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Lake Titicaca Tour

Lake Titicaca Tour

In a mystical equilibrium with the environment, Lake Titicaca shows its vast natural wealth. Its cold blue waters surround the city of Puno and show fantastic places that keep its history and tradition intact. This source of life and development seek, with tourism, preserve its incredible culture and landscapes. In addition, the legend tells that this famous lake was born Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, founders of the Inca Empire. Titicaca is the highest and navigable lake in the world, this Natural Heritage of Peru is located in the Puno region and is shared with the neighboring country of Bolivia. The islands that inhabit this majestic place are Taquile, Amantaní and Uros, the same ones that maintain their pre-Columbian traditions and customs.

Titicaca lake is the center of a large plateau of about 200,000 square kilometers, known as the Altiplano or Meseta del Collao located in the Central Andes. Located at 3809 meters above sea level, it is the highest navigable lake in the world. It has an area of ​​8562 square kilometers, of which 4772 (56%) belong to Peru, 3790 (44%) to Bolivia and 1125 kilometers to the coast. Its maximum depth is estimated at 281 meters, with many areas that do not exceed 40 meters. The total volume of water is 903 cubic kilometers. Lake It consists of two bodies of water separated or joined by the Strait of Tiquina, the largest located in the northwestern part, is called "Major Lake" or Chuchito has an area of ​​6450 square kilometers, being in this part its greatest depth. The other smaller body called "Minor Lake" or Huiñamarca located in the southeastern sector has an area of ​​2112 square kilometers and a maximum depth of 45 meters.Many peolple always tried to narrate what the waters of the Titicaca could not take. They say that under its surface there are cities abundant in gold and silver, but they have not yet been found. They say that in their waters live sirens of sweet and deadly song. The truth is that trout grow there with exceptional flavor. And many, many more legends, that if they are not true, at least they entertain an entire night.Come with us to discover the wonders that Puno offers us.

Quick Itinerary

Day 01: Amantani Island

Day 02: Puno

 

Know more about the famous Lake Titicaca 

Legends 

  • Origin of Titicaca lake: Long ago, Lake Titicaca was a fertile valley populated by men who lived happily and peacefully. Nothing was missing; the land was rich and provided them with everything they needed. On this earth neither death nor hatred nor ambition was known. The Apus, the gods of the mountains, protected human beings. They were forbidden only one thing: no one should climb to the top of the mountains where the Sacred Fire burned. For a long time, men did not think of breaking this order of the gods. But the devil, an evil spirit condemned to live in darkness, he could not  see men live so quietly in the valley. He managed to divide men by sowing discord. He asked them to test their courage by going to look for the Sacred Fire at the top of the mountains. Then one fine day, at dawn, the men began to climb the top of the mountains, but halfway they were surprised by the Apus. They understood that the men had disobeyed and decided to exterminate them. Thousands of cougars came out of the caverns and devoured the men who begged the devil for help. But this one remained insensible to his pleas. Seeing that, Inti, the sun god, began to cry. His tears were so abundant that in forty days they flooded the valley. A man and a woman only came to be saved on a reed boat. When the sun shone again, the man and the woman did not believe in their eyes: under the blue and pure sky, they were in the middle of a huge lake. In the middle of those waters floated pumas that were drowned and transformed into statues of stone. They then called Lake Titicaca: the lake of stone cougars. Titicaca cradle of the Andean civilization, populated by indigenous Aymara and Quechua who still maintain their own customs, traditions inherited from their ancestors.
  • The traditional Manco Qapac and Mama Ocllo Legend: In the regions near Lake Titicaca, men lived like wild animals, since they had no religion, laws or an organization that would agglutinate them. These inhabitants were unaware of agriculture and they did not possess textile techniques, for which reason they were naked. They had caves as homes and they fed on hunting and gathering food. The god Inti, felt sorry for those people and sent his son Ayar Manco with his sister Mama Ocllo to civilize these barbarian populations and found an empire to honor the god Inti. Ayar Manco dedicated himself to teach men rules of living together in society and to worship the god Inti. On the other hand, Mama Ocllo teach women weaving techniques and housework. Ayar Manco, also called Manco Capac, had to found a city, which would be the center of the world. His father, the god Inti, gave him a golden rod to search for the promised land. He recommended them to travel to the north of Lake Titicaca and sink the gold cane into the lands where they would pass until they found the place where the rod sinks easily and there found the city of Cusco where they directed their empire. When arriving at a northern region of Lake Titicaca, they were seen by the locals who confused them with gods due to the brightness of their clothes and jewels. The days passed and Manco Capac could not find the land where the cane would sink easily. But one day when arriving at a majestic valley surrounded by beautiful mountains the golden rod was buried in the ground before the astonishment of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo. This is how they knew that this place should become the capital of the Inca Empire and the navel of the world.

Flora and fauna 

The microscopic flora or phytoplankton of the lake is quite poor and with predominance of species of wide geographic distribution. Carbon fixation reaches in the lake greater than 1.13 grams per square centimeter per day; in the smaller lake at 0.56 grams per square centimeter per day, and in the bay of Puno at 0.82 grams per square centimeter per day. 

The upper plants present : 

  • Hydrocotyle
  • Elodea
  • Ranunculus
  • Myryophyllum 
  • Zannichellia
  • Ruppia
  •  Potamogeton
  • Schoenoplectus
  • Lilaeopsis 
  • Azolla
  • Lemna

The bottoms have abundance of carofíceas algae like:

  • Chara 
  • Lamprothamnium
  • Nitella
  • Tolupella

That constitute the most outstanding vegetal mass (near 65% in the greater lake). Between the shore and the nine meters of depth the associations of plants that cover almost the entire surface are distributed. Zooplankton is made up of copepods and cladocerans, which play an important role for planktivorous fish. The lake has 42 islands, among the most important are those of Taquile and Amantani, in Peruvian territory. In this past and present place they are conjugated around one of the most emblematic places of the Inca culture, and its mysteries continue to amaze us. Titicaca cradle of the Andean civilization, populated by indigenous Aymara and Quechua who still maintain their own customs, traditions inherited from their ancestors. 

This lake offers a varied fauna composed mainly of :

  • ducks 
  • fish such as suche 
  • capache
  • pejerrey  
  • trout, among others. 

The lake has 22 species of mollusks: 18 of snails and four of shells. The hidrobíidos, with 14 species, have a density in the fund of 8000 to 10 000 individuals per square meter. The lake contains 29 species of fish, of which 24 are of the genus Orestias (endemic), two of Trichomycterus (suches) and three introduced (one of Salmo gairdneri = rainbow trout, and the silverside = Basilichtys bonaris). Trout fishing reaches about 1000 metric tons per year. Amphibians reach 21 species (Pleuroderma, Telmatobius, Bufo and Gastrotheca), almost all endemic. A snake (Tachymenis peyuviana) frequents the wet shores of the lake. The avifauna of the lake consists of 28 species, of which one is endemic, the diver of the Titicaca or ninra (Centropelma micropterum).  


Ideal Time to visit Titicaca Lake:

The ideal time to visit the lake is between May and October, as the days are sunnier and the temperature changes are not so abrupt. The average temperature of that time is 25 ° C. Although during the nights, temperatures are usually below 0 ° C. throughout the year.

 

What islands can I find?:

  • Floating Island of Uros: Located 30 minutes by boat, from the shores of Lake Titicaca, the Uros are a floating island known for being built of totora, a reed that grows under these waters. Inhabited by Aymara, this place is considered one of the oldest Andean civilizations, having emerged long before the Incas. This area grows economically due to fishing, bartering and even their own crafts, also have extra income thanks to tourism. The inhabitants of the Uros live in a citadel made of totora and has 40 islands, which are accompanied by houses, churches and schools.
  • Taquile Island: Taquile is known worldwide for its textile work. It is the perfect place to trek, having a ladder of 567 steps to be able to climb towards the top of the town. The island is inhabited by Quechua speakers who still make barter, an action that involves exchanging one product for another. However, agriculture, textile work and crafts are its main economic source. In Taquile you will not find any hotel, the residents are the ones who provide accommodation and food, learning with them more about rural or community tourism.
  • Amantani Island: Known as the "island of love", Amantaní has majestic fields, eucalyptus trees and flowers like the cantuta that grows in the altiplano. This island is the largest of Lake Titicaca and is three hours by boat from the city of Puno. Being an isolated town, the inhabitants and travelers move from one place to another walking, since there is no means of transport such as motorcycle or taxi. In Amantani, you will not find any hotel, the travelers sleep in the houses of the inhabitants doing experiential tourism. 300 meters up, is the Pachatata sanctuary, a space of stones from where the Pachamama or mother earth is worshiped.


DAY 1: PUNO - AMANTANI ISLAND

Our representative staff will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the main port. A 25 minute boat ride to Uros Island. Fishermen and hunters inhabit the floating islands of the Uros. Uros residents use the totora (aquatic plant) that grows in the lake, to create the conditions that guarantee for the islands to float. The dense roots that these plants generate support the island. The Uros use the totora to build their islands, houses, to cook and eat, likewise to sell in the city of Puno and also to exchange (barter) with products such as quinoa, potatoes, barley, etc. The Uru culture appeared more than 3000 years ago and its population spoke the Uro Puquina language, the last person who still spoke the Uru language died approximately in the 60s, there is no script referring to the language, currently the population speaks Aymara. In the Uros live more than 1000 people, divided into 80 artificial islands built on the basis of the totora, where the raft is the only means of transport, which is also used for fishing. Then a trip to Amantani Island approximately 41 km from the city of Puno, (03:15 hours by regular boat), (02:15 by semi-speedboat) (01:20 hours by speedboat), where 4000 people live. Year after year the inhabitants of the Island of Amantani have been fighting for a better quality of life because this tour has been created just to support the inhabitants of the Island receiving lodging, food and an unforgettable experience in the middle of Lake Titicaca. When arriving at the island of Amantani, the families will wait for us and will accompany you to Amantani Lodge for your stay at home as a cordial welcome. Traditional lunch prepared by families with products from the area. At dusk we will hike to the top of the island at 4130m from where you can observe the sun's magnificent entrance on the Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world, and visit the famous pre-Inca temple Pachatata with more than 3000 years of antiquity of culture Tiawanaco and Pukara. Here you will have the opportunity to have dinner with our family. Overnight at Amantani Lodge.

DAY 2: AMANTANI ISLAND - TAQUILE - PUNO

We will start our second day taking the breakfast with our adoptive family . Then visit Taquile Island (01 hour by regular boat), (45 minutes by semi-speed boat) (25 minutes by speedboat), famous for its production of handicrafts (declared cultural heritage of humanity), particularly for its beautiful textiles. In addition there is very interesting taste because people still practice the principles of Inca morality such as "Ama Sua" (do not steal) "Ama Quella" (do not be idle) and "Ama Lulla" (not to lie) that are still used among the population. The island is about 1.5 km wide and 5.7 km long. The island of Taquile was a prison in the colonial era, currently live approximately 2000 people, the villagers use a very special cap for example referring to the single or married and authorities, this island has a garden, primary and secondary school. Visiting the non-tourist areas you will appreciate temples, tombs and terraces from the pre-Inca period (Pucara), its landscapes, traditional farming techniques and its ancestral customs, etc. This visit can be tiring, due to the 565 steps that must be taken to go down to the main port and because of the altitude (13,000 feet / 4,030 meters above sea level), but it's worth the effort. Then we will return to Puno. Transfer from the port to your hotel.

THIS TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Transfers hotel in puno - port -hotel in puno or terrestrial terminal. 
  • Professional Guide English - Spanish. 
  • Admission tickets to each of the places visited. 
  • Transportation services through the lake and land.
  • Accommodation: 1x overnight homestay in a house of a local family,
  • Meals: 1x breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x dinner.

 

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Food not mentioned in the package 
  • Tips, or extra expenses
  • A ride on a totora boat

 

DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE :

  • Pair of long pants. 
  • Boots for walking, shoes or tennis shoes. 
  • Shirts or light shirts. 
  • Long sleeve shirts. 
  • Jacket. 
  • Hats (also for the cold) 
  • Waterproof and / or umbrella. 
  • Camera (there are places to download and print your digital photos) 
  • Insect repellent. Medicine and / or articles for personal use. 
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun glasses

Please take note: If you are missing something do not worry you will find everything in Puno. Finally the unique requirement is a lot of desire to know us!

IMPORTANCE:

The lake has influenced as a determining factor in the regulation of the "Meseta del Collao", becoming the largest demographic center of the Peruvian Andes and therefore in the largest agricultural center of this Andean region. It is equally important because it has a varied wildlife as well as abundant hydrobiological resources. It constitutes without a doubt a large usable aquifer reserve and a tourist attraction thanks to the beauty of its places.

INCA LEGACY

At present, according to data provided by the INEI Peru , there would be 300,000 people who speak the original Aymara language, Jaqaru, most of whom are in the city of Puno, Monquegua and Tacna, and that is not miss. According to the ancient Inca legend, from the depths of Lake Titicaca emerged Manco Capac and Mama Occllo, founders of the pre-Columbian empire, today this legend could become reality. Peruvian woman An expedition carried out by experts between October 14 and 25, discovered the ruins and remains of what would be an Inca citadel hidden in the abysses of the lake. At 8 meters depth of the lake, the divers managed to appreciate stone walls perfectly fitted with each other, very similar to those found in Machu Pichu. Within the underwater city, a stone platform with ceramic figures was also found, which coincide with the offerings sites of the sacred sites. The expedition would also have found a structure of rock formation that protrudes from the water with 20 meters in diameter and up to three meters in height. On this, a stone statue in the form of a llama, an animal native to the Andes, typical of the Peruvian highlands, would have appeared.

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