Traditionally regarded as the highest navigable body of water in the world (though there are higher lakes in Chile and Peru), Lake Titicaca is immense: its dimensions measure 233km (145mi) from northwest to southeast and 97km (60mi) from northeast to southwest. The lake has an indented shoreline, 36 islands and exceptionally clear sapphire-blue water. Titicaca is revered by the Indians who live on its shores, and the Islas del Sol and Islas de la Luna, two islands in the lake, are the legendary sites of the Inca’s creation myths. The main town in the area is Copacabana, which has a sparkling white Moorish-style cathedral and is host to the Fiesta de la Virgen de Candelaria. Isla Suriqui is world-renowned for its totora reed boats, Isla Kalahuta for its stone tombs and Isla Incas is reputed in legend to have an underground network of passageways linking it to the old Inca capital of Cuzco in Peru.
Travelers should wear protective head gear around the lake because the thin air results in scorchingly high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Half of the lake lies within the borders of Peru; Puno is the principal settlement and main centre for excursions on the Peruvian shore of the lake.