Travel to the highest lake in the world and where there are islands unlike anything else in the world. Learn about the history and culture of the Uros. Here you will find the best tips and tricks for avoiding tourist traps and getting the best bang for your buck in Puno and Lake Titicaca
There are opportunities to experience the culture and histories of the Uros, Tikonata and Amantani islands
Learn about the Unique Pocket of Peru that is Puno and the Lake
Titicaca is the jewel of south Peru. It has a history and culture going back millennia. It is easy to reach from Cusco, Tacna or Lima as buses run directly there for $ 15- $ 20 Lodging is cheap and plentiful as is food and there is enough to keep you busy for a little less than a week.
There are three main island groups. The Uros who construct their floating islands from the native totoro reeds, and have been doing so since the time of the Inca. Tikonata the smaller island outside of puno bay which is home to about a dozen families. and Amananti the largest island that is home to a lively culture that is hundreds of years old
They Tikonata island was settled in the year 2000. On it is a museum where they exhibit handicrafts and mummies from the time of the Incas. The houses are made of adobe and straw but very comfortable. They use solar energy and collect water to survive. The members of the community are very friendly and are interested in telling their story.
From the highest viewpoint of the island and you can contemplate the immensity of Titicaca. It looks like an ocean.
Living with a family in Amantaní
There are several tour experiences available that take you to Amananti, some include the other islands. We recommend one that allows you to spend the night with a family.
Amantaní is an island bigger than Tikonata. Its paths are well delimited and are surrounded by the farms of the locals. Sheep, goats and various crops (such as potatoes and corn) are the productions of the premises. It has two huge hills Pachatata and Pachamama. Named for the creator gods of Incan religion.
On the latter you can observe the sunset in solitude. Peruvian Titicaca is very beautiful like a postcard come to life. it is worth enduring the cold and the wind to see how the sun fell on the lake. With the night, the moon and the stars are the only lights that illuminate the island.
Not only the sunset is beautiful in Amantaní. The nights are silent, dark and lonely the stars shine bright at such a high altitude. The Milky Way could be seen almost perfect. Only the faint roar of the trees and the waves beating against the shore could be heard. The nights in the Peruvian Titicaca are incredible.
The totora, typical Titicaca plant that works for everything
The Uros are an ancient community that live on “floating islands”. They escaped the slavery to which the Spaniards subjected them 500 years ago. They built barges with totora and hid in the totorales. They never found them. Over time, the ancestors of the current inhabitants were creating the islands that we know today.
The floating islands of the Uros are in the middle of the lake , nestled in fields of totorales. If you take a tour they show you how they built their current homes and the uses they give to the plant. It serves to eat, lower fever, build walls and roofs of houses, and most importantly: it is the base of the island.
Walking over this small piece of territory is a strange feeling. You can not believe how it resists the weight of all our bodies, houses and even a viewpoint. The islands are so small that they live a maximum of 5 families in each one. They fish and live on barter to get the food and supplies they need.
These tours are all relatively inexpensive, and we recommend them all with one caveat, be ready to be pushed and prodded to purchase things all along the way.