Lake Titicaca is a large, deep lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru. By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America.
It is also called the “highest navigable lake” in the world, with a surface elevation of 3,812 meters. The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin high in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Approximately 60% of the lake is in Peru and 40% of the lake is in Bolivia. Most of the Tiquina peninsula, which just out from the Peruvian shore, also belongs to Bolivia.
Five major river systems feed into Lake Titicaca. In order of their relative flow volumes, these are Ramis, Coata, Ilave, Huancané, and Suchez. More than twenty other smaller streams empty into Titicaca. The lake has 41 islands, some of which are densely populated.
History of Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the ancestral land of the Quechuas, Aymaras, Uros, Pacajes, and Puquinas. Lake Titicaca was the foundation of the most influential pre-Hispanic cultures of the Andean Region. Many independent kingdoms grew out of this fertile area beginning in the 9th century, though interestingly most of these kingdoms were ultimately rivals, until the middle of the 15th century, when the Incas conquered the region, which they considered important because of its wool and meat production.
Today, Puno continues its vast agricultural traditions and also its ancestral rituals such as offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and these ancient customs are ever-present in the lives of the inhabitants of the region.
The Titicaca Reserve was created in 1978, with the purpose of preserving the native flora and fauna and the beauty of the area’s countryside. There are 60 species of birds, 14 species of fish and 18 species of amphibians in the Reserve.