Lake Titicaca Bolivia - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Lake Titicaca Bolivia

Lake Titicaca Bolivia

Regarded as the highest navigable lake at 12,580ft (3,825m), Lake Titicaca covers 3,861 square miles (10,000 sq km) and is shared by Bolivia and Peru. It has clear water, numerous islands and most importantly a place in Inca history. The Indian people who live in settlements around the lake hold it, and its two islands, Islas del Sol (Island of the Sun) and Islas de la Luna (Island of the Moon), in high regard for they are the mythical sites of the creation of the Inca people. According to legend, the Sun God sent his son and daughter to earth to improve the way of life of the Andean people, and so they descended onto Islas del Sol and founded the Inca Empire. The main town in the area and base for exploring the islands, is Copacabana. Boats depart everyday to the islands from where there are stunning views across the lake to the snow-capped peaks of the Andean range, higher than 19,685ft (6,000m). The islands themselves are incredibly picturesque and the friendly local people have retained their traditional cultures and way of life. Fishermen sail by on handmade reed boats, llamas and alpacas are herded along the mountain paths to villages scattered on the hillsides. Of interest are a few Inca ruins, among them the Sun Temple and the Chincana complex on Islas del Sol, and Inca stairways. To spend a night on Islas del Sol in one of the pretty guesthouses, experiencing local hospitality, good food and a breathtaking sunset, is one of the highlights Lake Titicaca has to offer.

Information & Facts

Spanish is the official language, but only 60 to 70% of the people actually speak it, and then often only as a second language. The other main languages are Quechua and Aymar.

The official currency is the Boliviano (BOB), which is divided into 100 centavos, and is tied to the US Dollar. Money can be exchanged at exchange bureaux called casio de cambiosin the main centres, at banks and hotels. Banking facilities are good in the main cities and ATMs cater for Visa, Cirrus and MasterCard. Many hotels and other tourist-oriented institutions accept US Dollars. Major credit cards, including MasterCard, Diners, Visa and American Express, are accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and shops. Travellers cheques can be exchanged in casio de cambiosin the major cities and are best taken in US Dollars to avoid additional charges.

GMT -4.

Located on Lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol is a major tourist attraction and featuring more than 180 ruins dating back to the 15th century, it's not hard to see why. The rumoured birthplace of the Incan civilisation, Isla del Sol (meaning Island of the Sun) is named so because it is believed to be the birthplace Inti, the Incan god of the sun. Visit the Chincana complex on the north of the island, the site of the sacred rock where the Inca creation legend began, explore the island via the maze of elaborate walking trails (but watch out for altitude sickness) and meet the locals in the villages of Yumani and Cha'llapampa.

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