The lakes and lagoons in Peru could have been created by glaciers (a product of melting mountain snow) or tectonic activity (the sinking of the Earth's crust).
Sky blue, dark blue, green or turquoise, the waters create natural attractions and, along their route, bring life to towns, generate energy, ensure that crops grow, provide a habitat for a variety of fish and satisfy human consumption needs.
Peru has more than twelve thousand lakes and lagoons, most of which are found on the eastern slopes of the Andes mountain range.
The largest and most important lake in the country is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. The next largest are Lake Junín and Arapa Lagoon.
Most of Peru’s rivers were formed by the thawing of the glaciers found in the Andes mountain range. Others are seasonal, a product of extreme climate phenomena such as "El Niño". (ENSO).
The River Amazon deserves a special mention, since it is considered to be the widest and, according to the latest studies, longest river on the planet. It has its source in the highlands of Caylloma province, in the department of Arequipa, and then continues for many kilometres until it meets the Marañón and Ucayali rivers, at which point it takes the name Amazon. Its waters flow into the sea at 170,000 cubic metres per second and it is home to more than two thousand species of fish.
Due to the complex geological history of the Andes, Peru also has a number of hot springs and geysers scattered around the coastal, mountain and jungle regions. The most famous hot springs are the “Baños del Inca” (Inca Baths) in Cajamarca, where Francisco Pizarro met the Inca Atahualpa. There are also geysers in areas with high volcanic activity, with the best known being Pinchollo in Arequipa and Calientes in Tacna.
Waterfalls are formed when a watercourse comes up against a surface that is resistant to erosion, creating leaps or falls. Some are not too far from roads but others only reveal their beauty after several hours of walking through dense vegetation.
The highest waterfall in Peru is called Tres Hermanas (Three Sisters), and is located in the department of Junín, with a total height of 914 metres. On the other hand, the Gocta Waterfall, in the district of Valera, Bongorá province, Amazonas department, has a total height of 771 metres and a free-fall of 540 metres, which makes it the fifth highest free-falling waterfall in the world.