The lake is located at the northern end of the endorheic Altiplano basin high in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia (Surface elevation3,812 m - 12,507 ft). The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department.
The lake is composed of two nearly separate sub-basins connected by the Strait of Tiquina, which is 800 m (2,620 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 (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 systems feed into Lake Titicaca. In order of their relative flow volumes these are Ramis, Coata, Ilave, Huancané, and Suchez. More than twenty 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, and water passes through Lago Huiñaimarca and flows out the single outlet at the Río Desaguadero, which then flows south through Bolivia to Lake Poopó. This only accounts for about 10% of the lake's water balance. Evapotranspiration, caused by strong winds and intense sunlight at high 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 dropped by 81 cm (32 in), reaching the lowest level since 1949. This drop is caused by shortened rainy seasons and the melting of glaciers feeding the tributaries of the lake. Water pollution is also an increasing concern because cities in the Titicaca watershed grow, sometimes outpacing solid waste and sewage treatment infrastructure.
SACSAYHUAMAN (3,600 m.a.s.l.)
Sacsayhuamán is one of the most amazing Incan constructions for tourists. Its Quechua name means "satisfied falcon", it was the falcon that guarded the capital of the empire, since it was possible to overlook Cusco from the hill in where it was erected. If, as it is known, Cusco was designed with the shape of a lying puma, Sacsayhuamán would be its head, and the Coricancha would correspond to the feline's genitalia.
It is said that the work was started by Pachacútec and continued by Túpac Yupanqui, even though some chroniclers state that it was Huayna Cápac who gave it the final touch. Inca Garcilaso de la Vega says that Apu Huallpa Rimachi was the main architect, and that Inca Maricanhi, Acahuana Inca and Calla Cunchuy successively took control of the works.
Its construction took over seven decades and required the work of 20,000 men approximately, both for the foundations and hewn stone works, the transportation of materials, carving and stones setting. Hewn stones could have been located at Muina, Huacoto and Rumicolca, 20 kilometers away from Cusco, and at closer places such as Sallu, Rumi, Chita, Curovilca and Viracocha. Some of its external walls exceed the 9 meters of height and 350 tons of weight.
Spectacular fortress built with huge carved rocks jointed with absolute accuracy, this astounding sample of the Incan military architecture is, undoubtedly, the greatest architectonic work of the Tahuantinsuyo. But, in addition, it proves the undeniable firmness of the great administrative capacity of the empire and its powerful logistic system capable of mobilizing and organizing such a work.
It is located 2 km away from the city of Cusco, that is, 10 minutes by car. As of the Spaniards arrival its aspect has changed a lot, since this fortress was used as a hewn stone to build the colonial Cusco.
The architectonic complex occupies the edge of the northern slope of the city of Cusco. The southern side of the building was enclosed by a polished wall of almost 400 meters long. The eastern and western borders of the temple were delimited by other walls and cultivation terraces.
The Chimu Kingdom, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming autonomous units.
The monumental zone of around six square kilometers in the centre of the once twenty square kilometer city, comprises nine large rectangular complexes (‘citadels’ or ‘palaces’) delineated by high thick earthen walls. Within these units, buildings including temples, dwellings, storehouses are arranged around open spaces, together with reservoirs, and funeral platforms.
The earthen walls of the buildings were often decorated with friezes representing abstract motifs, and anthropomorphical and zoomorphical subjects. Around these nine complexes were thirty two semi monumental compounds and four production sectors for activities such as weaving wood and metal working. Extensive agricultural areas and a remnant irrigation system have been found further to the north, east and west of the city.
The Chimu kingdom reached its zenith in the 15th century, not long before falling under the sway of the Incas. In about 1470, after a long war, the Inca Tupac Yupanqui took King Minchancaman in captivity to Cuzco. The king's son, Chumun Caur, governed the kingdom of the north, thereafter weakened and divided, on behalf of the Inca.
Nazca Lines - Location
The Nazca Lines are located in the Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches between the towns of Nazca and Palpa on the pampa (a large flat area of southern Peru). The desolate plain of the Peruvian coast which comprises the Pampas of San Jose (Jumana), Socos, El Ingenio and others in the province of Nasca, is 400 Km. South of Lima, covers an area of approximately 450 km2, of sandy desert as well as the slopes of the contours of the Andes. They cover nearly 400 square miles of desert. Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes most clearly visible from the air.
Archaeologists, ethnologists, and anthropologists have studied the ancient Nazca culture to try to determine the purpose of the lines and figures. One hypothesis is that the Nazca people created them to be seen by their gods in the sky. Kosok and Reiche advanced a purpose related to astronomy and cosmology: the lines were intended to act as a kind of observatory, to point to the places on the distant horizon where the sun and other celestial bodies rose or set in the solstices. Many prehistoric indigenous cultures in the Americas and elsewhere constructed earthworks that combined such astronomical sighting with their religious cosmology.
Some Nazca Lines Coordinates
Google Earth coordinates: 14º44'42.79" S - 75º04'47.08"O
Google Earth coordinates: 14º41'39.63" S - 75º07'21.72"O
Google Earth coordinates: 14º41'23.60" S - 75º06'29.41"O
Google Earth coordinates: 14º41'32.18" S - 75º08'57.05"O
Google Earth coordinates: 14º42'26.66" S - 75º08'20.38"O
151 km / 94 miles north of Arequipa (3 hours by car)
The extreme northeastern section of the department of Arequipa is located here. The highest point is the inactive volcano Mount Ampato (6288 masl), and the lowest at the confluence of the rivers Colca and Andamayo (970 masl). The Colca valley is 100 km in length and occupies only part of the Colca river basin, comprising the districts of Callalli and Huambo.
There are sixteen villages in this zone made up of descendents of the Collaguas and Cabanas tribes, inheritors of rich cultural traditions. The towns of Chivay and Cabanaconde are the most visited by tourists.
In the latter, you can watch condors soar from the Cruz de Condor (Condor Crossing) Lookout. The Colca valley forms part of the South American tectonic plate and contains the active volcano Sabancaya, located on the volcanic mountain Hualca Hualca. This valley possesses a great diversity of flora and fauna. Among the most representative species are the condor, the kestrel, the peregrine falcon, and the Andean tinamou.
42 km / 26 miles west of the town of Chivay the capital of the province of Caylloma(1 hour by car)
This is one of the deepest places on the planet, reaching a depth of 3400 meters / 11.155 feet at the lowest point in the location of Canco. On the right side, it is flanked by the Chila Cordillera (Bomboya, Serpregrina, Mismi, Queshihua) and on the other by Mount Hualca Hualca, Sabancaya, and Ampato. You can see Mount Ubinas and beautiful Mount Coropuna in the distance.
Machu Picchu "old peak", is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level is an outstanding example of man's interaction with his natural environment, in the midst of a tropical mountain forest in an extraordinarily beautiful setting, Machu Picchu was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacutec (1438–1472). Often referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.
Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. Recognized for outstanding cultural and natural values, the mixed World Heritage property covers 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys surrounding its heart, the spectacular archaeological monument of “La Ciudadela” (the Citadel) at more than 2,400 meters above sea level. Built in the fifteenth century Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. It was not until 1911 that the archaeological complex was made known to the outside world.
The approximately 200 structures making up this outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces. Following a rigorous plan the city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two. To this day, many of Machu Picchu’s mysteries remain unresolved, including the exact role it may have played in the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of astronomy and domestication of wild plant species.