Introducing Lake Titicaca
Worlds collide around Lake Titicaca. Here the desolate altiplano (Andean plateau) meets the storied peaks and fertile valleys of the Andes. Green, sun-dazed islands contrast with freezing dirt farms. Ancient agrarian communities live alongside the chaos of the international marketplace.
Campesinas (peasant women) in bowler hats and sandals made from recycled truck tires tend to their llamas as light aircraft full of contraband fly overhead. Coca smugglers count their money in tumbledown towns that rear out of the dust like anthills. On howling cold nights, people huddle together, yet this place parties like nowhere else. In a country known for its riotous religious fiestas, Puno’s Candelaria is one of the greatest shows of all.
Lake Titicaca shimmers with a distinctive navy blue, and its gemlike islands and gentle shores are an agricultural paradise. Crumbling cathedrals, rolling hills, checkerboard valleys and Bolivia’s highest mountains in the background all conspire to make anyone a pro photographer. According to Andean belief, this lake gave birth to the sun, as well as the father and mother of all the Incas, Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo. Pre-Inca Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas all lived here and left monuments scattered across the landscape – from waist-high burial towers for dwarves to comical oversized stone penises. This is the heartland of South America, where priests bless taxis and lawyers sacrifice llamas. Rug up and jump in.
Best places to stay in Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca destination guides
Spot macaws in the jungle and caimans on the riverbanks, sail the waters of Lake Titicaca, delight in the smells of markets and explore ancient ruins—including a trek along the Inca Trail. As we operate our own treks, our quality equipment and the expertise of our porters and CEOs will ensure that your first glimpse of Machu Picchu will leave you in awe.
Homeland of the Incas
Travel to Peru and Bolivia as you head deep into the Andes to the mountain-top capital of Bolivia, La Paz. Hike the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, explore the depths of the Colca Canyon and experience the island cultures of Lake Titicaca on a homestay.