Lake Titicaca...
Most sacred body of water of the Inca Empire

Lake Titicaca at sunset. Peru

Your Peru vacation wouldn't be complete without paying a visit to Puno and lake Titicaca.

It's the ideal place for lovers of archaeological tourism and old civilizations.

Shared by Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the cradle of three huge pre-Hispanic civilizations...

It's also where Tawantinsuyo (Inca empire) was born.
As the legend goes, Manco Capac and Mama Oclla emerged from the sacred lake to found Cuzco and the Inca empire.

If we could suggest you an itinerary, after your visit to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, get the train to Puno (via Juliaca) on the shores of lake Titicaca, it offers one of the most interesting cultures of Peru.

The gateway to the lake (on the Peruvian side) is Puno, considered to be Peru's folklore center.
In fact, they celebrate here more than 300 dances annually. Hardly a day will goes by without a dance to celebrate something.

If you're on the Bolivian side, La Paz - Bolivia's capital - for instance, there are buses departing from the Cementerio district to Copacabana. It's a 3/4 hour ride or 92 miles (148km) distance.

Copacabana is the biggest town on the lake, the ideal place to establish your base camp while exploring Titicaca, surrounding Inca ruins and to do some trekking.
Check lake Titicaca map here.

Virgin of Candelaria's celebration and the Diablada (Devil dance) is just fantastic, with a profusion of incredible (and costly) masks, sumptuous costumes and ornamentation.
Diablada was born with the legend of some miners trapped in the collapse of a mine in Bolivia. They saw an army of demons that took them to hell, but they commended to the Virgin and were rescued.

Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca, Puno. Peru - D. Giribaldi / PromPeru

On lake Titicaca you have several interesting and unique places to travel to...

Titicaca Lake Facts:

  • Located at 12,725 feet (3,856 meters) above sea level, which makes it the highest navigable lake in the world
  • It has a surface area of over 3,100 sq. miles (8,000 sq. km)
  • Lake Titicaca is the 2nd. largest in South America after lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), not actually a lake but it was originally one
  • It has two climates:
    Chilly and rainy and chilly and dry. From June to August temperature drops bellow freezing, with intense sunshine in daytime.
Sunrise at Titicaca Lake
Sunrise at Titicaca Lake by Mariana Tortorella

How To Get There:

By Air:
From Lima to Juliaca you will arrive to Manco Capac Airport and then by taxi or minibus to Puno.

By Train:
Cuzo-Juliaca-Puno (around 11 hours ride).
Puno-Arequipa (around 10 hours).

By Lake:
From Puno, as well as from Juli and Yunguyo you can navigate Titicaca to/from Bolivian ports.
This is a unique and unforgettable experience you shouldn't miss.

Where to Stay:

Book budget accommodation in Puno.
Alternatively, if looking for more comfort, find and compare best hotel rates in Puno.

If you're on the Bolivian side of lake Titicaca, book a hostel in Copacabana, or the hotel you fancy the most.


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