Peru and Bolivia.

The history of the lake

 

reed boat

Lake Titicaca is over 3 million years old. According to Inca mythology, this lake was the origins of their civilization. It was here that the first Inca known as Manco Capac would identify himself as the son of the sun god. 

Then, this god would create Mama Ocllo, and both would be in charge of building the Inca Empire that would dominate most of South America before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Currently, more than 180 archeological sites and monuments are found in the area as proof of the architectural achievements and cultural beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of the region.

Climate and range

It is located at an average altitude of 3,812 meters above sea level. Its size reaches 8,562 km², of which 56% belongs to Peru and 44% to Bolivia.

Also known as the largest freshwater lake in South America, it has an average depth of 107 meters, and the water’s temperature can range between 3 °c and 14 °c.

National Reserve

On October 31st, 1978, Lake Titicaca was proclaimed as a National Reserve to protect its infinite natural resources. The reserve includes the lake, the natural and artificial islets, and extensive cultivation areas.

What does Lake Titicaca offer us?

Around 70 islands are part of this lake, they possess profound knowledge of the history and culture of the destination. On the Peru side, Puno is the closest city to the lake, from here, you can sail to the islands of Los Uros, Taquile, and Amantani.

Related: Top Three Luxury Trains In Peru

Where to stay?

lake titicaca accommodation

 

At Terra Explorer, we have partnered with Titilaka Lodge, rated as one of the most beautiful hotels in Peru. They offer a wide variety of excellent activities, and the property has a rather unique and stylish design.

1. Los Uros floating Island

These islands are made entirely out of totora reeds that grow on the lake. Totora is also an important work tool for the northern coast fisherman, mainly used for building sailing canoes known as reed horses, “Caballitos de totora,” a perfected skill practiced since pre-Incan times.

Los Uros is home to the oldest of Andean civilizations, the Aymaras. The inhabitants of the area are sustained mainly by fishing, trading, and tourism. Tourists visit the islands daily, which also allows the locals to sell their handicrafts, they are known to be highly skillful artisans.

Los Uros has an approximate of 40 man-made totora reed islands composed of houses, schools, and churches.

2. Taquile Island

 

puno tourism

 

This island has become world-famous thanks to the outstanding textile work of its local people. Also, it is the perfect place for adventure tourism lovers, who can hike through a circuit of pre-Inca roads that connect the entire island.

Taquile is inhabited by Quechua speakers who still practice trading food products to eat, also known as bartering. This practice is also implemented with handicrafts, textiles, and agricultur.

There are no hotels within the island. However, residents provide housing and food to tourists, better known as homestay or experiential tourism. Without a doubt, a unique experience that few destinations allow you to live!

3. Amantani Island

Amantani not only allows you to enjoy a magnificent view of Lake Titicaca, its people, customs, and traditions, but it also offers a great variety of fauna, typical of this part of the Altiplano.

It is the largest island on Lake Titicaca, and you can reach it by boat, a 3-hour ride from Puno.

Popularly known as the island of love, Amantani, like Taquile and Uros, does not have any hotels, and it’s the locals themselves who offer visitors to stay in their homes for a profound understanding of their culture and a once in a lifetime experience. 

What does Terra Explorer offer you?

 

puno tourist places

 

In Terra Explorer, we offer you the chance to stay at Hector’s house on Taquile island. He and his family will teach us their traditions, introduce us to their

community, and show us the island’s natural landscape through walks and boat rides. For those avid adventurers who want to venture out and explore in more depth, have the chance to do so by riding sea kayaks around the island.

We can enjoy hiking, kayaking, and outdoor picnics in gorgeous locations, such as Kullata, a beautiful beach near Hector’s home, from where you can see the Bolivian mountain range.

Now that you know more about Lake Titicaca, would you like to live a fantastic experience at this destination? In Terra Explorer, we have several itineraries for you. If you want to be part of our adventures, get in touch with us, and we will help you design the trip of your dreams!

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