Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest lake navigable to large vessels, lying at 3,810 metres above sea level in the Andes Mountains of South America, astride the border between Peru to the west and Bolivia to the east.
By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America, though by other measures Maracaibo is the largest lake. . It covers some 8300 sq km and is about 80km wide across its widest point. A narrow strait, Tiquina, separates the lake into two bodies of water. The smaller, in the southeast, is called Lake Huiñaymarca in Bolivia and Lake Pequeño in Peru; the larger, in the northwest, is called Lake Chucuito in Bolivia and Lake Grande in Peru.
Other than the Spanish, other cultures lived on Lake Titicaca prior to the arrival of the Incas. In 2000, a team of international archaeologists and divers found the ruins of an underwater temple, thought to be between 1,000 and 1,500 years old, most likely built by the Tiwanaku people.