The water is a little too cold to swim in the highest navigable lake in the world, but there are plenty of other exciting things to do on Lake Titicaca. Meet islanders in villages where time has stood still. Discover ancient customs or join in on traditional celebrations. This lake has a magical atmosphere and is a great transition point for travelers between Peru and Bolivia. Lake Titicaca is a place to take in the views. Spend your time hiking, visiting islands, and strolling around. This is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The color of the water is deep blue, like the ocean. Its surface is silky and glistening. You can try to see the end of it, but it's impossible. On a clear day, you can't tell where the sky ends and the lake, and you can even see the Cordillera Real on this enormous lake's Bolivian side. Here are some top activities to do on Lake Titicaca.
Taquile is a very peaceful, agricultural island community. One of Titicaca's non-floating islands, Taquile is a peaceful place that sees fewer tourists than the Uros. Located 25–30km across the water from Puno, it lies just beyond the outer edge of the Gulf of Chucuito. Taquile is arguably the most attractive of the islands hereabouts, measuring about 1km by 7km. Significant amounts of ancient terracing produce horizontal striations along the steep-sided shores. Here, local people grow potatoes, corn, broad beans, and hardy quinoa, the region's main crops. Today, the island is still very traditional. There is no grid-connected electricity on the island, though there is a solar-powered community loudspeaker and a growing number of individual houses with solar lighting. The views are beautiful from this island. In the square, you can shop at the textile store. There is often a bit of music and dancing going on. The main attraction of Taquile is "Male Knitters," who have perfected their art while the women in the community take care of the traditional weaving.
Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru, with impressive sights on both shores. Amantani Island is another "fixed" island on Lake Titicaca. The villagers on Amantani Island take turns hosting travelers, opening their homes to visitors who participate in a homestay activity. This offers the perfect insight into the authentic Quechuan culture on the lake. Take the hike to the Pachatata for the sunset views of this impressive lake and an unparalleled feeling of remoteness that is not often experienced.
Kayaking is one of the few available water activities on Lake Titicaca. Kayaking on Titicaca is over a short distance. You can book a tour even if you have no paddling experience. Kayaking tours generally start at 8 am, or an alternative 10 am pick up from your accommodation in Puno. You will then take a short drive to Coya point, located on the north side of Puno where the kayaking companies are based. Here, you will get a safety briefing and a life jacket. You will spend about 2-3 hours on the water, paddling beside totora reeds where you can see waterbirds close up. With the stops in between, it is about 1.5-2 hours of actual kayaking at a leisurely pace.
There are only six hundred Uros people living on the islands these days, and a lot of the population is mixed-race, with Quechua and Aymara blood. When the Incas controlled the region, they considered the Uros so poor that the only tribute required was a section of hollow cane filled with lice. Life on the islands has undoubtedly never been easy, and the inhabitants must go some distance to find fresh water. The base of the reed islands rots so rapidly that new matting made of the totora has to be constantly added above. The floating Islands last around twelve to fifteen years, and it takes two months of communal work to start a new one. Visit these floating islands for incredible insight into the way of life of the Uros people.
Fishing activities used to be as important as agriculture for the subsistence of the people of Titicaca. Unfortunately, in 1940 extraneous fish species such as trout and catfish were introduced. These large fish have taken over the native small species. Today, overfishing has dramatically reduced the number of fish, and the few fishermen who still dare to go out to the lake now use fishing nets. Fishing the native Karachi fish has been a tradition for generations, and they are getting harder to catch due to their decreased numbers and other fishy predators. The fishermen leave at sunset to throw nets and return in the early morning to pick them up. Going out with these fishermen on Lake Titicaca is a beautiful adventure to appreciate the evening light on a magnificent lake and connect with the magic that emanates from it. This activity is ideal for travelers who love adventure and can withstand the cold of the Andes on a lake at 3800 meters above sea level.
While the Islands of Titicaca get a lot more attention, The peninsula villages on the mainland also depend on Titicaca and offer a more authentic experience of the world's highest navigable lake. Llachon, on the tip of the Capachica Peninsula, is a scenic, off-the-beaten-track destination. A small community will welcome you and be quickly introduced to an intensive cross-cultural experience. Observe their traditions and participate in an ancient ceremony to learn about their magical world. Then experience the preparation of "Pachamanca," a traditional way of cooking meat, fish, and potatoes using underground ovens - one of Peruvian cuisine's main dishes. Luquina is a small village on the Chucuito Peninsula of Lake Titicaca. This is a lesser visited village where traditions and lakeside life can be experienced at their most authentic. Have the opportunity to participate in their daily activities such as sheep grazing, working in the crops, or even learning to milk a cow.
Lake Titicaca has many activities on offer. Find out more here from one of our experienced Travel Designers to help you visit the highest navigable lake in the world.