Lake Titicaca

Category : Peru, Travel
Date : August 4, 2011

Lake Titicaca is a lake located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It sits 3,811 m 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.

Few facts about Titicaca:

  • 3811 m above sea level
  • 8,372 km2 – surface area (for comparison: Slovenia has the area of 20,273 km2)
  • 190km max length
  • 80km max width

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Titicaca Lake and Bolivian mountains in the back

Tour at Titicaca is definitely an unforgettable experience for any visitor. When visiting Lake Titicaca, the town of Puno is the bestplace to stay, on the Peruvian side of the lake.The town of Puno is an interesting place to visit as it is the capital offolklore of Peru. It also has a beautiful old cathedral, and it is close to many attractions of Peru like the Macchu Picchu or the town of Cusco.

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Titicaca lake and the town of Puno in the back

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Titicaca Lake at the Peru – Bolivia border at Desaguadero

Lake Titicaca is a sacred place for the Inca civilization, as the Incanmythology says that the first Inca king, Manco Capac, was born here. According to the Incan mythology, this is the place where the world was created from, when the god Viracocha came out of the lake and created the sun, the stars and the first people. You will have many places to discover on the shore of Lake Titicaca, as well as on the many islands that exist on the lake.

Uros Islands

Titicaca is notable for a population of people who live on the Uros, a group of 44 or so artificial islands made of floating reeds (totora, a reed that abounds in the shallows of the lake). These islands have become a major tourist attraction for Peru, drawing excursions from the lakeside city of Puno. Their original purpose was defensive, and they could be moved if a threat arose. Many of the islands contain watchtowers largely constructed of reeds.

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The larger islands house about ten families, while smaller ones, only about thirty meters wide, house only two or three.

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The islets are made of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The dense roots that the plants develop and interweave form a natural layer called Khili (about one to two meters thick) that support the islands. They are anchored with ropes attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away fairly quickly, so new reeds are added to the top constantly, about every three months; this is what it makes exciting for tourists when walking on the island. This is especially important in the rainy season when the reeds rot much faster. The islands last about thirty years.

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There is also a floating school for local children on the islands. For further education children have to go to Puno to local schools.

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children on the way to school

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Comments (3)

Ciril Jazbec

Super! Odlične barve in svetloba. Predzadnja fotka je ena najboljših kar sem jih videl od tebe!

8 years ago
    Anonymous

    Hvala Ciril! Tudi meni je tista predzadnja ena najljubših fotografij.

    8 years ago
      Ciril Jazbec

      Pošlji jo na vse možne fotonatečaje…ima zmagovalni potencial. ;)

      8 years ago

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