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Lake Titicaca Travel Guide


Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, serving as a natural border between Peru and Bolivia. With placid alpine waters, stunning views of both countries, and ancient indigenous communities, it’s a terrific place to explore. Whether you travel by sea kayak or speedboat, views of distant snow-capped mountains orient you, and the gentle sounds of the water accompany your adventure. 

Culture

Several colorful, indigenous communities live on or around Lake Titicaca. The locals on Taquile Island, or Taquileños, were named “Masters of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO, and are famous for their handwoven textiles. You are welcomed by this community with open arms, and invited to learn about their unique way of life. Unlike most places in South America, Taquile Island’s men do all of the knitting while the women take charge of the spinning of their textiles. Watch locals ply their trade, and then explore this roadless landscape by foot on a guided tour. 

The floating islands of the Uru are special as well, constructed from tortora reeds and maintained to preserve their traditional way of life. You will arrive at the floating Uros Island by speedboat, and learn about the Uru community that maintains and occupies this architectural wonder. To get to know the Uru people is to understand their reverence for totora reeds, which they use to construct their floating islands and boats. They also rely on totora for medicine, nourishment, and bartering currency.  

Geography

Lake Titicaca is widely known as the highest navigable lake in the world. At 12,507 feet up, it’s located right in the middle of the Andes mountain range and is the border between Peru and Bolivia. With over 3000 miles of surface area, Lake Titicaca has an average depth of 350 feet, and reaches over 900 feet deep in certain areas!

Activities

The islands of Lake Titicaca have one of the highest concentrations of ancient ruins in all of South America. Isla del Sol, or Sun Island, has over 180 ruin sites, including the birthplace of the Inca god of the sun. The pleasant waters and interesting geographic features make for great outdoor activities on the lake. Sea kayaking is a great way to experience Lake Titicaca, and hiking to the ruins and mountaintops of the islands allows you to enjoy the ethereal landscapes as well.

Flora and Fauna

The rugged altiplano, mountainous shorelines and islands, and massive body of water make for diverse wildlife and vegetation on Lake Titicaca. Keep an eye out for the giant Lake Titicaca frog, whose skin appears too large for its body, as well as wild guinea pigs, chinchillas, alpaca, and Andean fox. Lake Titicaca birds include the cormorant, Titicaca flightless grebe, and Chilean flamingo. There are 12 different kinds of aquatic plants in Lake Titicaca, including the totora.

Thanks to Andean our vacation was a wonderful experience for our entire family of 15 (8 adults and 7 grand kids aged 16 to 9).. The planning for the trip to the Galapagos was well researched; the hotels, guides and itinerary were spot on. They answered our many questions before we departed and there NO disappointments during the vacation. It was the most memorable trip our family has taken.
Mary Ann Fuller
Mary Ann Fuller
18:00 22 Jan 19
My family toured the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in Peru with Andean Discovery guides and reservations. We had a fabulous adventure! I recommend highly that "superior lodging" be chosen as an option for the best possible room accommodations. The marvelous comfort of the fine hotels Andean booked for us made all the difference.
Kathryn Fulhorst
Kathryn Fulhorst
21:36 08 Jan 19
Damon put together the perfect itinerary for our group of 7 - including grandparents. His knowledge of the region is superb, which is why he is able to create the ultimate trip for your family. From whitewater rafting in Peru to zip-lining in Ecuador, we truly had the trip of a lifetime! I wouldn't go with anyone else!
Carolyn Malloy
Carolyn Malloy
12:40 31 Jan 19
Traveling to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu was a dream vacation for my wife. After much research we booked our trip through Andean Discovery. We are so glad we did. Everything went smoothly and our personal guides in Ecuador and Peru were wonderful. I would highly recommend Andean Discovery to anyone thinking of taking a similar trip.
Arnold Miniman
Arnold Miniman
15:29 14 Dec 18
We traveled with our family of 3 people. Andean did a wonderful job helping us select an itinerary that was able to accommodate our various ages. We had no glitches in a fairly complicated itinerary and everything came off as planned. Our local guide in Quito Johanna was terrific. I can't recommend Sacha Lodge more highly. Our experience in Galapagos on the Coral 1 was magical. While the crew of the Coral 1 could have been more charming and smiled on occasion they were helpful, the food was very good and the rooms were kept clean. I have no reservations in recommending Andean Discovery for your South American Holiday
Victor Elinoff
Victor Elinoff
23:26 07 Jan 19
Our trip was fantastic and Micaela with Andean Discovery was great! Every detail was taken care of ahead of time. We just showed up and enjoyed the beauty of South America. I would use them again in a heartbeat.
marc abrams
marc abrams
23:33 23 Nov 18