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Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, sits at 3,821 meters above sea level. With a surface area of approximately 8,300 square kilometers, it is also the largest freshwater lake in South America. About 25 rivers empty into the lake, which holds about 41 islands.

Forming a natural border between Bolivia and Peru, the lake is characterized by its diverse cultural and natural attractions. Even a short exploration around these emerald-blue waters yields unbelievable encounters with the local people, their customs, and way of life. The lake is home to a culturally diverse mix of Quecha and Aymara-speaking people who have managed to maintain the 3,000 year old traditions of their ancestors.

Anyone who descends upon these shores is sure to notice the lake’s unique mixture of natural and cultural beauty. In particular, the islands of Taquile and Amantaní, Anapia and Yuspique, and Suasi offer visitors a unique glimpse into the lake’s shores and the people that inhabit them. The bizarre floating Islas Uros, composed of carefully constructed reeds anchored to the shallow lake bottom, are spectacular.

Along the lake’s southern shores are the charming villages of Llachón,Chucuito, and Juli, where you’ll find ancient ruins, and a variety of Spanish-style churches. Near the southwestern corner of Lake Titicaca is the sprawling city of Puno. As the only major city located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, it is a central point of departure for other more interesting destinations, such as the cities of Lampa, and Arequipa, or the ruins of Sillustani, Pucará, and Raqchi.

The Lake Titicaca region also boasts some of the best high-mountain trekking. Experienced climbers and trekkers should check out Bolivia’s Cordillera Apolobamba. For the inexperienced and less fit, no worries, there are a number of other accessible trekking opportunities in the area. If you’re keen for an adrenaline rush try mountain biking the highway winding its way from La Paz to Coroico.

Dubbed the world’s most dangerous road by the Inter-American Development Bank, this treacherous stretch of road between Boliva and Peru is also one of the most beautiful highways in the world. Starting amid the ice-clad peaks of the Cordillera Real, the road plunges through thick cloud-enshrouded forest and into the rich valleys of the Yungas.

Whether you’re a culture-buff or adventure-junky, the shores of Lake Titicaca are sure to entertain and astound. You can reach the lake via a 12-hour train ride from Cusco to Puno through the Andes. The trip boasts unforgettable views of Andes scenery, including farms, waterfalls, and a patchwork of reddish-brown landscape. Beware as the train passes through Juliaca as security can lapse there when residents come aboard and lights often flicker off.


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