Lake Titicaca is one of the highest onshore lakes in South America, if not the world, and should be part of any adventure in Peru. Besides, it is the largest freshwater lake in South America. It is believed to be one of the oldest lakes on earth with an age approaching millions of years old. And its characteristic deep blue color seems to blend in with the sky. And with a backdrop of different snow peaks around you, you will feel like you are in the clouds. Therefore, you may be wondering where is Lake Titicaca located?. And that is why together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru we have prepared an article where we focus on this question. Get to know where is Lake Titicaca located and everything about its geography.
Everything you need to know about where Lake Titicaca is located
- An overview of the Lake
- Where is Lake Titicaca located?
- Myths and mysteries of the lake
- The history of the lake
- Peruvian side of the lake
- Peruvian lake islands
- Bolivian side of the lake
- Bolivian lake islands
- How to get to the lake?
AN OVERVIEW OF THE LAKE
Lake Titicaca carries with honor the title of the highest navigable lake in the world. So it is not surprising that it is one of the most popular attractions in South America. This natural wonder is characteristic of its deep blue waters and landscapes full of snow-capped mountains. And what country is Lake Titicaca located in? It is possible to visit the lake both on the shores of Bolivia and Peru. Although we always recommend doing it from the beautiful city of Puno. From there you can get a great variety of tours around the different islands.
Also, if you have time, you can experience a cultural exchange with the families that live on the islands. The floating islands of Uros, Taquile, and Amantaní are some of the most important islands to visit. And within a Lake Titicaca tour, you can enjoy a complete tour of each of these. Or just visit a specific one. The decision is in your hands!
WHERE IS LAKE TITICACA LOCATED?
So where is Lake Titicaca located? Lake Titicaca is located right between the borders of Peru and Bolivia. In fact, the lake functions as a natural border between the two countries. And this lake extends from northwest to southeast direction for a distance of 120 miles, that is about 190 kilometers. Although it must also be taken into account that a part of the lake has a narrow strait, called Tiquina. This strait “separates” the lake into two bodies of water. The smallest is found in the southeast in Bolivia and receives the name of Lago Huinaymarca while on the Peruvian side it receives the name of Lago Pequeño.
Lake Titicaca sits at an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) above sea level and is considered one of the highest lakes in the world. Lake Titicaca is located on the borders of Peru and Bolivia. It is about 194 kilometers long and 65 kilometers wide. The lake occupies about 8710 square kilometers, of which 5260 are in Peru and 3450 in Bolivia. And how deep is Lake Titicaca in Peru? The maximum depth of the lake is 281 meters deep. To be more exact, it is located in the highlands, stretching north in Puno in Peru and south in Tiwanaku, Bolivia. If you were wondering about the meaning of Lake Titicaca, it means “Mount of the Puma”.
MYTHS AND MYSTERIES OF THE LAKE
And, what is special about Lake Titicaca? Being such a popular and recognized destination, you may have heard that the lake is surrounded by mysteries. The Lake is home to many mysteries and legends, in addition to the beautiful Lake Titicaca islands. After doing a little research on where Lake Titicaca is located, discovering all the mysteries of this fascinating and mysterious part of Peru is one of the best things to do. For the Incas, Lake Titicaca was considered the center of the universe.
In one of his myths, Wiracocha the creator god, created a great flood of which only three humans survived. It is said that these three humans were the beginning of the human race. Still unhappy with his creation, Wiracocha also created Lake Titicaca, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Another of the Inca legends suggests that the first Inca Manco Capac and his wife Mama Ocllo emerged from the lake to search for a place to build the Inca Empire.
THE HISTORY OF THE LAKE
Lake Titicaca is believed to have formed about sixty million years ago. Before the Ice Age, a massive earthquake that shook the Andes mountains split the mountain range in two, thus forming the hole that filled with water from nearby glaciers that melted. The lake has been home to many ancient civilizations in South America. The Puraka civilization settled around 200 BC, and it was believed that it was a peaceful agricultural community. A thousand years later, the Tiwanaku culture emerged and spread to southern Bolivia. Later the Aymaras and the Collas emerged. Different civilizations settled where Lake Titicaca is located, to later be conquered by the powerful Inca Empire.
PERUVIAN SIDE OF THE LAKE
The main city on the Peruvian side is Puno. Puno is the folklore capital of Peru and local people practice many different forms of dance. Puno is also the starting point for tours to the lake and has many hotels to stay. The town has a charming square that has a colonial-style church. On the outskirts of Puno are the Sillustani Towers, also on the shores of Lake Titicaca, these funerary towers have an interesting history. Every February, locals, and foreigners visiting Peru descend on Puno for the Fiesta de la Virgen de Candelaria to see thousands of colorful dances and parades. If the hotels in Puno are not enough, there are also luxurious hotels on Lake Titicaca.
PERUVIAN LAKE ISLANDS
There are many important islands where Lake Titicaca is located, especially on the Peruvian side of the lake. And the biggest tourist attraction is the floating islands of the Uros. These islands are made entirely of reeds that grow locally in the lake. The islands are inhabited by the Uros people who have lived here for hundreds of years. A visit to the Uros Islands is special and silent since there is nothing like them on the planet.
See how people live their lives and amazingly, they are mostly self-sufficient. Tourism plays a large part in their lives and local people use tourism as a source of income. Further on the lake are also the rocky islands of Amantani and Taquile. Both islands have local communities that you can visit. No island has cars, so you will have to walk everywhere. Despite this, the islands have a charming and peaceful atmosphere.
BOLIVIAN SIDE OF THE LAKE
If the different boat tours around Puno are not your thing, the Bolivian side has a lot to offer. On the Bolivian side, the main city on the shores of Lake Titicaca is Copacabana. This charming little town is famous not only for being on the lake but also for its large white church that dominates the city. There are also some charming restaurants and you can take out paddle boats on the lake. The climate in Copacabana is warm and sunny and it is a perfect place to spend a few days. Here is the starting point for tours to Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna.
BOLIVIAN LAKE ISLANDS
On the Bolivian side of the lake, there are two very special islands to visit, the Islands of the Sun and the Moon. These islands have a total of more than 180 Inca ruins, which makes them worth visiting. Keep in mind that there are no cars, so you will have to explore the islands on foot. There is basic accommodation on the islands if you want to stay with a local family.
HOW TO GET TO THE LAKE?
Where is Lake Titicaca? You may want to travel from Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca and wonder how you will get there. If you want to visit Peru, Lake Titicaca is a beautiful area with easy access. You can choose to go by train, bus or by plane from Cusco or by plane from Lima. If you choose the luxurious train from Cusco, it usually takes about 10 hours but the scenery is spectacular. Pass the Andes mountain range with snow-capped mountains and small picturesque villages. If you opt for the bus, numerous companies range from luxurious to basic options. The bus trip takes about 6 hours from Cusco. But if you are in Lima, there are numerous daily flights to Juliaca, which is about a 40-minute drive from Puno.
“A LAKE IS THE LANDSCAPE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL AND EXPRESSIVE FEATURE.”
As you can see, to answer where is Lake Titicaca located we have to take many things into account. Especially when the location of Lake Titicaca is related to many things. In addition, it cannot be denied that the geography of the lake adds a lot to the charm of the place. Being a lake between two nations, it is no wonder there is so much to discover and do. We hope we have been of help together with the experts from Machu Travel Peru. If you want to know more about our tours, you can consult with our advisors. They will be happy to help you organize the trip of your dreams.