The Tiwanacu and the Inca
The Aymara people inhabited the shores Lake Titicaca and the localities closer to the ancient ruins of Tiwanacu.
The Tiwanacu Empire inhabited the highlands of Bolivia, Peru and Chile around 1500 BC. There is very little evidence left behind but its strategic location near Lake Titicaca and organized farming in raised field systems were able to feed up to a million people.
Inca leader Manko Kapac was born on the Sun Island, currently located on Bolivia's side of Lake Titicaca. When visiting this island some Inca ruins can be visited and you can have a nice 2 hour walk around the island. To access the island's main attractions you will have to climb 200 steps.
The Island of the Sun
'The Island of the Sun', on the Bolivian side, is the most notable island on Lake Titicaca: the lake even owes its name to the island's early name of Titi Khar'ka ( 'puma rock').
It's a very evocative place. You can see the sacred stone marking the spot where the sun was born, impressive ruins of the palace of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, and many reminders of the pilgrimage route trodden by the Incas and their predecessors.
Copacabana on the lake's southern shore, also in Bolivia, is another centre of pilgrimage, this time for the Catholic faith. The town's beautiful cathedral is a white Moorish-style building that shines in the bright sun. Inside is the shrine to the Virgin of Copacabana - a Black Madonna.
At the weekend, the plaza in front of the Cathedral becomes a jostling riot of colour as vehicles of all shapes and sizes, decorated with ribbons and flower garlands, arrive to worship her and be blessed.
Nearby Challapampa is a traditional village that welcomes visitors. It lies close to the labyrinthine temple of Chinkana, an archaeological site to which the village's fishermen will ferry you.