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‘Lake Titicaca, Peru’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

From Morroco, we move to another time, another continent and another country- Peru.

During my visit 4 years back to the far away Peru with Adventure Co, UK, , Machu Picchu citadel was the the most fascinating place that I visited. Another place that was amazing in its tranquility was the lake Titicaca. It is a lake in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America. Its surface elevation is : 3,812 m or 12,500 ft. It covers an area of: 8,372 km² and is 80 kms wide. The main islands in the lake are: Isla del Sol, Taquile Island, Amantaní, Isla de la Luna, Uros, Santa Maria  and Suriqui.

We visited the lake in a motor boat and after a two hour boat ride from Puno, the city adjoining it in Peru.  We reached the largest of about 40 islands – the island of Santa María. These are no ordinary islands as these are made and re-made from the totora reeds which provide home, sustenance and transportation for their residents.

 A traditional way of life can also be found among the Uru  group of Lake Titicaca-dwelling people. The Uru live on 44 artificial floating islands made out of the reeds that grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake. The larger islands are home to ten families or more, while the smaller ones – which are just under 100 feet (30 m) wide – are home to perhaps only two or three families.

The Incas consider Lake Titicaca as  their place of origin, as it is here the god Viracocha is said to have arisen to create the world. According to Incan mythology, he also made the sun, moon and stars rise.

lake_titicaca_map-wiki-420-60-jpg(Sketch source: Wikipedia)

p1230798-420-70-jpgA helpful map at the island of Santa Maria.

p1230826-420-70-jpgIncome from tourism is the mainstay of these people. This has also resulted in making the place a bit touristy.

p1230807-420-85-jpgQuite interestingly, while the women here do embroidery, knitting of woolens is the done by the males.

p1230815-420-70-jpgThe visitors are subjected to the usual sales talk.p1230809-420-70-jpg

p1230806-420-70-jpgThe new dresses and their flashy colours too look a bit unreal.

p1230794-420-70-jpgThis is a fish roasting process.


p1230782-420-50-jpgThe motor boats and the traditional straw boats are co-existing, presnting a nice contrast but also indicative of the change that has taken place.


 Some of the straw boats are quite eye-catching.


Our super efficient and knowledgeable Group Leader Nila Soto* (in turquoise sweater) talked to the residents in their language and helped us understand the place better.


*Nila J. Soto Santiago, Tour Manager & Official Tour Guide, Engishs-Italian-Portugues;; cel. ++511999650951

Photos, text & copyright: K.J.S.Chatrath

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One Response to “‘Lake Titicaca, Peru’ by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Sukhdev Bedi says:

    An interesting insight into the Peruvian culture and its traditions.

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