Jan 16, 2008

Highest Commercially Navigable Lake in the World

On the borders of Peru and Bolivia lies Lake Titicaca, the highest commercially navigable lake in the world (3,820m./12,532 ft.).

With a surface area of approximately 8,300 square kilometres (3,204 miles2) Titicaca is South America's largest freshwater lake. It is magical, sacred and serene and the most beautiful lake I have ever seen.

The water of Titicaca has an amazing dark cobalt blue color. Wonderful islands such as the Floating Islands and the Island of the Sun are scattered throughout the tranquil lake and can be visited from the nearby towns of Puno and Copacabana.

Lake Titicaca has long been considered a sacred place among indigenous Andean peoples. In touch with the spirit of Mama Qota, or Sacred Mother, they believe that powerful spirits live in the lake's depths.

According to Andean legend, Lake Titicaca was the birthplace of civilization. Viracocha, the creator deity, lightened a dark world by
having the sun, moon, and stars rise from the lake to occupy their places in the sky.

Worthy of such mystical associations, Lake Titicaca is a dazzling sight. Its deep azure waters seemingly extend forever across the altiplano, under the monstrously wide sky at an elevation of more than (3,820m./12,532 ft.). The lake covers more than 8,500 sq. km (3,315 sq. miles); it is 176km (109 miles) long and 50km (31 miles) wide.

The sun is extraordinarily intense at this altitude, scorching off 600 cubic meters of water per second. Daybreak and sunset are particularly stunning to witness.

Check out some of these wonderful budget hostels at the shores of Lake Titicaca in Puno (Peru) and Copacabana (Bolivia). Or try these wonderful hotels in Puno (Peru) and Copacabana.

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