Copacabana & Lake Titicaca

Copacabana & Lake Titicaca

Located on the border between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca is rich in ancient Inca settlements  with ruins on the lake’s bottom (where the remains of a temple were discovered in 2000). The place is also home to more than 530 aquatic species, including the rare giant frog.

Boats regularly sail on Isla Del Sol, where you can immerse yourself in the island's tranquil life and watch the sun rise in the same spot where, according to local tradition, it first appeared thousands of years ago. You can easily navigate through  this idyllic island, with signposted trails that lead to sacred ruins in its most remote corners and finally taste the smoked trout, a local delicacy that is caught with ripe papaya juice.

The main city located on Lake Titicaca is Copacabana, from where boats leave for Isla del Sol. The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, which is the patron saint of Bolivia. Copacabana's religious celebrations, cultural patrimony, and traditional festivals are well known throughout Bolivia. The town is built in between Mount Calvario and Mount Niño Calvario and has approximately 6,000 inhabitants.

There is the belief that the name is derived from the Aymara kota kahuana, meaning "view of the lake." Nevertheless, the social scientist Mario Montaño Aragón, found in the "archives of Indias" in Sevilla - Spain, a completely different history: "Kotakawana" is the god of the fertility in the ancient Andean mythology, the equivalent to the classical Greek goddess Afrodit or the Roman Venus. This god is androgyne and lives in the Titicaca, and his court consists of criters (male and female) that are represented in the colonial sculptures as in the Catholic churches they were called "Umantuus", known as mermaids in the west culture. The fact is that the present Basilica was built where the main Temple of the Fertility of Kotakawana was once (nowadays there are small fertility temples along the shores of the lake in Bolivia and Perú). So that Copacabana has been a Sacred place even before the Spanish conquest.

 

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