Some 30 minutes from the city of Cusco is found one of the most visited lakes in the region, Lake Huacarpay. People from Cusco flock there. For many years now it is said this lake has the form of the map of Peru, marked out by its totora, reeds, that grow on the edges. From up high you can clearly observe its shape and detail.
This lake was and is very popular and serves as a place for recreation and rest for families on weekends. Near the lake there are overlooks where you can see a beautiful site, wild birds such as ducks and others who appear in an among the totora fields.
You used to be able to get in by boat to enjoy an outing on it and have a stupendous day. People used to fish on the lake in boats made of totora, the reeds. They would enter the center of the lake in order to fish.
Once upon a time something disagreeable happened. A fisherman fell from his boat and he found something strange in the depths of the lake. His disappearance was not long in appearing in the news media. It was said that the lake had swallowed him. The young man who had fallen in never appeared again in his body.
Divers equipped with special equipment entered the lake in order to see what was found in the lake in order to find out what had happened to the young man and they found nothing. The people of the zone around the lake said that the disappeared man was not the only person who had disappeared and had been swallowed by the lake.
Some of the people who lived by the lake said that that on full moons prehistoric animals would come out to see the world. Some people insisted there were mermaids who would take them to the bottom and devour them. Others said there was a carnivorous plant that sent out a vine, a kind of tentacle, from the bottom that tied people up so that they could not escape.
In any case, this lake has become something frightening to the people in Cusco. If people were to decide to go boating on it or to go swimming in it they were in danger. After a few years the body of the youth appeared in a different place, Urcos lake which is not far away.
People think that the two lakes must be connected underground. They feed each other. What people say about ancient animals, mermaids, carnivorous plants, and so on could be true. No one knows what these lakes hide in their depths.