4.5 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

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  • Address: Puno, Peru

Puno ATTRACTIONS See all

Lake Titicaca

Sweet, clear and a deep diaphanous blue, Lake Titicaca shimmers above South America at 3,812 meters (12,507 feet), the highest navigable lake in the world. It is considered the spiritual homeland of the Andean peoples and its 41 starkly beautiful islands are topped with traditional villages and ancient stone ruins that echo with myths and legends. Beneath fiery streaked sunset skies reflected in these luminous waters, cradled by snowcapped mountains, it can be difficult to refute such tales completely.

Lake Titicaca is thought to be the birthplace of the Andean peoples, where the Creator God Viracocha first summoned the sun, moon and first human beings from what is now called Isla del Sol. The Incas, Aymaras, Uros, and countless other indigenous nations thus hold this lake sacred.

While the lake is scattered with fine old Catholic churches, the old ways remain and traditional dances continue to honor the older gods. Part of the lake is protected as Titicaca National Reserve, with some 60 species of bird, such as the endemic Titcaca Grebe; 14 species of fish, many of them foreign and gradually displacing natives such as orestias, now thought to be extinct; and 18 amphibians, including endemic Titicaca water frogs that can weigh in at 3kg (7lbs).

The origins of the lake remain rather mysterious to geologists, but most believe that it is a tectonic rift, formed about 60 million years ago and subsequently filled with water during various ice ages. The remarkable color seems characteristic of its 284-meter (932-foot) depths. Two almost separate basins, the larger called Lago Grande (“Big Lake,” in Quechua, “Chucuito”), the smaller Lago Pequeno (“Small Lake,” in Quechua “Huinaymarca”), are connected by the narrow Strait of Tiquina. Some 25 rivers pour into Titicaca, but only one drains it; most water is lost to evaporation in the high desert air.

Today, the lake is divided between Peru and Bolivia, which bookend its beauty with the small cities of Puno and Copacabana respectively. Both are fine bases to explore the amazing islands, replete with hotels, restaurants, tour operators and other services. A few of the islands also offer lodging, though some restrict tourists to homestays and locally operated tours.

Though Titicaca is one of South America’s most popular destinations, is not the easiest place to visit. Altitude sickness can inhibit even the healthiest travelers; try to acclimate yourself somewhere such as Cuzco for a few days before attempting any sort of exertion here. Average temperatures rarely rise above 15°C (59°F), and it can drop below freezing even in summer months. The sun is fierce despite the cool wind, fooling travelers into going without sunscreen and hats; several are hospitalized with severe sunburns every week. Come prepared!

Tours & Tickets

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Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat, Puno, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat

4.5 star rating: Recommended 50 Reviews

Full day tours to Uros and Taquile on fast boat. Enjoy a beautiful day on Lake Titicaca visiting the two most impressive islands on there. Transfers, entrances ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $92.00
Uros Kayaking and Taquile Island Day Tour, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros Kayaking and Taquile Island Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

On this amazing day tour, go kayaking on Lake Titicaca up to the Uros floating islands. Explore the islands and continue on to Taquile Island by boat. Get to ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $136.00
Uros and Taquile Islands Day Trip from Puno, Puno, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Uros and Taquile Islands Day Trip from Puno

4.5 star rating: Recommended 487 Reviews

Discover two of Lake Titicaca’s famous islands on this full-day tour from Puno. Embark on a cultural journey and explore the islands of Uros and Taquile, and ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $109.99
Full Day Tour: Uros and Taquile Islands on the Titicaca Lake from Puno, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Full Day Tour: Uros and Taquile Islands on the Titicaca Lake from Puno

4 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

Uros floating Islands on the Titicaca Lake is located on the shores of Puno. Home to the legendary Uros people, who live on the floating reed islands and the ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $55.00
Lake Titicaca Day Tour, Arequipa, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Lake Titicaca Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Visit Taquile Island where you will see an indigenous community that has conserved its original traditions and organization. And in addition make a stop at the ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $35.00
Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

This small-group day tour to Lake Titicaca will take you on a visit to the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island. Visit the highest navigable lake in the ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $128.00
Sun Island Full Day Tour from Puno, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Sun Island Full Day Tour from Puno

Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) is an island in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. It is part of the modern State of Bolivia and is part of the La Paz ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $562.25
Uros Floating Islands Half Day Tour from Puno, Puno, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Uros Floating Islands Half Day Tour from Puno

Experience Lake Titicaca in this amazing half day adventure. Along the journey you will feel the sensation of sailing on the highest lake in the world. Here ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $187.50
Lake Titicaca and Sun Island Catamaran Cruise from Puno, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Lake Titicaca and Sun Island Catamaran Cruise from Puno

4 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

Explore Lake Titicaca on a full-day catamaran cruise from Puno! First, travel across the border into Bolivia where you'll board a catamaran that will take you ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $298.99
Private Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

This private day tour to Lake Titicaca will take you and your group only on a visit to the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island. Don't miss the ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $248.00

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