High in the Andean mountains is Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America. Stretching over 118 miles across and 50 miles wide, most of the lake is in Bolivia, but the western end crosses over the border into Peru. The original inhabitants of the lake shores and its islands believed Lake Titicaca was the birthplace of the sun and the remoteness of this region means many ancient traditions still persist here.

One of the strangest parts of Lake Titicaca is the Uros islands. Made out of totora reeds, these woven platforms actually float on the water. Some of the larger islands can be the size of a football pitch, but most are much smaller. Generally islands have three or four houses for an extended family, with more developed islands even including watchtowers, schools and playgrounds. The reeds immersed in the lake are constantly rotting and having to be topped up with new reeds; the islands shift slightly as you walk on them so watch your step!

Another fascinating island in Lake Titicaca is Taquile. Like many islands in the lake, there are Pre-Inca ruins to explore and peaks overlooking the lake across to the snow-capped Andes. There are no cars and only basic facilities; most houses are lit by candlelight with only a few having solar panels to provide large amounts of electricity. Taquile is notable for its thriving indigenous culture, particularly in the field of textiles, with the island’s knitting and weaving traditions being awarded World Heritage status.

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Read more on Lake Titicaca below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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