Lake Titicaca
Overview
 
Lake Titicaca is a lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 located on the border of Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. By volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 (Lake Maracaibo
Lake Maracaibo
Lake Maracaibo is a large brackish bay in Venezuela at . It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait at the northern end, and fed by numerous rivers, the largest being the Catatumbo. It is commonly considered a lake rather than a bay or lagoon, and at 13,210 km² it would be the...

 has a larger surface area, but it is often disregarded as it is directly connected to the sea).
The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheic
Endorheic
An endorheic basin is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other bodies of water such as rivers or oceans...

 Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

 basin high in the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
Encyclopedia
Lake Titicaca is a lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 located on the border of Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

. It sits 3,811 m (12,500 ft) above sea level, making it the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. By volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 (Lake Maracaibo
Lake Maracaibo
Lake Maracaibo is a large brackish bay in Venezuela at . It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait at the northern end, and fed by numerous rivers, the largest being the Catatumbo. It is commonly considered a lake rather than a bay or lagoon, and at 13,210 km² it would be the...

 has a larger surface area, but it is often disregarded as it is directly connected to the sea).

Overview

The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheic
Endorheic
An endorheic basin is a closed drainage basin that retains water and allows no outflow to other bodies of water such as rivers or oceans...

 Altiplano
Altiplano
The Altiplano , in west-central South America, where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth outside of Tibet...

 basin high in the Andes
Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

 on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region
Puno Region
Puno is a region in southeastern Peru. It is bordered by Bolivia on the east, the Madre de Dios Region on the north, the Cusco and Arequipa regions on the west, the Moquegua Region on the southwest, and the Tacna Region on the south...

 of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department
La Paz Department (Bolivia)
The La Paz Department of Bolivia comprises with a 2001 census population of 2,350,466 inhabitants. It is situated at the western border of Bolivia, sharing Lake Titicaca with Peru. It contains the mighty Cordillera Real that reaches altitudes of . Northeast of the Cordillera Real are the Yungas,...

.
The lake is composed of two nearly separate sub-basins that are connected by the Strait of Tiquina
Strait of Tiquina
The Strait of Tiquina is the passage that connects the larger and smaller parts of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.-Geography:The strait is across at its narrowest point. It joins the upper lake, Lago Chicuito, and the lower lake, Lago Pequeno, or "little lake". The entire lake is called Lake Titicaca...

 which is 800 m (2,624.7 ft) across at the narrowest point. The larger sub-basin, Lago Grande (also called Lago Chucuito) has a mean depth of 135 m (443 ft) and a maximum depth of 284 m (932 ft). The smaller sub-basin, Wiñaymarka
Wiñaymarka
Wiñaymarka Lake is the southern branch of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and Peru.- External links :*...

 (also called Lago Pequeño, "little lake") has a mean depth of 9 m (30 ft) and a maximum depth of 40 m (131 ft). The overall average depth of the lake is 107 m (351 ft).

Five major river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 systems feed into Lake Titicaca. In order of their relative flow volumes these are 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.

Having only a single season of free circulation, the lake is monomictic
Monomictic
Monomictic lakes are holomictic lakes that mix from top to bottom during one mixing period each year. Monomictic lakes may be subdivided into Cold and Warm types.-Cold monomictic lakes:...

, and water passes through Lago Huiñaimarca and flows out the single outlet at the Rio Desaguadero
Desaguadero River (Bolivia)
The Desaguadero River in Peru and Bolivia is the river that drains Lake Titicaca. It exits the lake at the southern part of the river basin, it flows south and drains approximately five percent of the lake's flood waters into Lake Uru Uru and Lake Poopó....

, which then flows south through Bolivia to Lake Poopó. This only accounts for about 10% of the lake's water balance
Water balance
In hydrology, a water balance equation can be used to describe the flow of water in and out of a system. A system can be one of several hydrological domains, such as a column of soil or a drainage basin....

. Evapotranspiration
Evapotranspiration
Evapotranspiration is a term used to describe the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration from the Earth's land surface to atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies...

, caused by strong winds and intense sunlight at altitude, balances the remaining 90% of the water input. It is nearly a closed lake.

Since 2000 Lake Titicaca has experienced constantly receding water levels. Between April and November 2009 alone the water level has sunk by 81 cm and has now reached the lowest level since 1949. This drop is caused by shortened raining seasons and the melting of glaciers feeding the tributaries of the lake.

Temperature

The cold sources and winds over the lake give it an average surface temperature of 10 to 14 °C (50 to 57.2 F). In the winter (June–September), mixing occurs with the deeper waters, which are always between 10 to 11 °C (50 to 51.8 F).

Name

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma," as local communities have traditionally interpreted the shape of the lake to be that of a puma hunting a rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

. "Titicaca" combines words from the local languages Quechua and Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

. The word is also 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
Strait of Tiquina
The Strait of Tiquina is the passage that connects the larger and smaller parts of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.-Geography:The strait is across at its narrowest point. It joins the upper lake, Lago Chicuito, and the lower lake, Lago Pequeno, or "little lake". The entire lake is called Lake Titicaca...

), 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.

Ecology

Lake Titicaca holds large populations of water birds and was designated as a Ramsar Site on August 26, 1998. Several threatened species
Threatened species
Threatened species are any speciesg animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future.The World Conservation Union is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories,...

 such as the huge Titicaca Water Frog and the flightless Titicaca Grebe are largely or entirely restricted to the lake, and the Titicaca Orestias
Titicaca Orestias
The Titicaca Orestias , also known by its native name Amanto, is an extinct freshwater killifish from the genus Orestias, a group of fish which is endemic to the Lake Titicaca and other Altiplano lakes in the Andes...

 has gone extinct due to competition and predation by various introduced
Introduced species
An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...

 species of trout
Trout
Trout is the name for a number of species of freshwater and saltwater fish belonging to the Salmoninae subfamily of the family Salmonidae. Salmon belong to the same family as trout. Most salmon species spend almost all their lives in salt water...

s and silversides
Neotropical silversides
The neotropical silversides are a family Atherinopsidae of fish in the order Atheriniformes. The approximately 104 species in 13 genera are distributed throughout the tropical and temperate waters of the New World, including both marine and freshwater habitats...

.

Geology

The Tinajani Basin, in which Lake Titicaca lies, is an intermontane basin. This basin is pull apart basin created by strike-slip movement along regional faults starting in the late Oligocene
Oligocene
The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present . As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the period are slightly...

 and ending latest Miocene
Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

. The initial development of the Tinajani Basin is indicated by volcanic rock
Volcanic rock
Volcanic rock is a rock formed from magma erupted from a volcano. In other words, it is an igneous rock of volcanic origin...

s, which accumulated between 27 and 19 million years ago within this basin. They lie upon an angular unconformity
Unconformity
An unconformity is a buried erosion surface separating two rock masses or strata of different ages, indicating that sediment deposition was not continuous. In general, the older layer was exposed to erosion for an interval of time before deposition of the younger, but the term is used to describe...

 cuts across pre-basin strata
STRATA
Strata Marketing Inc. is a Chicago, Illinois-based software company involved in connecting media buyers and sellers. It is owned by Comcast. As of 2010, it processes about $50 billion worth of media buys annually.-History:...

. Lacustrine
Lacustrine
Lacustrine means "of a lake" or "relating to a lake".Specifically, it may refer to:*Lacustrine plain*Lacustrine delta-Fish:*Lacustrine goby , a type of small fish found in Philippine waters belonging to the Gobiidae family, known in Tagalog as dulong-See also:*Fluvial - of or relating a...

 sediment
Sediment
Sediment is naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself....

s of the Lower Tinajani Formation, which are exposed within the Tinajani Basin, demonstrate the presence of a pre-Quaternary, ancestral Lake Titicaca within it between 18 and 14 million years ago. Little is known about the prehistory of Lake Titicaca between 14 million years ago and 370,000 BP because the lake sediments dating to this period lie buried beneath the bottom of Lake Titicaca and have not yet been sampled by continuous coring.

The Lake Titicaca drilling project recovered a 136-m-long drill core
Core sample
A core sample is a cylindrical section of a naturally occurring substance. Most core samples are obtained by drilling with special drills into the substance, for example sediment or rock, with a hollow steel tube called a core drill. The hole made for the core sample is called the "core hole". A...

 of sediments from the bottom of Lake Titicaca at a depth of 235 m and at a location just east of Isla del Sol. This core contains a continuous record of lake sedimentation and paleoenvironmental conditions for Lake Titicaca back to about 370,000 BP. For this period of time, Lake Titicaca was typically fresher and had higher lake levels during periods of expanded regional glaciation that corresponded to global glacial period
Glacial period
A glacial period is an interval of time within an ice age that is marked by colder temperatures and glacier advances. Interglacials, on the other hand, are periods of warmer climate within an ice age...

s. During periods of reduced regional glaciation that corresponded to global interglacial
Interglacial
An Interglacial period is a geological interval of warmer global average temperature lasting thousands of years that separates consecutive glacial periods within an ice age...

 periods, Lake Titicaca had typically low lake levels.

Lacustrine sediments and associated terrace
Terrace
A terrace may refer to:*Terrace , a leveled surface*Terrace , a raised flat platform*Terrace , a step-like landform that borders a shoreline or river floodplain...

s provide evidence for the past existence of five major prehistoric lakes that occupied the Tinajani Basin during the Pliocene
Pliocene
The Pliocene Epoch is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5.332 million to 2.588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch...

 and Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

. Within the northern Altiplano (Tinajani Basin), these prehistoric lakes were Lake Mataro at an elevation of 3,950 m, Lake Cabana at an elevation of 3,900 m, Lake Ballivián at an elevation of 3,860 m, Lake (North) Minchin at an elevation of 3,825 m, and Lake (North) Tauca at an elevation 3,815 m. The age of Lake Mataro is uncertain and may be as old as Late Pliocene. Lake Cabana possibly dates to the Middle Pleistocene. Lake Ballivián existed between 120,000 and 98,000 BP. Two high lake stands, between 72,000 - 68,000 BP and 44,000 - 34,000 BP, have been discerned for Lake Minchin within the Altiplano. The high lake levels of Lake Tauca have been dated as having occurred between 18,100 and 14,100 BP.

Climate

Lake Titicaca has an Alpine climate
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

 with cool to cold temperatures for most of the year. The average annual precipitation is 610 mm. Winters are dry with very cold nights and mornings and warm afternoons. Below is the average temperatures of the town Juliaca in the northern part of the lake.

Uros

Titicaca is notable for a population of people who live on the Uros
Uros
The Uros are a pre-Incan people who live on forty-two self-fashioned floating islands in Lake Titicaca Puno, Peru and Bolivia. They form three main groups: Uru-Chipayas, Uru-Muratos and the Uru-Iruitos...

, a group of 44 or so artificial island
Artificial island
An artificial island or man-made island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means...

s made of floating reeds (totora
Totora (plant)
Totora is a subspecies of the giant bulrush sedge. It is found in South America - notably on Lake Titicaca, the middle coast of Perú and on Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean...

, a reed that abounds in the shallows of the lake).
These islands have become a major tourist attraction for Peru, drawing excursions from the lakeside city of Puno
Puno
Puno is a city in southeastern Peru, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It is the capital city of the Puno Region and the Puno Province with a population of approximately 100,000. The city was established in 1668 by viceroy Pedro Antonio Fernández de Castro as capital of the province of...

. Their original purpose was defensive, and they could be moved if a threat arose. Many of the islands contain watchtowers largely constructed of reeds.

Amantaní

Amantaní
Amantaní
Amantaní is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. According to a 1988 census, it has a population of 3,663 Quechua speakers divided among about 800 families. The island is circular and about 9.28 km² in size. It has two mountain peaks, Pachatata and Pachamama , with ancient Inca and...

 is another small island on Lake Titicaca populated by Quechua
Quechua languages
Quechua is a Native South American language family and dialect cluster spoken primarily in the Andes of South America, derived from an original common ancestor language, Proto-Quechua. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably...

 speakers. About 800 families live in six villages on the roughly circular 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi) island. There are two mountain peaks, called Pachatata (Father Earth) and Pachamama (Mother Earth), and ancient ruins on the top of both peaks. The hillsides that rise up from the lake are terraced and planted with wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, potatoes, and vegetables. Most of the small fields are worked by hand. Long stone fences divide the fields, and cattle, sheep, and alpaca
Alpaca
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador, and northern Chile at an altitude of to above sea level, throughout the year...

s graze on the hillsides.

There are no cars on the island and no hotels. Since machines are not allowed on the island, all agriculture is done by hand. A few small stores sell basic goods, and there is a health clinic and school. Electricity was produced by a generator and provided limited power a couple of hours each day, but with the rising price of the petroleum, they no longer use the generator. Most families use candles or flashlights powered by batteries or hand-cranks. Small solar panels have recently been installed on some homes.

Some of the families on Amantaní open their homes to tourists for overnight stays and provide cooked meals, arranged through tour guides. The families who do so are required to have a special room set aside for the tourists and must fit a code by the tour companies that help them. Guests typically take food staples (cooking oil, rice, sugar) as a gift or school supplies for the children on the island. They hold nightly traditional dance shows for the tourists where they offer to dress them up in their traditional clothes and participate.

Taquile

Taquile is a hilly island located 45 kilometers east of Puno. It is narrow and long and was used as a prison during the Spanish Colony and into the 20th century. In 1970 it became property of the Taquile people, who have inhabited the island since then (current population around 2,200. The taquiean Island is 5.5 by 1.6 km in size (maximum measurements), with an area of 5.72 km². The highest point of the island is 4,050 meters above sea level and the main village is at 3,950 m. Pre-Inca ruins are found on the highest part of the island, and agricultural terraces on hillsides. From the hillsides of Taquile you have a view over the white snow tops of the Bolivian mountains. The inhabitants, known as Taquileños, are southern Quechua speakers.

Life on Taquile is still largely unchanged by mainland modernity’s. There are no cars on the island and no hotels and a few small stores sell basic goods. Most families use candles or flashlights powered by batteries or hand-cranks. Small solar panels have recently been installed on some homes. On clear nights, Taquile is a perfect place for star gazing and you furthermore experience much lightning in the horizon due to electric activity in the area.

Culture is very much alive on Taquile, which can be seen in the traditional cloths everyone wears. Taquile is especially known for its handicraft tradition which is regarded as among the highest quality handicrafts not only in Peru but in the world. "Taquile and Its Textile Art" were honored by being proclaimed "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO. Knitting is exclusively performed by males, starting at age eight. The women exclusively make yarn and weave.

Taquileans are also known for having created an innovative, community-controlled tourism model, offering home stays, transportation, and restaurants to tourists. Ever since tourism started coming to Taquile in the seventies the taquleans have slowly lost control over the mass day-tourism operated by non-Taquileans. The Taquileans have thus developed alternative tourism models, including lodging for groups, cultural activities and local guides, who have recently completed a 2-year training program. Furthermore the local Travel Agency Munay Taquile has been established to regain control over tourism.

The Taquileños run their society based on community collectivism and on the Inca moral code ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla, (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy). The island is divided into six sectors or suyus for crop rotation purposes. The economy is based on fishing, terraced farming horticulture based on potato cultivation, and tourist-generated income from the approximately 40,000 tourists who visit each year.

Isla del Sol

Situated on the Bolivian side of the lake with regular boat links to the Bolivian town of Copacabana
Copacabana, Bolivia
Copacabana is the main Bolivian town on the shore of Lake Titicaca, from where boats leave for Isla del Sol, the sacred Inca island. The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia. The town is a destination for...

, Isla del Sol
Isla del Sol
Isla del Sol is an island in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. It is part of the modern Plurinational State of Bolivia. Geographically, the terrain is harsh; it is a rocky, hilly island. There are no motor vehicles or paved roads on the island...

 ("Island of the sun") is one of the lake's largest islands. Geographically, the terrain is harsh; it is a rocky, hilly island. There are no motor vehicles or paved roads on the island. The main economic activity of the approximately 800 families on the island is farming, with fishing and tourism augmenting the subsistence economy.

There are over 180 ruins on the island. Most of these date to the Inca period circa the 15th century AD. Many hills on the island contain agricultural terraces, which adapt steep and rocky terrain to agriculture. Among the ruins on the island are the Sacred Rock, a labyrinth-like building called Chicana, Kasa Pata, and Pilco Kaima.
In the religion of the Incas, it was believed that the sun god was born here.

During 1987-92 Johan Reinhard directed underwater archaeological investigations off of the Island of the Sun, recovering Inca and Tiahuanaco offerings. These artifacts are currently on display in the site museum of the village of Challapampa.

Isla de la Luna

Isla de la Luna
Isla de la Luna
Isla de la Luna is an island in La Paz Department, Bolivia. It is situated in Lake Titicaca, east of Isla del Sol . Legends in Inca mythology refer to the island as the location where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon. Archeological ruins of an Inca nunnery were found on the eastern shore....

 is situated east from the bigger Isla del Sol. According to legends that refer to Inca mythology
Inca mythology
Inca mythology includes many stories and legends that are mythological and helps to explain or symbolizes Inca beliefs.All those that followed the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire by Francisco Pizarro burned the records of the Inca culture...

 Isla de la Luna ("Island of the Moon") is where Viracocha
Viracocha
Viracocha is the great creator god in the pre-Inca and Inca mythology in the Andes region of South America. Full name and some spelling alternatives are Apu Qun Tiqsi Wiraqutra and Con-Tici Viracocha...

 commanded the rising of the moon. Ruins of a supposed Inca nunnery occupy the oriental shore.

Suriqui

Suriqui lies in the Bolivian part of lake Titicaca (in the southeastern part also known as lake Huiñamarca).

Suriqui is thought to be the last place where the art of reed boat
Reed boat
Reed boats and rafts, along with dugout canoes and other rafts, are among the oldest known types of boats. Often used as traditional fishing boats, they are still used in a few places around the world, though they have generally been replaced with planked boats. Reed boats can be distinguished from...

 construction survives, at least as late as 1998. Craftsmen from Suriqui helped Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed by raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands...

 in the construction of several of his projects, such as the reed boats Ra II and Tigris, and a balloon gondola.

Transport

The dual gauge
Dual gauge
A dual-gauge or mixed-gauge railway has railway track that allows trains of different gauges to use the same track. Generally, a dual-gauge railway consists of three rails, rather than the standard two rails. The two outer rails give the wider gauge, while one of the outer rails and the inner rail...

 car float
Car float
A railroad car float or rail barge is an unpowered barge with rail tracks mounted on its deck. It is used to move railroad cars across water obstacles, or to locations they could not otherwise go, and is pushed by a towboat or towed by a tugboat...

 Manco Capac links PeruRail
PeruRail
PeruRail is a railway operator working tourist, freight, and charter services in southern Peru.The main line between the port of Matarani, Arequipa , Cuzco and Puno on Lake Titicaca was formerly known as the Ferrocarril del Sur , and was for a time owned and operated by the ENAFER state company...

's standard gauge
Standard gauge
The standard gauge is a widely-used track gauge . Approximately 60% of the world's existing railway lines are built to this gauge...

 line at Puno
Puno
Puno is a city in southeastern Peru, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It is the capital city of the Puno Region and the Puno Province with a population of approximately 100,000. The city was established in 1668 by viceroy Pedro Antonio Fernández de Castro as capital of the province of...

 with the Bolivian railways'
Rail transport in Bolivia
The Bolivian rail network has had a peculiar development throughout its history, owing to losses of land, prestige and credit rating due to the failure of the War of the Pacific, railway development came late to Bolivia. The demand for mineral wealth and communication to the inland city of La Paz,...

  meter gauge line at Guaqui
Guaqui
Guaqui is a railhead and port in Bolivia on Lake Titicaca. A ferry connects with the Peruvian railhead and port on Puno.- Gauge :The railways on the Bolivian side are gauge, while the railways on the Peruvian side are gauge.- References :...

.

History

The lake has had a number of steamships, each of which was built in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in "knock down" form with bolts and nuts, disassembled into many hundreds of pieces, transported to the lake, and then riveted together and launched.

In 1862 Thames Ironworks
Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company
The Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Limited was a shipyard and iron works straddling the mouth of Bow Creek at its confluence with the River Thames, at Leamouth Wharf on the west side and at Canning Town on the east side...

 on the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 built the iron-hulled sister ship
Sister ship
A sister ship is a ship of the same class as, or of virtually identical design to, another ship. Such vessels share a near-identical hull and superstructure layout, similar displacement, and roughly comparable features and equipment...

s SS Yavari
Yavari (ship)
Yavari is a ship commissioned by the Peruvian government in 1861 for use on Lake Titicaca. She is named after the Javary River in the Loreto Region of Peru, bordering the Amazonas State ....

 and SS Yapura
BAP Puno (ABH-306)
BAP Puno is a Peruvian Navy hospital ship on Lake Titicaca. Until 1976 she was called Yapura.The Peruvian government ordered Yapura and her sister ship Yavari in 1861. In 1862 Thames Ironworks on the River Thames built the iron-hulled Yavari and Yapura under contract to the James Watt Foundry of...

 under contract to the James Watt
James Watt
James Watt, FRS, FRSE was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution in both his native Great Britain and the rest of the world.While working as an instrument maker at the...

 Foundry of Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

. The ships were designed as combined cargo, passenger and gunboat
Gunboat
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

s for the Peruvian Navy
Peruvian Navy
The Peruvian Navy is the branch of the Peruvian Armed Forces tasked with surveillance, patrol and defense on lakes, rivers and the Pacific Ocean up to 200 nautical miles from the Peruvian littoral...

. After several years' delay in delivery from the Pacific coast to the lake, Yavari was launched in 1870 and Yapura in 1873. Yavari was 100 feet (30.5 m) long but in 1914 her hull was lengthened for extra cargo capacity and she was re-engined as a motor vessel.

In 1892 William Denny and Brothers
William Denny and Brothers
William Denny and Brothers Limited, and often referred to simply as Denny, were a Scottish shipbuilding company.-History:The Company was founded by Peter Denny in 1840 and based in Dumbarton, on the River Clyde. Although the Denny yard was situated near the junction of the River Clyde and the River...

 at Dumbarton on the River Clyde
River Clyde
The River Clyde is a major river in Scotland. It is the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland. Flowing through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire....

 in Scotland built . She was 170 feet (51.8 m) long and was launched on the lake in 1893.

In 1905 Earle's Shipbuilding
Earle's Shipbuilding
Earle's Shipbuilding was an engineering company that was based in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England from 1845 to 1932.-Earle Brothers:...

 at Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull , usually referred to as Hull, is a city and unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It stands on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea. Hull has a resident population of...

 on the Humber
Humber
The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

 built . By now a railway served the lake so the ship was delivered in kit form by rail. At 220 feet (67.1 m) long and 1,809 tons Inca was the lake's largest ship thus far. In the 1920s Earle's supplied a new bottom for the ship, which also was delivered in kit form.

Trade continued to grow so in 1930 Earle's built . Her parts were landed at the Pacific Ocean port of Mollendo
Mollendo
Mollendo is a town bordering the Pacific Ocean in southern Peru. It is located in the Arequipa Region and is the capital of both the Islay Province and the Mollendo District...

 and brought by rail to the lake port of Puno. At 260 feet (79.2 m) long and 2,200 tons she was considerably larger than the Inca, so first a new slipway
Slipway
A slipway, boat slip or just a slip, is a ramp on the shore by which ships or boats can be moved to and from the water. They are used for building and repairing ships and boats. They are also used for launching and retrieving small boats on trailers and flying boats on their undercarriage. The...

 had to be built to build her. She was launched in November 1931.

In 1975 Yavari and Yapura were returned to the Peruvian Navy, who converted Yapura into a hospital ship
Hospital ship
A hospital ship is a ship designated for primary function as a floating medical treatment facility or hospital; most are operated by the military forces of various countries, as they are intended to be used in or near war zones....

 and renamed her BAP Puno
BAP Puno (ABH-306)
BAP Puno is a Peruvian Navy hospital ship on Lake Titicaca. Until 1976 she was called Yapura.The Peruvian government ordered Yapura and her sister ship Yavari in 1861. In 1862 Thames Ironworks on the River Thames built the iron-hulled Yavari and Yapura under contract to the James Watt Foundry of...

. The Navy discarded Yavari but in 1987 charitable interests bought her and started restoring her. She is now moored at Puno Bay and provides static tourist accommodation while her restoration continues. Coya was beached in 1984 but restored as a floating restaurant in 2001. Inca survived until 1994 when she was broken up. Ollanta is no longer in scheduled service but PeruRail has been leasing her for tourist charter operations.

Military presence

The Bolivian Naval Force uses the lake to carry out naval exercises, maintaining an active navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 despite being a landlocked country.

See also

  • Chiripa
    Chiripa
    The archeological site of Chiripa Pata is located in the Lake Titicaca region in Bolivia. It lays 15 km east of the city Chiripa and quite close to Pequery....

  • Taraco Peninsula
    Taraco
    Taraco is a peninsula jutting into Lake Wiñaymarka, the southern branch of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. It is located in the La Paz Department, Ingavi Province, Tiwanaku Municipality, Taraco Canton...

  • Titicaca National Reservation
    Titicaca National Reservation
    The Titicaca National Reservation is located in the Puno Region, Peru, in the Puno and Huancané provinces. Its main purpose is to preserve the ecosystems and landscapes of the Titicaca lake and surrounding Central Andean wet puna ecoregion.- External links :...

  • Tourism in Peru
    Tourism in Peru
    Tourism in Peru make up the nation's third largest industry, behind fishing and mining. Tourism is directed towards archeological monuments, ecotourism in the Peruvian Amazon, cultural tourism in colonial cities, gastronomic tourism, adventure tourism, and beach tourism. According to a Peruvian...

  • Yampupata Peninsula
    Yampupata Peninsula
    Yampupata is a Bolivian peninsula of Lake Titicaca situated in the north-western part of the Copacabana Peninsula in the La Paz Department, Manco Kapac Province, Copacabana Municipality, Zampaya Canton. It is located near the islands Isla de la Luna and Isla del Sol forming the Strait of Yampupata...


External links

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