Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Titicaca(tētēkä`kä), lake, c.3,200 sq mi (8,290 sq km), 110 mi (177 km) long, and c.900 ft (270 m) deep at at its deepest point, in the Andes Mts., on the Bolivia-Peru border; second largest freshwater lake in South America and the world's highest large lake (c.12,500 ft/3,810 m above sea level). The lake is divided into two basins by the Strait of Tiquina. Fed by many short mountain streams, the lake is drained by the Desaguadero River to Lake Poopó. In the 21st cent. a reduction in inflowing meltwater from mountain glaciers has led to a drop in water levels, and pollution from growing cities and towns in the lake's watershed has greatly increased. A center of indigenous life from pre-Inca times, the shores of Titicaca are crowded with native villages and terraced fields, which are a major source of subsistence crops for the largely barren highland region. The almost constant temperature of the water (51°F;/11°C;) modifies the climate and makes possible the growing of potatoes and grains at the high altitude. Native balsas, small flat-bottomed reed boats with reed sails, dot the lake and are used for commerce and fishing. On the lake near Puno, Uros live on floating islands made of reeds. Near the lake's southern shore is the pre-Inca ruin TiahuanacoTiahuanaco
, ancient native ruin, W Bolivia, 34 mi (55 km) S of Lake Titicaca on the Tiahuanaco R. in the S central Andes, near the Peruvian border; also called Tiwanaku or Tiahuanacu.
..... Click the link for more information. . In the lake are the islands of Titicaca and Coati, the legendary birthplace of the Incas, which contain ruins of past civilizations.
a lake in the central Andes, on the border between Peru and Bolivia. The largest lake in South America and the largest lake on earth located in high mountains. Lake Titicaca is situated at an elevation of 3,812 m. It has an area of 8,300 sq km and a maximum depth of 304 m. The lake, which lies in a depression of tectonic origin, is the remainder of a larger, ancient body of water. The shoreline has many inlets and in the northeast and southwest is faced by steep cliffs. Many rivers, the largest of which is the Ramis, flow into the lake; the Desaguadero River flows from Lake Titicaca into the Lago de Poopó. The surface water in the middle of the lake has a constant temperature of 11°–12°C; however, the temperature varies considerably along the shore; even in the summer ice forms in the inlets and along the shore at night. The highest water level occurs in March, and the lowest from May through December. The chemical composition of the water is close to that of the ocean.
There is fishing and navigation on the lake. The most important city and port is Puno, Peru, which is linked by rail to Moliendo, on the Pacific coast. Monuments of the ancient Indian culture of the Tiahuanaco are found along the shore and on the islands in the southeast.