South America Living

Lake Titicaca in Bolivia & Peru Travel Information

Local Women Bartering For Goods, Lake Titicaca

Envision colorful bamboo-looking floating islands dotting the surface of the highest commercially navigable lake in the world (3,811 m / 12,500 ft) and you have a brief glimpse of what awaits your visit to Lake Titicaca.

The approximate 42 islands are actually made out of totora – an aquatic plant or reed abundant in the lake. The native inhabitants who welcome the curious eyes and photo-snapping of obsessed tourists year-round to their very humble dwellings are of Aymara origin and often referred to as ‘Uros people‘. The Uros are a pre-Incan people.      Photos – Lake Titicaca of Bolivia & Peru

The Inca – one of the oldest known American civilizations – believed that the creator deity Viracocha first emerged from Lake Titicaca. They also believed the sun god sent his children from the lake to Cusco to found the Inca dynasty. Temple ruins on Titicaca Island mark the spot where, according to legend, the founders of the Inca were sent down to earth by the sun.

Aussie Traveller Vanessa Lowien on a Visit to Lake Titicaca

The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is in the La Paz Department of Bolivia. The town of Puno is the point of departure for tours from Peru and Copacabana for Bolivia.   Travel Guide to Copacabana

It is possible to arrange an overnight stay with a family through one of the local tour companies. Guests are expected to bring food staples for the home-cooked meal they will share with the family (such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, beans, meat and vegetables, etc.).

Important Note: When arranging an overnight stay – often through a tour agency in Puno – be sure to request to pay the family DIRECTLY after you arrive. Do not pay a tour guide or agency… often the family will get next to nothing for their hospitality.

Also appreciated are gifts for the children such as school supplies. The islands are served by one school and one health clinic. Nightly traditional dances are held where guests are encouraged to dress up in traditional clothes and participate.

From Copacabana, Bolivia you can visit Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun in English) and Isla de la Luna. Isla del Sol is just an hour by boat and has tourist facilities for overnight or long-term stays.   Travel in Bolivia – Isla del Sol.

More Articles on South America You May Like:
Travel in Ecuador – Cotacachi
Travel in Bolivia – Coroico
Cheap Places To Live In South America

Have you visited Peru? Travelled to Lake Titicaca? We’d love to hear from you. Send a note via the comments box below.

Photographs by Vanessa Lowien, all rights reserved.

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