One of the top tourist destinations in South America, Lake Titicaca is one of the top navigable lakes in the world. The body of water is a natural border between western Bolivia and southern Peru and features ancient ruins from both the Aymara and Inca civilizations that are hidden along the lake’s islands. Among its inhabitants are various indigenous communities that continue living the way they have for centuries. It’s a beautiful place and an amazing trip for anyone who wants to visit the historic Lake Titicaca. But before you book a flight, here are some tips so that you can have an amazing trip to the legendary region and experience all that Lake Titicaca offers:
How to get to Lake Titicaca
Don’t think you can book a flight directly to the Lake since its two main towns Copacabana and Puno don’t have their own airports. So you’ll have to fly into the nearest one, which is Aeropuerto Manco Capac in Juliaca, Peru. You’ll have to get here from a flight into one of the major cities, such as Cusco, Lima or Arequipa. Once you land in Aeropuerto Manco Capac, you can take a private bus to Lake Titicaca. There are numerous companies that offer this service, and there are also buses that run from La Paz in Bolivia to Copacabana regularly, too. Or you can easily get to the lake on the PeruRail train that goes between Cusco and Puno. The train route is called the Andean Explorer and is about a 10-hour train ride as it crosses the Peruvian high plain.
How To Get Around
When you’re at Lake Titicaca, the best way to travel around it is on a boat. Privately owned skiffs and tour boats can be found on the Peruvian side of the Lake, while you can hitch a boat ride on the Bolivian side, too. There are also buses that run along the side of the lake between Puno and Copacabana, but the journey will take you four hours and you’ll have to stop at customs. And if you’re only going a short distance, you can also take a taxi.
Things to do in Lake Titicaca
There’s a lot to do at Lake Titicaca. Many legends say that it’s actually the birthplace of the Ancient Inca civilization, so you’ll see lots of ruins along the shores and different islands on the Lake. You’ll definitely want to visit Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon) and Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) that are both on the Bolivian side of the Lake. The two islands feature some of the lake’s most impressive ancient ruins. On Peru’s side, you’ll want to check out Los Uros Islands, which are man-made islands that float and feature packed clay, village and totora reeds. You’ll see indigenous communities on the floating islands and be able to purchase their handcrafted items to take back home with you. You can also stay overnight with one of the local families and have a home cooked meal and dance later on in the evening.
A great time to go is during the Virgen de la Candelaria Festival that happens in the lakeside town of Puno in February. The festival features parades, traditional music, food and more!
Weather in Lake Titicaca
From November to April it’s summer and the temperatures are slightly warmer with the occasion rain. From May to October it’s winter and even though the days can be warm, the night temperatures can get very cold. But no matter when you go, pack a lot of sunscreen because of the high altitudes and strong rays from the sun. And because you’re so high up, altitude sickness can be a problem, so be sure to keep fully hydrated and get plenty of rest when you first arrive to allow your body to get acclimatized.
Contact us if you are interested in visiting Lake Titicaca and Puno. Here is one of our most popular tours that includes Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu.