High in the western altiplano stretching across the border into Peru, Lake Titicaca sparkles against the distant backdrop of the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Real. At 3900m above sea-level, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, a beautiful expanse of water rich in myth and age-old island communities. On the Bolivian side of the border, the picturesque, colonial town of Copacabana is the ideal base to explore the lake and take a boat trip out to the beautiful Islands of the Sun and Moon, sacred to the Aymara people and legendary birthplace of the inca civilisation itself. There, traditional villages are dotted with Inca ruins and leafy terraces and command sweeping views across the water. Most organised visits amount to simple day trips yet spend a night in a basic lodge and you can head off to explore the network of trails that crisscross the island. Back on the mainland, Bolivia’s most enigmatic site of Tiahuanaco lies a short distance away, a crumbling citadel of terraced walls, statues and carved faces. Dating back to 1500BC, Tiahuanaco was the capital of an ancient empire that flourished across Peru and Bolivia until 1000AD and was one of the founding precursors to the inca.