Lake Titicaca – allegory and whiz

Sep 26, 12 Lake Titicaca – allegory and whiz

Totally different from anything else you have ever seen in your life or ever will see, Lake Titicaca is a place of fascination, an allegory of tradition and marvels, rightfully located at the impressive altitude of more than 3800 meters above the sea level, as if it ruled the world below. Connecting two equally spellbinding countries, Bolivia and Peru, the lake offers arresting bits of each world. The Andean plateau, otherwise a desolating view, meets here the bountiful valleys and fabled crowns of the Andes. Antithesis is most definitely a primordial characteristic of Lake Titicaca, as freezing farms oppose sun-bathed islands. The international marketplace is a site of chaos, but one that you will love immersing into, while the tranquil, old agrarian communities get on with their daily lives like nothing is happening around them.

 

In Puno, the most staggering towns on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, you will be able to notice the campesinas, which is the word for peasant women, wearing their bowler hats and recycled sandals, made from truck tires, and caring for the llamas peacefully, as if not even aware of the contraband flights circling over their heads. The Puno’s Candelaria is an outstanding show, incomparable with any other from anywhere around this world, and people party frenetically, despite their fame as anarchic religious fiestas people. There’s no other destination like Lake Titicaca and you will be utterly convinced by this the moment you lay eyes on it. Its serene, yet intense blue, and its sacred, aerial location make it a mesmerizing and intriguing touristic destination. The lake also holds two impressive records, being the highest navigable one in the whole world and the largest lake, considering its water volume, in South Africa.

 

How the lake got the name of Titicaca is still a mystery, as is the meaning of the word, although vague translations led to the phrases “Rock of the Puma”, probably due to its shape, and “Crag of Lead”. But one thing is for certain, if you want a memorable, one of a kind vacation, with mind blowing scenery and overwhelming traditions and cultures, then Lake Titicaca is the one place to go to! Preserving the sanctity of the Inca civilization, as Manco Capac, the first Incan king, was born here, the lake offers an incredibly wide range of places to discover and explore, including the famous Chinkana labyrinth and the more than 180 ruins on the Bolivian side of the lake.

Isla del Sol

Lake Titicaca has 41 islands, big and small, some of which are heavily populated, so you will be able to discover local traditions, beliefs and practices, while enjoying the company of the fine men and women on the islands. Isla del Sol, which means Island of the Sun, is the largest of the 41 islands and you will be able to visit it by boat. There are regular fares going to the island from Copacabana, a charming town in Bolivia. The over 180 ruins mentioned above can be found here, on Isla del Sol, a place of significance according to the Incan mythology, named so due to the fact that Inti, the sun god, was believed to have been born here. Get ready for a hypnotizing history lessons, as the ruins go as far back as 500 years ago.

Isla de la Luna

True to its fame as the place of contrasts, Lake Titicaca has not only an island of the Sun, but also one of the Moon. Isla de la Luna is located east from the Island of the Sun, and, another Incan mythology bearing site, is believed to be the birthplace of Mama Quilla, obviously the moon goddess. The island is a splendid stretch of land, filled with historical and spiritual emphasis, definitely a place to cross of the visiting list.

 

Taquile Island
On the other side of the Lake Titicaca, close to the Peruvian town of Puno, lies the island of Taquile, a hilly spread of land that was used as a prison in the times of the Spanish Colonization. The Taquile people have appropriated the island since 1970 and it is a true statement of traditional lifestyle without a sense or touch of the modern society or amenities, including electricity or modern transportation. Worldwide, the Taquileños are famous for their craftsmanship, their handmade clothes and other useful creations, as their skills are impressive and impossible to compare or associate with any other culture or civilization. In fact, the “Taquile and Its Textile Art” have been awarded the UNESCO “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” title.

Uros Islands

The Uros Islands are also known as the Floating Islands and they are probably the only piece of land in Lake Titicaca that was entirely built by the human hand. The islands are made of reeds, which grow widely on the banks of the Titicaca and are no less than 40 in number. The Uros people are hard working people, living a traditional life, surviving out of fishing and, more recently, tourism. They are incredibly hospitable people and you will for sure enjoy their accommodation and their stories of a long established and time honored life.