Lake Titicaca strides the border between Peru and Bolivia high up in the Andean altiplano, and is one of Latin America’s most spectacular mountain landscapes. Surrounded by high mountain peaks, the lake itself is like a small inland sea, so vast does it stretch across the horizon. Dotted around the lake, and on its several islands and floating man-made reed islands, are very traditional Andean communities who work hard to retain their ancient customs and ways of life, despite increasing numbers of visitors.
With a strong sense of tradition here, it is no surprise that the lake communities celebrate their own festivals and worship the Incan gods. The kallawaya or local shamans retain a revered status in the small villages here, and with clear skies offering some of the best stargazing in the world, there is definitely a mystical air to this high altitude region. This very special place has an enduring tranquility and mysticism to it, evidenced by the continuing Inca traditions, as the shamans still perform sacred rituals in the local community using the coca leaves.
Move away from the bustling town of Puno on the lakeside to one of the beautiful bases that dot its shoreline, from contemporary luxury on its own private peninsula to a beautiful and remote private island community - on both sides of the border. Most visitors do not go beyond the usual tours to the floating reed islands and perhaps one of the two larger island communities but there is so much more to explore here.
Aside from the beautiful islands on the lake itself, there are some really fascinating small towns around its edge from Lampa to Copamaya and Juli where you discover traditional weaving skills, explore intricate churches and meet local people. Aside from uncovering more about the cultural traditions and diversity of Titicaca, its beautiful landscape can best be appreciated by slowing down the pace, following ancient Inca Trails to the remains of Inca sites and burial grounds, kayaking or rowing among the famous lakeside reeds, which locals use to make their astonishing reed boat constructions. Take a thrilling drive into remote river canyons by 4wd or visit a traditional barter market.
However, you would like to experience the extraordinary beauty of the high altiplano of Peru & Bolivia including a stay at the lake, contact us to talk about your perfect tailormade holiday to Peru.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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