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Straddling Bolivia and Peru, the massive, azure body of Lake Titicaca sits at a lofty 12,500 feet in the middle of the arid Altiplano (high plain). It's the largest high-altitude mass of water in the world and, set against snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real, is one of Earth's most spectacular lakes. Lake Titicaca is of great spiritual significance to people of the Andes. The Incas believed that the sun and moon were born here; visits to the islands — Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna — are highlights. Traditional Aymaran lakeshore villages, ancient archaeological sites, island boat trips, superlative trout dishes and ancient legends ...

Straddling Bolivia and Peru, the massive, azure body of Lake Titicaca sits at a lofty 12,500 feet in the middle of the arid Altiplano (high plain). It's the largest high-altitude mass of water in the world and, set against snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Real, is one of Earth's most spectacular lakes. Lake Titicaca is of great spiritual significance to people of the Andes. The Incas believed that the sun and moon were born here; visits to the islands — Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna — are highlights. Traditional Aymaran lakeshore villages, ancient archaeological sites, island boat trips, superlative trout dishes and ancient legends provide a magical experience for any traveler. The quaint, but touristy, village of Copacabana is well worth a visit for the superlative lake views alone. Thousands of pilgrims flock here to visit the Virgen de Copacabana (be aware that during the main fiestas in February and August overzealous revelers can cause havoc, and crime increases). Winter solstice and Aymara New Year are also celebrated at two ancient sites on the edge of town.

Kate Armstrong
About the Expert

Kate Armstrong is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Bolivia, South America on a Shoestring, Mexico, Greece, and South Africa.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: on the border of Bolivia and Peru
  • Language: Quechua, Spanish, Aymara
  • Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time — but avoid festivals when the town is inundated and crime increases.