Welcome to Laguna de Colta
Further south and just off the Panamericana, you’ll pass the unmistakable colonial-era chapel of La Balbanera in the small village of Colta. On the other side of the highway, the waters of Laguna de Colta appear choked with a golden reed called totora. For anyone who has ever visited Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, this setting and the small totora rafts used to sail around Laguna Colta will look familiar. Ethnobiologists believe that totora seeds may have been brought here in prehistoric times, but whatever the case, the reeds form an important crop for the indigenous people of Colta, who use them to make their famous baskets and esteras (mats). Women dye the fringes of their hair a startling golden color.