Legends of Lake Titicaca and other mysteries about its origin

isla de totora en lago titicaca

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Surely you already knew that Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, or that the Floating Islands of the Uros are located there.

But we are sure that you did not know about the legends about this lake, which go back many years.

mountains in lake titicaca

Today we tell you some of the legends of Lake Titicaca, so that if you are thinking of traveling to Peru, or Bolivia, you will know the history of this curious place.

The legend on the origin of Lake Titicaca

The best-known legend that revolves around the origin of the name of the lake is the following.

Lake Titicaca was a fertile valley where happy men lived in this paradise protected by the Apus, the mountain gods.

In order to enjoy this paradise they had only one rule, they could not climb to the top of the mountain, where the Sacred Fire was burning.

But in those lands, there was also the devil, who could not bear to see so much happiness. For that reason he incited man to do the forbidden, to climb to the top of the mountain.

The Apus, seeing the men climbing the slope, were so enraged that they released the pumas, which devoured the whole population except a couple.

people in lake titicaca

In the face of such slaughter, the God of the Sun cried for 40 days and 40 nights, thus creating Lake Titicaca. Everything was flooded, and as a result of this, the mountain lions turned to stone.

From this comes the name of the lake, since Titi means puma and Kaka, stone, forming the local name of “the lake of the stone pumas”.

Other legends of Lake Titicaca

There are other legends about the origin of the name of Lake Titicaca.

On the one hand, some point out that the origin of the name comes from the Intikjarja Island. In this case it derives from the Aymara and Quechua languages, with a meaning of Inti (sun) and kjarka (rock).

This name could have given rise to what we know today as the Island of the Sun, on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca.

There is a third legend about the name. In this case, the natives claim that its name derives from the word titi, which means puma and from caca, in reference to the importance of the golden color for the natives. So his name in its purest essence is golden cougar.

Sirens in Lake Titicaca

There is another very popular legend in Lake Titicaca. It is about the existence of sirens.

Legend has it that at least one mermaid lived in the lake, from which children could make a wish when they saw her. The adults of the village forced the children to ask her for gold and silver.

Seeing that these wishes were fulfilled, the villagers decided to set up a trap to the siren. They managed to get her out of the water, where she needed to be, and threatened her to tell them where she was getting so much gold and silver.

With the mermaid out of the water, her body began to change and her mermaid body became that of a normal woman, thus disappearing the siren from Lake Titicaca.

Now that you know the legends about the origin of Lake Titicaca, which one do you keep?

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