Lake Titicaca Travel Guide

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Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca, Peru © Judith Duk
According to legend, the Inca Empire's founders rose from Lake Titicaca and many Peruvians revere the site for this reason. Nature lovers also prize Titicaca for being the highest navigable lake in the world.

Today, the region is home to Peru and Bolivia's Uros people, who live on man-made floating islands and fish the clear water from beautifully carved canoes. Travellers can arrange visits to these communities.

The lake's farther reaches are even more beautiful and see fewer visitors. Indeed, the authentic, brightly dressed communities of Taquile Island and its neighbour, Amantani Island, live without electricity or solid infrastructure, giving travellers a glimpse of pre-colonial Andean Peru. Pre-Inca agricultural terraces continue to create Taquile's self-sufficient economy. Basket weaving, stone masonry, and Inca structures of trade and agriculture are still practiced on the larger Amantani.

Travellers can book tours from Puno. Spaniards founded the town in 1668, adding their architecture to the area. Tourists will find a splendid mix of native and colonial structures, as well as mestizo art and crafts. Puno is also reputedly the centre of Peruvian folklore, with its inhabitants descending from the Aymara and Quechua Andean tribes. Visitors can experience some of the country's most vibrant traditional festivals. The feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria is the most popular of them. Held in February, its main event is the Dance of The Devils.