It’s hard to imagine just how gigantic Lake Titicaca really is until you see it for yourself. Half in Bolivia and half in Peru, Titicaca sits at 12,500 feet above sea level, making it the world’s largest high-altitude lake. Once you set eyes on the remarkably calm, mirror-clear expanse, it’s not difficult to understand why this unique, incomparable place was so highly venerated by the Inca people. The Incas believed that these waters birthed the first two of their kind, Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, who would go on to found the empire’s capital, Cusco.
Several different communities still make their home on the lake. Arguably the most intriguing community here is the Uros, who live on floating totora-reed islands that are built and maintained entirely by hand. Hugging the shores of the lake is the larger Puno settlement, which explodes into color in February for the Virgen del Candelabra Festival and Carnaval.
If you plan on visiting Lake Titicaca during one of Kuoda’s customized tours of Bolivia or Peru, consider bedding down on the privately owned island of Suasi, where a secluded solar-powered lodge offers stunning lake views.