The majestic lake Titicaca is considered the largest navigable lake in the world. It has an area of 8,562 km2 that extends between the department of Puno and a part of the neighboring country of Bolivia, at an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level. n. m.
Its calm waters have an average depth of 107 meters and a temperature that ranges between 5° and 13° C. This place is crowned as a key destination for those who visit the Peruvian southeast, since it houses a set of floating islands where they live. traditional settlers who have preserved their customs and lifestyles from generation to generation.
However, it has more attributes that every traveler should know that they will find –and enjoy– during their stay. Here are some facts you should know about the so-called Sea of the Andes.
- Home of the Uros: These are considered an ethnic group with pre-Inca roots, originally from Peru. Each of their homes rests on robust surfaces created with generous amounts of reeds, a kind of cane that thrives in the lake and is also used for their buildings, their furniture and their rafts – a means of transport with which they move. from island to island. The community’s source of income is fishing and tourism.
- Cradle of textile art: In Lake Titicaca there is also the island of Taquile, recognized worldwide for preserving intact the textile techniques of the pre-Inca ancestors. This practice is carried out by men and women from a very young age, as it is their main source of income. The prestigious portal specialized in tourism Skyscanner included Taquile as one of the destinations that every traveler should visit at least once in their life.
- Here the world was originated: Throughout history, magical legends have been woven that have put the lake as the main stage. One of them attests that the origin of the Andean world came from its waters, since from here the God Viracocha would have emerged, who created the Inti (Sun God), Mama Killa (mother moon), the stars and also the the first people.
According to legend, his sons Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo also left the lake, who emerged from the depths to give rise to the Inca Empire.
One more fact: there is another legend that links the Andean cosmovision with the origin of its magical waters. It is said that these arose after the first inhabitants –tempted by the devil– climbed to the top of the mountains (where sacred fire burned), thus disobeying the only prohibition that the Apus had made them. Seeing this, the furious gods ordered everything to disappear. The Sun God was devastated by what happened, and cried for 40 days and 40 nights. From his tears and lamentations the imposing lake would have been formed.
- Majestic fauna: The sea of the Andes is also home to a wonderful diversity of animals typical of the area. Under its waters it is possible to find fish such as suche, pejerrey and cachari. On the water and under its skies it is possible to spot seagulls and flamingos. As for mammals, the Andean fox, the vizcacha and the guinea pig stand out, as well as camelids such as the alpaca and llamas. In Titicaca it is also possible to find native species, for example, the parihuanas and the Andean geese.
- Protected area: In 1978, Titicaca received the title of National Reserve, which includes the lake, the cultivation areas and also the floating islands. It is important to highlight that this wonderful geographic space is 3 million years old.