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Titicaca is a lake in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America and it is the highest (3,812 m / 12,507 ft) navigable lake in the world. The Uros Islands are vast floating artificial islands made from the totora reeds. There are more than 40 communities on these islands, where the Uru people live in reed huts and they fish and travel in boats woven from reeds. The Uros use bundles of dried totora reeds to make reed boats (balsas mats), and to make the islands themselves. The larger islands house about ten families, while smaller ones, only about thirty meters wide, house only two or three.
The islets are made of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The dense roots that the plants develop and interweave form a natural layer called Khili (about one to two meters thick) that support the islands. They are anchored with ropes attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away fairly quickly, so new reeds are added to the top constantly, about every three months. The purpose of the island settlements was originally defensive, and if a threat arose they could be moved. The largest island retains a watchtower almost entirely constructed of reeds. The islands last about thirty years.
Uru people, Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America

Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200 mm at 36 mm, 1/350 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 100
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Featured in the group “The World”

Views 1005 / Favorited by 4 people / December 13, 2013

“Out there! Photography” – Nature and travelling images from around the world
We live in a wonderfully diverse world made up of many cultures, landscapes and life forms. The main purpose of my photography is to showcase how much interesting and magnificent our planet is.

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  • Judith Hayes
    Judith Hayesabout 3 years ago


  • Thanks a lot Judith!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • IoannisArvas
    IoannisArvasabout 3 years ago

    Πασίχαρη εικόνα με λαμπερά χρώματα !

  • Thank you very much Ioannis!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • João Figueiredo
    João Figueiredoabout 3 years ago

    This is one of those perfect pictures that look like comming out of an enciclopedia… Exceptional!!

  • Exactly that was my intension Joao, thanks a lot!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • João Figueiredo
    João Figueiredoabout 3 years ago

    I hope you’re not being ironic with me, I meant it as a compliment! It looks like one of those old hand made ilustrations from an explorer or an enciclopedia…

  • No, not at all ironic João, I like your comment! That was really my thought when I took the picture, like from an old book or an old greeting card.

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    What a beautiful capture Kon.

  • Thanks a lot Maree!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Maree Cardinale
    Maree Cardinaleover 2 years ago

    April 18, 2012
    Well done!
    Maree and Kris

    Please click HERE to view your feature in our PERMANENT SHOWCASE and leave a comment for your fellow photographers.

  • Many thanks for the feature Maree and Kris!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

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