If you are planning a Lake Titicaca tour, an excellent way to explore the beautiful Lake Titicaca is to take a catamaran tour. A Lake Titicaca catamaran tour is also a great way to transition between Bolivia and Peru during your Latin America vacation.
Located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the legendary birthplace of the Inca Empire. This brilliantly blue lake, the highest navigable lake in the world, is famous for its floating islands. On handmade islands crafted from reeds, the people of the Uros islands have carried on the reed-crafting tradition of their pre-Inca ancestors.
But any visitor to Lake Titcaca would be remiss to miss out on the Bolivian side of the lake, where the founder of the Inca, Manco Capac, first appeared on the Isla del Sol. On the island are pre-Colombian ceremonial temples, such as the Sun Temple and the Chinkana maze.
Also on the Bolivia side of the lake is the Copacabana peninsula, which shelters many more significant Inca landmarks. Situated just outside of the town of Copacabana, the Horca del Inca, an astronomical observatory, was constructed thousands of years ago.
On the island of Suriki live master reed craftsmen, including shipbuilders who helped the Norwegian scientist Dr. Thor Heyerdahl build rafts to sail across the Pacific Ocean. In the 1970s, Heyerdahl and his team successfully navigated from North Africa to the Pacific Islands in reed rafts, showing that early ocean migrations were possible. On the Isla del Sol is Inti Wata museum that discusses these navigations in depth.
There are a number of Lake Titicaca tours, including a full day catamaran tour. Beginning in Puno on the Peruvian side of the lake, travelers head to Copacabana in the early morning. A guide takes travelers around this Bolivian town, visiting the cathedral and main square, before setting out on the catamaran lake cruise that either returns to Puno or ends in La Paz, Bolivia.
Once the ship reaches Isla del Sol, travelers can get out an explore this fascinating island full of Inca landmarks. A guide will show the Inca garden, stairs, and fountain, and then give a tour of the Inti Wata complex, a museum full of archeological and anthropological items that recount the rich history of this lake region. It’s also possible to partake in a ceremony of the Kallawaya people, who are known for their mastery of natural medicine.
Next the cruise continues to the south side of Isla del Sol, where a guide will give a tour of the Pilkokaina Inca Palace. Visitors will also get a chance to watch a sailing demonstration, in which sailing experts show how to navigate their handmade reed vessels.
Visitors can enjoy lunch onboard the cruise while the ship continues on to the Chua harbor on Bolivia’s shores. From there, travelers will take a bus to La Paz, the governmental capital of Bolivia and linchpin for Bolivia tours.
There are many versions of this Lake Titicaca catamaran tour available, including a 2D/1N cruise that includes a trek around Isla del Sol, a Puno roundtrip tour, and a La Paz round trip tour. Check out our other recommended Bolivia tours, Puno and Lake Titicaca tours, or contact us to talk with one of our travel advisors if you have any questions.
Kaitlin is a contributing writer for our travel blog.