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Photographer's Note

These are the shores of Lake Titicaca on the island of Taquile.

Lake Titicaca is the world's highest lake navigable to large vessels, lying at 12,500 feet (3,810 m) above sea level in the Andes Mountains of South America, astride the border between Peru to the west and Bolivia to the east. Titicaca is the second largest lake of South America (after Maracaibo).

It covers some 3,200 square miles (8,300 square km) and extends in a northwest-to-southeast direction for a distance of 120 miles (190 km). It is 50 miles (80 km) across at its widest point. A narrow strait, Tiquina, separates the lake into two bodies of water.

The smaller, in the southeast, is called Lake Huinaymarca in Bolivia and Lake Pequeno in Peru; the larger, in the northwest, is called Lake Chucuito in Bolivia and Lake Grande in Peru.

The meaning of the name Titicaca is uncertain, but it has been variously translated as Rock of the Puma or Crag of Lead. Titicaca lies between Andean ranges in a vast basin (about 22,400 square miles [58,000 square km] in area) that comprises most of the Altiplano (High Plateau) of the northern Andes. In the snow-covered Cordillera Real on the northeastern (Bolivian) shore of the lake, some of the highest peaks in the Andes rise to heights of more than 21,000 feet (6,400 m).

The lake averages between 460 and 600 feet (140 and 180 m) in depth, but the bottom tilts sharply toward the Bolivian shore, reaching its greatest recorded depth of 920 feet (280 m) off Isla Soto in the lake's northeast corner.

More than 25 rivers empty their waters into Titicaca; the largest, the Ramis, draining about two-fifths of the entire Titicaca Basin, enters the northwestern corner of the lake. One small river, the Desaguadero, drains the lake at its southern end. This single outlet empties only 5 percent of the lake's excess water; the rest is lost by evaporation under the fierce sun and strong winds of the dry Altiplano.

Forty-one islands, some of them densely populated, rise from Titicaca's waters. The largest, Titicaca Island (Spanish: Isla de Titicaca, also called Isla del Sol), lies just off the tip of the Copacabana Peninsula in Bolivia.

In Inka mythology, Manco Capac and Mama 0cllo, children of the Sun, emerged from the depths of Lake Titicaca to found their empire. Like famous naturalist Jacques Cousteau, today's visitors to Titicaca will surely feel the same emotion that captivated the symbolic universe of the ancient Peruvians. With lofty snow-capped peaks along its far shores, the vast blue lake at 3,800m is one of the Andes' most enchanting scenes.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 2005-08-15
  • Categories: Natureza
  • Camera: Canon PowerShot S30
  • Exposição: f/5.6, 1/400 segundos
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original
  • Date Submitted: 2006-02-04 2:30
Viewed: 2074
Points: 4
Additional Photos by JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
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