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Index >  English > Bolivia > La Paz > Lago Titicaca - Isla del Sol y de la Luna

The Sacred Lake Titicaca

The Islands of the Sun and of the Moon

 

Lake Titicaca: At 3810 meters above sea level, this is the highest navigable lake in the world and the biggest fresh water lake in Latin America. It covers 8710 square kilometers, of which 5,260 square kilometers belong to Peru and 3,450 square kilometers belong to Bolivia. It extends from northwest to southeast with a length of 190 kilometers. At its broadest point it is 80 kilometers wide. A narrow canal separates the lake into to two bodies of water, the Minor Lake or “Huiñay Marca” and the Major Lake or “Chuchito”.
This lake offers a variety of fauna, principally ducks and fish, such as the suche, the capache, the pejerrey and the trucha, among others.
Its flora is represented by 12 varieties of aquatic plants, among which may be mentioned the cattail, the yana llacho and the water lentil. The lake has 36 islands, among the most important of which are Taquile and Amantani in Peru and the Islands of the the Sun and the Moon in Bolivian waters. The water temperature fluctuates between 10 and 12 degrees centigrade.

   

The Island of the Sun. During the pre-Hispanic period, this was an important religious settlement. In area it is 9.6 kilometers long and 4.6 kilometers wide. The places of major interest within the island are: PILCOCAINA, a center located in the south of the island and characterized by it gates and rooms of stone. The FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. Tens of steps from the period of the sons of the Sun, leading to the Fountain of the Incas, where water worship rites took place. Accounts from the past state that the place was the Fountain of Youth. CHINCANA. Passages and semi-subterranean tunnels of an Inca palace give the impression of forming a labyrinth in the northern part of the island. The FOOTPRINTS OF THE SUN. Legend recounts that after a great deluge the Sun was under the earth. When it arose towards the heavens, it left the mark of its footsteps. In reality, the footprints of the heavenly body are geological formations found on the surface of the island. The SACRED ROCK. A legend says that Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo took refuge in this rock, on which appear two human figures. .

 

   

Island of the Moon. Koatí, known more commonly as the Island of the Moon, is 7 kilometers from the Island of the Sun. On its northern part are ht ruins of Iñac Uyu, a temple for the worship of the Moon. It is also known as “Ajllawasi” or House of the Virgins of the Son..

 

 

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