What To Do At Lake Titicaca and How To Get There
What to Do at Lake Titicaca
With some much to see and experience, it’s hard to know where to start exploring! Here are our recommendations of what to do at Lake Titicaca.
1. The Uros Islands
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.
2. Taquile Island
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.
3. Island of the Sun
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.
4. Experience La Candelaria
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.
5. Visit the Sillustani Ruins
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.
How to Get to Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca can easily be reached by bus, train, or plane. Because the lake is so large, it is best to determine what you want to see and decide if you should enter from the Peruvian or Bolivian side. Puno is the city on the Peruvian side, and Copacabana is the access city on the Bolivian side.
Buses arrive to the cities of Puno and Copacabana multiple times per day from other major cities in each country (the most frequent being from Cusco, Lima or Arequipa in Peru and from La Paz in Bolivia).
For those interested in taking the train, you can take a train from the cities of Cusco and Arequipa to Puno. (The train from Cusco to Puno can easily be booked in conjunction with your train to Machu Picchu.)
For travelers who prefer to fly, the closest airport is the Juliaca airport. Juliaca is a small town on the Peruvian side, about 44 km from Puno. From here, you can take a taxi or bus to Puno city center. Flights from Cusco are only one hour, and arrive direct twice daily.
There is no nearby airport on the Bolivian side, and flights from Bolivia will need to connect through Lima, Peru (usually taking 5 hours from La Paz).
Once at the lake, there are many boats that can take you to the attractions and destinations above. You can easily book these before when planning your itinerary, or upon arrival.
Serene, sacred, and steeped in rich cultures past and present, the beautiful Lake Titicaca is easily one of South America’s most impressive destinations. Enjoy a trip exploring lesser-known Inca ruins, the birthplace of Incas and Incan culture, and immerse yourself amongst the colorful traditions of various local communities living on the lake’s islands and shores. This is everything you need to know about Lake Titicaca to get started planning a trip you won’t forget. Contact Us to get started!