For many travelers, witnessing the breathtaking glistening waters of Lake Titicaca (whether from its Peruvian or Bolivian shores) is a highlight of their trip to South America. Blessed with some astonishing archaeological sites and rich cultural heritage, the lake, often explored from the nearby city of Puno, has some spectacular sights that cannot be missed. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 5 Lake Titicaca attractions:
The top tourist attraction at Lake Titicaca is a visit to the infamous man-made floating islands. The Uros people make their homes out of these reeds, and a visit to the islands will give you a glimpse of their daily life and the impressive structures that have built. There are over 40 floating islands on Lake Titicaca.
Found on the Peruvian side of the lake, Taquile Island is a popular place to experience a traditional homestay. Visitors are monitored by village elders, and locals take pride in welcoming travelers into their homes and showing them their traditional food and way of life.
On the Bolivian side you’ll find Lake Titicaca’s largest island. You can visit the Gold Museum, home to many Inca artifacts, and the Fountain of Youth. Boats arrive to the island each day, though they are some great accommodations for those who want to stay a night and witness the Lake’s most impressive view from the top.
The most important festival in Puno, the Peruvian city on the shores of Lake Titicaca, La Candelaria is a Catholic feast in honor of the Virgin Mary. Full of music, food, dance, parades and traditional attire, this folkloric festivity begins in early February and last for about two weeks.
The pre-Inca Sillustani ruins are located near Lake Titicaca, 32 kilometers (20 miles) northeast of Puno. The ruins comprise of 28 stone burial towers, called chullpas, overlooking Lake Umayo. Many historians suggest that the tall cylindrical tombs served as status symbols for the deceased elite and their families. Research believes that they were commonly filled with fine foods, crafts, jewels, and other exquisite worldly possessions.
Serene, sacred, and steeped in rich cultures past and present, visiting these beautiful Lake Titicaca attractions give you the chance to explore lesser-known Inca ruins, the birthplace of Incan culture, and immerse yourself amongst the colorful traditions of various local communities living on the lake’s islands and shores.
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