Sitting high up in the Andes at 3811 metres above sea level lies the world’s largest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. The lake, which is South America’s largest by volume, straddles Peru and Bolivia, creating an odd border between the two countries. A border which has prompted a land locked country to possess a naval post and challenged the likes of marathon swimmer, Lynne Cox, to embrace the cold waters and swim between the two countries.
Lake Titicaca with is 41 islands, is also steeped in old civilizations the most common being the Incas. Many believe this is the birthplace of the Inca nation and understandably so because you will find ruins all over the lake and their islands. Archaeologists have even found many remnants of lost cities in the lake and in 1966 they found a paved road that could be possibly linked to the Inca trails of Machu Pichu. Inca mythology also alludes to the lake giving rise to the sun, the moon and the stars.
The lake is home to the floating islands of the Uros people, descendants of an even older civilisation that once fled the Incas by taking to the waters. These people have made the lake their permanent home by building 2 metre thick island platforms made from the totora reed. As a matter of fact everything on the island is made from the woven reed, the houses, the rafts, the furniture, even the outhouses!! The lake has an archipelago of some 60 odd islands, each belonging to a family group. Even though facilities are basic many have embraced modern amenities like solar panels and one island even has a radio station. Talk about sustainable living!!