Titicaca Lake (Bolivia / Peru)
If just the pronunciation of its name it is make smile, for others, it testifies to the greatness of a place and furniture of the unconscious ancestral legends. It a fact, Titicaca Lake has repeatedly captive. It easy qualifies highest navigable lake in the world, but that would deny many other island seas of sizes or depths less. Testified by the not far and shy Junin Lake which it is based at 4100 meters…
Titicaca Lake has all as the big blue. Nothing is missing, but just the salt smell. The sun is hot, but the weather is rude, and the freshness felt. The temperatures oscillate between -7ºC and 20ºC. The lake gets warm as the weather of the area. Without its presence, in this kind of altitude, the men cannot settle.
In the coasts of Titicaca Lake, at 3860 m of altitude, is the Peruvian coast, Puno, a town that captivates and enchants with its estrange magnetism that seems to spring from the mountains, sea-like lake and its people, descendant of the strong Aymara people who dominated the Andes.
In the Bolivian coast, it is Copacabana, not to confuse with the popular Brazilian beach…
With the expansion of the Inca Empire, the area of Titicaca Lake was dominated by men of the Tiahuanaco culture, the greater representation of developing Aymara, demonstrated by the archaeological remains found in the region.
The legend tell us that from the waters of Titicaca emerged Manco Capac, the first Inca, to establish his empire how the Sun King had commanded him.
Titicaca Lake is the birthplace of the legendary Son of the Sun.
The lake is named after the rock Khar’ka Titi (meaning in Aymara ‘Rock of the Puma’), located on the Island of the Sun. Another hypothesis is Titijaya name meaning ‘stone puma’ in reference to the cougars drowned and transformed into a stone by an Aymara legend.
In the areas where the depth exceeds 25 meters the water is blue and the shallower it is the color green diaphanous that gives aquatic plants.
‘Isla del Sol’ (‘Island of the Sun’), Bolivian side, is the true center of Inca mythology.
The most populated island are Isla del Sol with 5000 inhabitants, Amantani with over 400 people and Tequila with about 3500 inhabitants, the latter two being on the Peruvian side.
Each of them deserves a visit of several days if you can…
The local population is Quechua and Aymara.
A local legend claims that the first native inhabitants of the region had six fingers and he called Uros. Today, we call The Uros people who live on floating islands. These are made from reeds and became a floting tourist stage almost mandatory, which allows residents to live, in this part, of tourism.
In fact, the last real Indian Uros died in 1959 and the occupants of the islands are from Aymara people who cling since a lot of time the bordering lands of Titicaca Lake. The Aymara will grow the quinoa, plant cultivated for its seeds, rich in protein and for raise llamas.
They cross the lake in their boats in totora (woven cane).