Lake Titicaca is one of the world’s most famous bodies of water, and it holds several records. First and foremost, it is the world’s highest lake that is considered navigable (its surface level is at 12,507 feet in elevation). It is also the largest and deepest body of fresh water in South America. Finally it is one of the coldest major freshwater lakes in the world.
The area around Lake Titicaca was probably first inhabited by early man sometime in the 4th millennium BC. Evidence of fishing and farming cultures around the lake dates back thousands of years, culminating in the Incan era. During the colonial era the lake became an important trading center, and European countries managed to establish several steamships there in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Lake Titicaca is a nearly isolated lake, with only one inflow and one outflow which are not active year-round. Because of this, as well as the lake’s size, depth and altitude, it supports one of the world’s most unique ecosystems. There are over five hundred aquatic species here, many of which can not be found anywhere else.
Lake Titicaca is well known (thanks in part to its name, beloved by snickering school children the world over). Despite this, and despite its uniqueness, its isolation makes it a relatively difficult place to visit. Those who do get here get to enjoy the lake, its ecology and its culture in relative solitude. Web: www.laketiticaca.com (official website).