Arriving by boat across the deep blue water of Peru’s Lake Titicaca from Taquile Island, our day of cycling the shores of this intriguing body of water began.

Map of Peru

 Peru Cycling Hiking Lake Titicaca

It takes a most stone faced soul not to have at least a wee grin at the name Lake Titicaca. By the amount of comments and snickering going on in a previous post, I think I should try to utilize the word Titicaca Β routinely in my writing.

There’s a challenge for you dear readers. See if you can slip the word Titicaca into regular conversation.

What does Lake Titicaca mean?


The naming of Lake Titicaca, which at its longest point is 165km and at it’s widest is 60 km, was done by the Aymara and Quechua people who inhabited the area prior to the Incas.

Titi translates to puma which the early peoples believed the shape of the lake to be. Looking at a map I must admit this requires some imagination or possibly ingestion of a bushel of Coca leaves.

Kaka does not refer to something left in the restroom, at least not in the case of Peru’s Lake Titicaca. In Aymara the translation is grey while in Quechua it refers to rock or stone.

Thus Lake Titicaca, with the border between Bolivia and Peru running through it, is also called Grey Puma or Stone Puma.

I know I have taken all of the fun out of it so here is one final chuckle. Lake Titicaca drains at only one source, the Desaguadaro River and that flows into Lake Poopo. True story.