Lakes and Lagoons
Peru's geography is reflected in its thousands of lakes and lagoons, which, according to the environment, feature their own particular characteristics.
The inter-Andean lakes are usually of tectonic or glacial origins. One superb tectonic lake is that of Lake Titicaca, which thousands of years ago formed a vast inland sea together with the lakes of Arapa and Yapupampa. Tectonic lakes often teem with life forms. Lake Parinacochas, in the department of Ayacucho, is famous for the pink flamingoes which thrive there, while Junín is home to Lake Paca and Lake Junín, in addition to the picturesque towns steeped in history. The most stunning of them all are the Llanganuco Lakes in the department of Ancash, which split the imposing peaks of Mount Huascaran and Huandoy.
The waters of the jungle lagoons in the Amazon are dark due to the amount of life forms and high temperatures. Many of these jungle lakes have formed in riverbeds and are fed by rainfall. The largest of them is Rimachi, a surprisingly lovely lake featuring floating islands and treetrunks which shift during the day. The only tectonic lake in the jungle is that of Sauce, in the department of San Martín, which exposes fertile land for local farmers when waters recede.
Peru's waters also boast medicinal properties. The seven lakes at Las Huaringas ("sacred lakes" in the Quechua language) have been used since pre-Hispanic times for magical and healing ceremonies. Peru, after all, has been blessed with hot springs and mineral baths which are visited with fervor by the local population. The most famous of Peru's hot springs are the Inca Baths in Cajamarca, in the northern Andes, where temperatures can reach 74°C. The hottest springs, however, are found in Tacna to the south, which the local townspeople have dubbed Caliente (Hot) as it can reach a temperature of 98°C.
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