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Titicaca - Isla del Sol y de la Luna
The Sacred Lake
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.
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. .
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..