At 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world. It’s also the largest lake in South America by volume of water. Lake Titicaca has a maximum length of 118 miles and a maximum width of 50 miles. The average depth of the lake is 351 feet, although some parts of the lake are over 900 feet deep.
Lake Titicaca boasts a rich cultural history that spans thousands of years. Incan mythology claims that Lake Titicaca was the site where civilization first began. It was here that the first Inca king, Manco Capac, is said to have been born of the sun god. The gods later created a wife for him, and together they founded a tribe that would eventually grow into the Inca Empire that dominated much of South America before the arrival of Europeans in colonial times. More than 180 ruins and monuments remain in the area as testaments to the architectural prowess and cultural beliefs of the ancient groups of indigenous people that inhabited the region long ago.
Points of Interest
On the Peruvian side of the lake sits Puno. This town is known as the capital of Peruvian folklore and features myriad tour companies that can provide you with transport to Los Uros, offshore floating islands constructed of reeds. The nearby islands of Taquile and Amantani have additional ruins with their ancient customs and traditions of thousand years ago that are also worth visiting. Boating is the primary means of transportation there.
The climate in Puno is cold and dry year-round. The high altitude contributes to these conditions, and travelers may experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness upon first arriving. The average temperature hovers around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures can drop down as low as 30 degrees in the winter months from June to August. The maximum temperature here is around 60 degrees in the summer months of December and January. Precipitation is minimal for most of the year, but it has been known to rain or snow on occasion.
HOW YOU GET THERE:
- From Cusco with a tour bus from 7am to 5pm which includes 4 stops along the way, (3 stops to visit arqueological pre-inca sites and 1 stop for lunch.
- In this journey from Cusco to Puno you´ll enjoy the great scenery of the mountins, puna high plateau, glaciers, thousands of Alpacas grazing etc. very worth it.
- Or 1.20 hours flight directly from Lima to Puno or vice versa.