Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake, sitting at an altitude of 3,800 metres on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
Its high elevation means spectacular sunrises and sunsets, silhouetting the distant mountains and reed islands in an array of colours. The Andeans believed that Titicaca was the birthplace of the sun and it’s easy to see why: the still cobalt waters seem to melt into the endless skies dappled with clouds and defined by the snow-capped Andes.
Visiting the lake is a highlight of holidays to Peru for its photographic opportunities and the chance to learn about the indigenous people and their floating homes. For a truly memorable trip, cross the border and visit the idyllic Sun and Moon islands on the Bolivian side of the lake before continuing your South American journey into Bolivia towards La Paz.
Lake Titicaca is home to one of Peru’s oldest indigenous communities, who build villages out of reeds and practice a traditional way of life that modern technologies haven’t infiltrated.
Visitors to the lake can visit the floating island of Uros, learning about the art of reed weaving and how the people here foster a sense of community.
The desolate altiplano that surrounds Lake Titicaca is home to many small villages and crumbling ruins, including the archaeological site of Sillustani.
Learn how local farmers harvest the checkerboard fields in between the high-altitude peaks by hand, dressed in shoes made of recycled truck tyres and traditional bowler hats; or, for a more immersive experience, visit during one of the riotous religious celebrations held in the villages around the lake, characterised by elaborate costumes and vibrant brass bands.
One of the most luxurious ways to arrive at Lake Titicaca is by train, on board the Belmond Andean Explorer from Cuzco.
The sleeper train is decorated in the style of Pullman trains of the 1920s and connects Lake Titicaca to the Inca capital, continuing onto Colca Canyon and Arequipa on a stunningly picturesque journey.