Legend of the Origin of Lake Titicaca

Peru and Bolivia share the territory of Titicaca and the great legend of the origin of Lake Titicaca, on the other hand, this is considered one of the highest navigable lakes in the world and is home to several islands in both Peru and Bolivia.

It is at an altitude of more than 3800 meters above sea level, the lake is one of the most sacred sites for the Inca civilization, besides being the center of the cosmos and origin of the sun, the moon, the stars and humanity.


Legend of the Origin of Lake Titicaca
Legend of the Origin of Lake Titicaca Peru - Bolivia

According to mythology, we are told that for a long time Lake Titicaca was considered as the origin and the cosmos of the people who lived there and it will also be for the later Incas. The legend tells us that the god creator of everything is Viracocha or Wiracocha who populated the world with a race of stone giants in the beginning, but after some time they rebelled against the creator.

After this event Wiracocha decides to create man instead of the stone giants, these men live in a fertile valley, they had practically everything within their reach, they lived in harmony, peace, they had a rich land, since their creator provided them with everything.

It was a paradise because there was no envy, no hatred, no ambition and no death because the Apus (gods of the mountains) protected them from all kinds of events. However, there was only one thing they had to fulfill, and it was forbidden for all.

No inhabitant could climb to the top of the mountains, because there burned the Sacred Fire. For a long time, people complied with this prohibition, but there is always the evil spirit (devil) who does not like that everything is in happiness, harmony incited people to climb the mountains, testing their courage to go to look for the Sacred Fire.

It was there when they listened to him and decided to climb to the top of the mountains, but halfway up they were surprised by the Apu, understanding that men had ignored that one rule, decided to exterminate all the men who lived in that valley.

He sent thousands of pumas that appeared from the caves and ended up devouring all the men, who begged the devil to save them, but in vain. All this was seen by the Sun God (Inti) who wept and his tears were so abundant that he flooded the valley for forty days.

Before this event only managed to save a man and a woman, but it happens that when they opened their eyes they could not believe they were in the middle of a lake with a pure blue sky, and around these waters floated the bodies of pumas that were transformed into stone statues, hence the name of Lake Titicaca or Lake of the stone pumas.

The two surviving humans were very important, since they were in charge of bringing the human race back to life, but the world still lived in darkness, so the god Viracocha created the sun, the moon and the stars on the islands in the center of Lake Titicaca.

Mitos Del Lago Titicaca
Myths Of Lake Titicaca Photo: Ronald Woan / Flickr

Other legends

Actually, the origin of the name “Lake Titicaca” is not known, since according to this legend it would come from the "Intikjarja Island". Union of the Aymara and Quechua languages that mean Inti (sun) and Kkarka (rock). Therefore, it gives the origin of the Island of the Sun, as we know it today.

There is a third legend, which states that the name comes from the words Titi, which means “Puma” and Caca, which refers to the “golden color” that prevails in the place and also was for the Indians, then the name would be “Puma Dorado”.

In this last myth arises something very funny, because the two countries do not want to have the denomination of poop, either on the Peruvian or Bolivian side, they are always titi but no one poop.