Travel insider: Lake Titicaca

Carlos Saavedra is a sea dog who sails Lake Titicaca and has lived on the high, flat lands of South America for more than 25 years. Last year, Carlos led the restoration of the Yavari – the oldest iron-hulled ship in South America. We asked Carlos why he’s in love with Lake Titicaca and why you might fall for it, too.

Where is Lake Titicaca?
In the Andes, on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America.

It is often called the highest navigable lake in the world, with a surface elevation of 3,812 metres (12,507 ft). Although this refers to navigation by large boats, it is generally considered to mean commercial craft.

lake titicaca

Where do you find the best coffee?
Not difficult to answer … “La Casa del Corregidor” – Café/Bar, just downtown, next to the police station, facing the cathedral on your right-hand side.

Where do you have the best cocktail?
Same place as above … and also the Bar of Hotel Libertador.

hotel libertador

Where do you enjoy the best breakfast?
At the deck of the SS Yavari.

Where is the best local view?
In the city – at the top of the Hotel Libertador.

At the lake – at the top of the islands (Amantani) and Peninsulas (Capachica and Chicuito).

What is one thing you can do for free?
Visit the local markets.

What is something that only a local would know?
Where to take local buses to go to different non-commercial destinations.

What is your favourite thing to do in and around Lake Titicaca?
In Lake Titicaca, to sail on the Yavari ship. Around the lake, I like to visit Fundo-Farm Chincheros.

Why do you love Lake Titicaca?
Sailing on it is just magic …

Isla Amantani

Isla Amantani


The Yavari – 1862

Captain Carlos Saavedra and his brave crew on board the Yavari, at emergency wheel aft

Captain Carlos Saavedra and his brave crew on board the Yavari, at emergency wheel aft

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