Lake Titicaca on the Border of Bolivia and Peru

September 11, 2010


Photographer: Jon E. Bouwhuis
Summary Author: Jon E. Bouwhuis

The photo above shows a view of Lake Titicaca, which at 12,500 feet (3,811 m) above sea level is the highest commercially, navigable lake in the world. In terms of volume, it's also the largest lake in South America. Lake Titicaca is located on the border between Peru and Bolivia. It's fed by both rainfall and glacier meltwater. Though five major river systems feed the lake, it has only one outlet, Rio Desaguadero. This single outlet accounts for only about 10 percent of the lake's water balance (loss). Evapotranspiration, from the rather persistent winds, intense sunlight and dry air encountered at high altitudes accounts for the remainder of the water loss.Lake Titicaca was perhaps the most sacred body of water to the Inca Indians -- numerous ruins were found on its shores and its thirty islands. The lake is also known for the artificial floating islands made of totora (reeds). These floating isles are inhabited by the Uros Indians. Additionally, the sediment and fossils that collect in Lake Titicaca serve as a long term climate record -- extending back for approximately 25,000 years. Photo taken on March 2, 2007.

Photo details: Camera Maker: PENTAX Corporation; Camera Model: PENTAX K10D; Focal Length: 31mm (35mm equivalent: 46mm); Aperture: f/22.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 400; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No; Color Space: sRGB.