4 star rating: Recommended 11 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 6 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 1 Review

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
The Highlight of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands Half-Day Tour, Puno, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

The Highlight of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands Half-Day Tour

The highlight of Lake Titicaca, the Uros Islands, are a small group of handmade floating surfaces in the lake. The locals use a natural reed that grows around ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $13.50
Private Full-Day Tour to Titicaca Lake and Copacabana Village from La Paz, La Paz, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Full-Day Tour to Titicaca Lake and Copacabana Village from La Paz

Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, located at 3856 meters above sea level. Its shores and small islands are home to the Aymara and Quechua ...  Read more

Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $220.00
Private Tour: Taquile and Uros Islands by Kayak and Motorboat from Puno, Puno, Private Sightseeing ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour: Taquile and Uros Islands by Kayak and Motorboat from Puno

Join this amazing private 10-hour kayak and culture adventure from Puno. Kayak about 6 mi/10 km from the peninsula of Capachica to Taquile where you'll enjoy ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $213.00
Uros and Taquile Islands Day Trip from Puno, Puno, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Uros and Taquile Islands Day Trip from Puno

4.5 star rating: Recommended 23 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 $106.99
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 1 Review

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 $248.75
Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island, Puno, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Day Tour of the Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Explore the highest navigable lake in the world during this guided, daylong tour to Peru's Lake Titicaca. Visit the stunning scenery on a visit to the Uros ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: Flexible

From USD $128.00
Lake Titicaca Day Tour, Arequipa, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Lake Titicaca Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 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
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 1 Review

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

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