Lake Titicaca is one of the most beautiful and mysterious places in America. Its waters bathe and conserve a predominantly indigenous population, who still keep the traditions of the Inca Empire.
Today, the place is one of the most emblematic places of the Inca culture, and its mysteries continue to amaze us.
On 2002, an expedition of divers from the navy and experts in Peruvian oceanography, discover remains of what could be a lost city. It said that it was built by a people predecessor to the Inca. Where? under the waters of Titicaca Lake.
Top Reason to go:
- Wild Rivers: Fantastic rapids and gorges make Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi Canyon the region’s best known kayaking and rafting spots.
- Folk Festivals: Whether it’s Carnival in Puno, Arequipa’s annual Anniversary or Semana Santa in Chivay, Peru’s culture is celebrated with more than 300 festive folkloric dances and brightly colored costumes.
- Wildlife: Llamas, vicuñas, and alpaca roam the Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca, giant Andean condor soar above Colca Canyon, and rare bird species nest at Lake Titicaca and in the coastal lagoons of Mejia.
- Shopping: Along with Arequipa’s alpaca stores, this region is also a mine of yarn, leather products, guitars, and antiques
- Floating Islands: On Lake Titicaca, made from the lake’s totora reeds, the series od Uros island float, providing residence to more than 3000 Aymara and Quechua inhabitants.
The Southern Coast:
Small fishing villages dot the vast desert coastline from Chala to the Chilean border. With fresh seafood and plenty of sun, coastal towns like Chala, Camana, and Mollendo buzz with people from December to MArch. Outside this time, the flat beaches, dramatic cliffs, and icy waters seem almost alone.
Colca & Cotahuasi Canyon:
Canyon country is dusty and dry, a place of striking geology, wildlife, and history. It’s also a playground for adventure sports lovers. Five hours northeast of Arequipa is Colca Canyon, the second deepest groge in the world. It’s home to the intense Rio Clca, 14 tiny villages, the giant Andean Condor, and great hiking. Nine hours away is Colca’s sister gorge, the world’s deepest canyon, Cotahuasi Canyon.
Arequipa is known as La ciudad Blanca or the white city for its dazzling white volcanic rock, which nearly all the Spanish – colonial buildings are constructed from. The most Spanish city in all of Peru, it’s also the most romantic one. Its home to Juanita the ice mummy, the Santa Catalina Monastery, and scores of museums.
Puno & Lake Titicaca:
Known as the folkloric capital of Peru, Puno´s annual festivals shine with elaborate costumes, music, and dancing in the streets. Puno has quality hotels and good restaurants, and it’s the jumping off point to lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake and the reason travelers come here. You can find outdoor adventures and unique island throughout the lake’s with more than 50 islands.
A good jumping off point is Arequipa. Acclimatize whiletaking in the sights, then head to the Colca Canyon Valley. The five hour drive travels over the Patapampa pass for views of the Valley of the Volcanoes. Through the Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca, where herds of wild vicuñas, llamas, and alpaca graze. At the canyon, you can go on a multi-day hike or relax at a resort, but nearly everyone comes to spy condors at Cruz del Condor. After, head back to Arequipa and on to Puno and Lake Titicaca where you can book an overnight island homestay, and visit the floating island and the Sillustani ruins. From Puno, some head to Bolivia while others go to Cusco by train, bus, or plane. Similarly, you can travel to Puno from Cusco and begin your exploration in the opposite direction.