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TOUR THE LAKE TITICACA AREA OF PERU
Lake Titicaca is considered the highest navigable lake in the world and is situated on the border between southern Peru and the northern border of Bolivia. The Peruvian town of PUNO sits on the northern border of the lake and most of the hotels in the town boast of spectacular lake views. Be sure and ask for a lake-view room. A little to the north, in Peru, the town of Juliaca has an airport, and is the air flight connection between the Lake Titicaca area and Lima, Cusco, or Arequippa as well. Daily tourist buses connect Cusco to Puno and the lake, and there is also a Peru rail service that connects Cusco to Puno. The typical tour to Lake Titicaca is usually two or three nights, however, longer tours are available with lake crossings by boat across the lake to Bolivia. On the Peruvian side of the lake you can see the fascinating floating villages of Uros as well as the colorful island village of Taquile. Historians trace the mythical origins of the Inca Empire to the this area of the lake, called the Sun and Moon Islands. Visitors should keep in mind that the altitude here at the lake is high, above 12,000 feet above sea level....even higher than Cusco.
To the south of Cuzco, lie the ruins of Piquillacta, and the beautiful colonial Andahuay lillas Church (named the Peruvian Sistine Chapel). Further south is the "Sacred Valley of the Incas" which is filled with colorful Andean villages and several hotels. One of these villages is Pisac, with its stately ruins and colorful Indian Market Fair and the famous Ollantaytambo Inca Fortress. Picchu, called the "Lost City of the Incas", was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, and is actually lower than Cuzco. The beautifully preserved ruins consist of an enormous stone city hidden by a spectacular terraced green mountain plateau surrounded by three towering peaks.