Puno, Peru

Photo: Titilaka
Photo: Titilaka

Between Machu Picchu, Chan Chan, and the Inca Trail, Peru is probably on your bucket list. And if you’re going to explore this South American country’s ancient cultures and diverse natural beauty, Lake Titicaca should be added to your ever-growing itinerary. The continent’s largest lake is a sacred and mystical place on the borders of Bolivia and Peru. The area is full of traditional villages, unspoiled islands, and high-altitude hikes, but it hasn’t been overrun by tourists. Yet. So a little help navigating this dramatic landscape wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Photo: Titilaka
Photo: Titilaka

This is where Titilaka comes in. The all-inclusive lodge, outside of Puno, is on the shores on the lake with views of the snow-capped Cordillera Mountains. Every window looks out onto the sapphire water. The lodge has an overwater deck and wrap-around terraces. A boutique selling local crafts and a regional wine cellar. Drink cocktails and eat canapés by a bonfire on the beach. Eat quinoa pancakes by the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Bathe with homemade Andean mint products. Warm up with hand-knit llama-wool socks and alpaca sweaters.

Photo: Titilaka
Photo: Titilaka

Titilaka sounds like a great place to relax, but it’s really known for the activities the lodge puts together. Visit the Uros Floating Islands or the weavers on Taquile Island. Hike to Titilaka Arch or Inca Anatawi. Watch as livestock and potatoes are traded at the Barter Market. Go to colonial Lampa or the Chullpas de Sillustani or the Island of the Sun, the birthplace of the Inca Empire. Or stay closer to the lodge. Bike through the fields of Plateria. Paddle boat through the reeds, searching for egrets and moorhens. And watch the stars in the clear night sky.

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