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Salar de Uyuni Bolivia
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Lake Titicaca

At an elevation of 3800m, Lake Titicaca is the world’s largest high-altitude lake. It is 194km long, up to 80km wide and 284m deep, covering in total an astonishing 8300 sq km.
 
The placid waters are a distinctive deep blue colour, reflecting the enormous sky. The lake spans two countries, from the green fertile valleys on the Peruvian side to the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real in Bolivia. It has been a national reserve since 1978, and has over 60 varieties of birds - including ibis and flamingos – as well as 14 different fish, and 18 species of amphibian.

According to Andean belief, Lake Titicaca gave birth to the sun, and also both the father and the mother of all the Incas - Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. Before the Incas, the Pukara (1000 BC), Tianhuanaco (200 AD) and Colla people all lived here, each leaving their monuments scattered around the lake. There are the funerary towers of Sillustani, where the ancient Colla tribe buried their dead; the Pachamama and Pachatata temples of the Tianhuanaco culture on Amanti Island; and the Inca ruins found on the Island of the Sun and Island of the Moon on the Bolivian side.

Numerous islands are scattered across the lake. Most famous are the 48 man-made Uros floating islands found close to Puno, which have been inhabited since their construction by Uros Indians centuries ago on the run from hostile cultures, such as the Incas, on the mainland. The islands are made out of many layers of totora reeds, which the Uros people also eat and use to make their homes, boats and crafts. The people speak Aymara nowadays, due to intermarriage with the Aymara-speaking indigenous people.

Around 350 Quechua-speaking families live on the tiny Taquille Island, which was inhabited by the Pukara culture some 3000 years ago. It was then dominated by the Aymara-speaking Tianhuanaco culture until the 13th century, when the Incas conquered Taquille and introduced the Quechua language. Nowadays the islanders are renowned for their colourful, incredibly fine, hand-woven cloths, considered as the most well made traditional clothes in Peru. The island boasts beautiful scenery with the snowy Cordillera Real as a backdrop.

The 4000 people living on Amanti Island speak Quechua, although their culture is more heavily influenced by the Aymara. The islanders are famous for their baskets woven from ichu – a native grass- and granite carvings. The island is dominated by two small hills topped by the temples Pachamama and Pachatata of the Tianhuanaco culture.

If you want to visit Lake Titicaca, please contact us so that we can show you our various itineraries.

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