The highest navigable lake in the world
With an average altitude of 3810 metres, lake Titicaca is known as the highest navigable lake in the world. It should be stated that this reputation is not absolutely correct, because there are other navigable lakes whose altitude exceeds that of Titicaca (e.g.: lake Junin in Peru). Let us rather say that lake Titicaca is the largest of those high navigable lakes... Its dimension is 220km long and 110km wide (in its broadest part).
The islands of the lake
Titicaca lake, the sacred lake of the Incas, includes 36 islands.
The most famous are the islands of the Sun and of the Moon . They are associated with the origins of the Inca dynasty (birthplace of the first Inca Manco Capac). The remains of some Incas ruins can still be seen, being particularly well preserved in the very popular island of the Sun (Chinkana labyrinth, large stone staircase, fountain, palace of the Inca ). In good weather, one can admire the Cordillera Real on the horizon with its peak, Illampu, stretching to an altitude of 6420m above sea level).
The islands of Suriqui, Pariti, and Kalahuta are smaller islands much less frequented by the tourists but are just as interesting to visit. Particularly in Suriqui, one will see the local arts and craft work of totora (reed of the lake). The two islands close to Suriqui are easily accessible, after a short and pleasant crossing of the lake in shallow water surrounded by reeds. The remains of well preserved Inca burials can still be seen in Kalahuta.
The edges of the lake
On the edges of Titicaca lake, one can taste the delicious and fresly caught trucha (trout). For the inhabitants of La Paz, the small locality of Huatajata located on the edges of the lake, approximately 50km from the capital, is the favourite haunt for trout connoisseurs. The principal road connecting La Paz to Copacabana crosses Huatajata, where it is difficult to miss the village with its impressive number of small restaurants.
In Huatajata, it is possible to rent small boats for trips to the islands of Suriqui, Pariti and Kalahuta.
Gringos, be careful with the sun at 4000 meters altitude! if you do not want to turn red like a lobster or to peel like an onion after a cruising on the lake Titicaca, it is recommended to use a good sun lotion (total sun screen protection) and do not forget the hat!