Essential Tourist Destination - Lake Titicaca, Peru

While there are many destinations for the tourist in Peru, Lake Titicaca warrants serious consideration. The highest navigable lake in the world, Titicaca is also the largest lake in South America, and base for the Bolivian Navy. Additionally, a series of islands dot the surface, some natural, some man-made, and are entirely an attraction to the lake. The lake is split between Peru and Bolivia, as are the islands that rest on it.

To start an exploration of the lake and its islands and people, tourists are better served to stay in Puno on the Peru side. Tourists who sign up for a day trip will likely go to the Uros Islands, a series of man-made islands of totora reeds. These reeds are joined to make large floating mats, or islands, and are inhabited by natives today much the same as they were hundreds of years ago. Some of these islands can be toured for a close look at how an ancient civilization lives on today.

For a stay in the immediate area around Titicaca, guests can rest at one of the several lodges or homes on Amantani Island. Guests will live with a family, and eat their form of foods and live their lifestyle. The homes are modest, and lack many amenities most folks take for granted, but the homes and their owners are very inviting and friendly.

Most of the area around Lake Titicaca is sprinkled with ancient ruins, both pre- and post-Incan. Two of the larger collections lay at Taquile, 45 km from Puno, and Tiahuanaco, on the Bolivian side of the lake. To view the famous islands of The Sun and The Moon, also containing large collections of ancient ruins, visitors should stay in Copacabana. From there, an inexpensive ferry ride will get guests to and from the islands.

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