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Lake Titicaca is a beautiful and much-venerated sacred lake that lies on the border between Peru and Bolivia, one of the most fascinating lakes in the world. It is situated at a very high altitude, at over 3800 meters above sea level, and a tour at Titicaca is definitely an unforgettable experience for any visitor.
Lake Titicaca is a sacred place for the Inca civilization, as the Incan mythology 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.
Titicaca is the ancestral land of the Quechuas, Aymaras, Uros, Pacajes, and Puquinas. Lake Titicaca was the foundation of the most influential pre-Hispanic cultures of the Andean Region. Many independent kingdoms grew out of this fertile area beginning in the 9th century, though interestingly most of these kingdoms were ultimately rivals, until the middle of the 15th century, when the Incas conquered the region, which they considered important because of its wool and meat production.
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.
The Titicaca Reserve was created in 1978, with the purpose of preserving the native flora and fauna and the beauty of the area’s countryside. There are 60 species of birds, 14 species of fish and 18 species of amphibians in the Reserve; one of the most famous of which is the giant frog of Titicaca, which can weigh up to 3 kg.
Due to the high elevation of Lake Titicaca, headaches are a common complaint amongst travelers not acclimated to the high elevation of the lake. It is recommended to drink the coca tea to help relieve headaches and acclimate to the altitude. Water may also help reduce headaches due to altitude, so stay hydrated on your visit.
In 2000, an international archaeological expedition discovered an ancient temple submerged in the depths of Lake Titicaca. The huge structure is nearly twice the size of a soccer field (660 feet long), and was found by following a submerged road that begins near Copacabana. The temple is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 years old and the ruins are pre-Incan.
They have been attributed to the indigenous Tiwanaku or Tiahuanaco people, said Lorenzo Epis, the Italian scientist leading the Atahuallpa 2000 scientific expedition. More than 200 dives were made into the lake, to depths of as much as 30m (100ft), to record the ruins on film.
The explorers found the temple after following a submerged road, in an area of the lake not far from Copacabana town. The lake has long drawn fascination with various legends around it, including one of an underwater city called Wanaku and another of Inca gold lost by the Spanish.
The Incas also regarded the lake as the birthplace of their civilisation, and in their myth, the Children of The Sun emerged out of the waters. The Tiahuanaco culture lived on the shores of the lake before becoming part of the Incan empire, based in Cusco, Peru.
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