Lake Titicaca, an ancient lake that is known to be one of the most fascinating lakes in the world, is located between Bolivia and Peru at a height of 12,507 feet above sea level, which makes it the highest navigable lake on the planet. It covers approximately 3,200 sq. miles. and is known to be the largest lake in South America. There are all sorts of adventures and attractions to discover along the shores and on the islands of Lake Titicaca. From the fascinating town of Challapampa to the presence of more than 180 ruins that date back to the Incan civilization, you’re always bound to be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do in Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca History
According to Andean folklore, Titicaca refers to the birthplace of the sun. Inca mythologies state that the lake is the very place from which the world was created. The Incas had believed that god Viracocha emerged from the lake and created the sun, the stars and the very first people. The lake is the foundation for numerous pre-Hispanic cultures of the Andean region as it gave birth to various kingdoms in the 9th century and also became integral to the great Inca Empire in the 15th century. What made Lake Titica even more important was the discovery of an ancient temple that was submerged within the depths of this sacred lake. The temple is known to be twice the size of a football field and is 1,000 – 1,500 years old.
Things to see at Lake Titicaca
In addition to the breathtaking beauty of the lake itself, there are as many as 41 islands and 180 ruins that are worth exploring while in the area. Here are some of the best things to see at Lake Titicaca.
Isla del Sol
The Isla del Sol, or Island of the Sun, is the largest island on the lake and is located on the Bolivian side of the lake. This sacred island was believed to be home to the Supreme Incan god Inti.
A fascinating town located on the northern end of Isla del Sol, is famous for hosting the Chinkana, an enormous stone complex that is full of mazes and was believed to be a training site for Incan priests. The complex has a natural spring that runs under the island and re-appears close to the sacred fountain of Yumani. Other attractions in Challapampa include the sacred rock shapes that resemble a puma and two humongous footprints that are believed to belong to the sun, when it came to Earth to give birth to the Incan Adam and Eve.
Yumani is located on the south end of Isla del Sol and is known to be the largest town on the islands. It is most famous for the sacred fountain that is made of stone and is fed by three unique springs. This fountain is believed to have miraculous healing properties and has often been called the lost Fountain of Youth.
Island of the Moon
The Island of the Moon, or Isla de la Luna, is home to Mama Quila, an Incan Goddess. The structures on this island predate the Incan culture, but numerous examples of Incan architecture can also be found on the island. The island used to host a group of chosen women who lived like nuns during the Incan times. These women performed ceremonies that were dedicated to the sun and wove garments from alpaca wool.>
The Uros Islands are a set of man-made islands that lie on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. These islands are inhabited by a group of people who live a simple and traditional lifestyle and are believed to be descendants of the Uros tribe.