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Lake Titicaca - A view from our expert author


Lake Titicaca, Peru by Rafal Cichawa, Shutterstock© Rafal Cichawa, Shutterstock

A mythical, mysterious place, many people associate Lake Titicaca with folklore; the Incas believed that Viracocha, the creator god, drew the sun, moon and stars from the lake.

Unlike anywhere else, Lake Titicaca, straddling the border between Peru and Bolivia, is truly a place of superlatives. The world’s highest navigable lake, at 3,830m it is also the largest in South America and the largest above 2,000m anywhere in the world.

A mythical, mysterious place, many people associate Lake Titicaca with folklore; the Incas believed that Viraocha, the creator god, drew the sun, moon and stars from the lake. The Inca also considered that their original leader, Manco Capac, was directly descended from the sun and rose from the waters of Lake Titicaca with his sister Mama Ocllo, to go in search of a homeland for the future Inca civilisation.

The lake is startlingly attractive, with intense deep-blue water stretching away from the shore, and enormous skies above. The islands on the lake have been home to people for thousands of years. Each island, actual or manmade, has distinct traditions; explore them all to compare and contrast the ways of life here and to see traditional agrarian societies still functioning as they would have hundreds of years ago.

Stay the night with a family and learn about the customs directly from the islanders themselves.

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