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Lake Titicaca lies in the department of Puno, Peru and forms part of Peru's frontier with Bolivia. At 13,500 feet (4,100 meters) Ticticaca becomes the world's highest navigated lake. The lake is about 120 miles (193 kilometers) at its greatest length by 50 meters (80 kilometers). It resembles an inland sea and its shining blue waters are a well-defined contrast to the Altiplano and the cordilleras that have snow on the top all the time. The waters are very cold and deep.
In some places it is good for the wildlife of the area. Many species of birds congregate on the lake. A favorite habitat for all the fauna is the totora reed that grows along the shore. The Andean indians have always used the totora for their reed boats and as thatch in their houses. Today the reed also is being used commercially in matting.
The people live in community near the lake, where the land is more fertile and the indians can grow a greater variety of crops. Other people live on the small inlands of the lake; they get most of their food by fishing on the lake.
Boys learn how to make boats from tortora reeds. Girls learn to weave the wool of alpaca and llama into beautiful blankets and sweaters.
The legend of the origin of the Inca dynasty is associated with the Islands of the Sun. Manco Gopac and Manca Ocllo, the Inca's first ancestors, were supposedly created by Father Sun on the "Isla del Sol" in the lake. The lake itself is of mythological importance to the Andean indians who believe their creator, Viracacha, rose from its cold waters.