13 Feb Why You Should Visit Titicaca On Your Trip To Peru
Titicaca lake is on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It is also the largest lake in South America. There are 6 major islands and they all are unique in their own way. On the Peruvian side, you can visit The Uros floating islands, Amantani and Taquile. Here is why you should visit the islands on your trip to Peru.
Uros Floating Islands
Uros floating islands might be one of the most popular islands of Lake Titicaca. Each island is made out of Totora and was anciently used as a defence mechanism where they can move the islands at any time. Legends say that the Uros people originated in the Amazon during the pre-Colombian era. The Uro people speak mainly Aymara, but also Quechua. The ones who deal with tourists can also communicate in Spanish and some English.
The Uros Islands are close to Puno on the Peruvian border. Many of the islands are not open for tourists. If you doing a day-trip from Puno visiting multiple islands you will most likely see some of the islands that are simply just put up for tourism and to sell their products. And you might just see one island in 1 hour. If you want to get an authentic experience you should stay a night at Khantati or one of the other islands that offer a stay for the night.
Next step: Ultimate guide to visiting Puno in Peru.
Amantani is an island 2 hours from Puno. There are no cars or no hotels on the Amantani. If you want to stay the night you can do a homestay, which is also found on booking.com Their homes does not have any addresses so the host needs to pick you up when you arrive on a boat. Staying the night is very magical, you will hike up to the two mountain peaks: Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Pachapapa (Father Earth) to see the sunset. You can also get a view to Bolivia on a good day. In the evening the host will lend you traditional Amantani clothes and take you to a traditional party where you will dance with locals and tourists. Most of the tour and boats go to Amantani for people who stay the night there. The boats continue to a stop to Taquile on the way back to Puno the next day. Read more about my visit to Amantani here.
Taquile island is known for its handicraft. The quality of the handicraft is not only famous in South America but the whole world. The males start knitting at the age of 8 where they use specific hats in terms of their relationship status. Women usually make yarn and weave. The locals on the island were previously not allowed to marry people outside of the island. The Taquile society is based on community collectivism where they believe in (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy.) Taquile is open for homestays, but can easily be visited the morning after staying at Amantani before going back to Puno. Taquile is a small island and you can also see on a half-day trip after visiting Amantani or from Puno.