Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It is one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world and, taking into consideration the volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America. The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department.

Lake Titicaca is fed by rainfall and melt water from glaciers on the sierras that abut the Altiplano. Five major river systems feed into Lake Titicaca: Ramis, Coata, Ilave, Huancané, and Suchez. More than 20 other smaller streams empty into Titicaca, and the lake has 41 islands, some of which are densely populated.

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma", allegedly because of its resemblance to the shape of a puma hunting a rabbit, combining words from the local languages Quechua and Aymara, and as well as translated as "Crag of Lead." Locally, the lake goes by several names. Because the southeast quarter of the lake is separate from the main body (connected only by the Strait of Tiquina), the Bolivians call it Lago Huiñaymarca and the larger part Lago Chucuito. In Peru, these smaller and larger parts are referred to as Lago Pequeño and Lago Grande, respectively.


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