The mystical waters of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is just one of Peru’s natural wonders. The lake is the highest navigable body of water in the world and has its western shores in Peru and its eastern shores in Bolivia. Its deep blue depths, situated at over 12,000 feet above sea level, have inspired myths and legends that date back to pre-Inca times and continues to be home to indigenous lake dwellers who build their houses on floating islands made from reeds, just as their ancestors did centuries before.
Exploring Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca has become a top destination for travelers after visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu, as a comfortable train ride and the magical sight of the lake with its glistening waters make Titicaca an appealing tourist attraction.
The lake straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia, so for travelers who decide to visit both countries, Lake Titicaca provides a natural transition point, while on both the Peru and Bolivia sides, it has plenty of attractions for the curious traveler. The Uros are floating artificial islands made of woven totora reeds, which you can visit and see a traditional way of life.
Further out in the lake is Taquile Island, which is famous for its beautiful handwoven textiles and numerous pre-Incan ruins. Islanders still maintain many ancient traditions reflected in their clothing and beautiful handicrafts. You can visit sites such as the museum of traditional costumes and the ruins at the highest point of the island where you can see an incredible sunset before staying overnight in a homestay.
The city of Puno on the Peruvian shore of the lake is often used as the stepping off point for exploring Lake Titicaca, with a pedestrian mall lined with shops and restaurants and a wide variety of handicraft stalls. Puno is a small provincial town which at first may not seem like it has much to offer but the distinct culture makes it incredibly appealing to observe how locals live outside of Peru’s bigger cities.
In February, the town streets are bustling with costumed revelers for the Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria. Puno has garnered fame as the Folkloric Capital of Peru and is renowned for the many ethnic dances that are on display during cultural and religious celebrations.
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