Lake Titicaca is located at 3,812 meters above sea level, being the highest navigable lake in the world. Origin of different Andean cultures, this place has a special charm for its contrasts: immense lake, Andean highlands and snowy mountain range in the distance.
It has an area of 8,372 km2, distributed almost equally between Peru and Bolivia, as well as several islands, both natural and artificial floating islands (of the Uros) and good views of the Andes in the Bolivian region. In short, a unique place in the world.
Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca
This city is the main town located on the shore of the lake. However, it does not have an airport, so we had to fly from Lima to Juliaca (1:40 hours) and move in one of the vans that connect the airport of Juliaca with Puno. The route is not long, about 50 minutes, and we take the opportunity to contemplate the landscape of the Andean highlands.
Once we left the things in the hotel, we went out to tour the city a little before dinner.
The truth is that there is not much to see, being the most remarkable: the Plaza de Armas (Main square), where the cathedral is located, and the commercial street Jr. Lima. This is where the main restaurants are located and where you can buy scarves of baby alpaca (80-120 soles), chullos (Andean hats), handicrafts made in totora, etc…
We had dinner and went to sleep, since the next day we had stayed with the agency (Mystery Perú) at 7:30 a.m. a las 7:30 am.
Titicaca Lake: Floating islands of Uros
Early in the day we head to the jetty, from which all excursions depart for Lake Titicaca.
After about 30 minutes of navigation, once we reached to the floating islands of Uros, we went sliding with the boat between them…
… until we arrived at the “our island” which, like the rest, had some houses, a tower and its boat at the door (all made in totora).
We disembarked and felt for the first time the sensation of being on a floating island. The island moved little, just enough to notice that we were not on solid ground.
After this first impression, we sat in the central area and one of the “inhabitants” explained how life is on the islands: fishing in the lake, repairing totora structures, cooking, etc. …
And we say “inhabitants” because nobody really lives here anymore. For several decades now the old settlers moved to Puno, making a representation for tourists on the islands.
Once the explanation was finished, we toured the island contemplating the houses, the towers and the boats that they used.
The visit ended and we continued our journey towards Amantaní Island, located about 3 hours from where we were.
Experiential tourism on Amantaní Island
We arrived on the island and “our families” were already waiting for us at the jetty. We introduce ourselves and we go with them to their house. He did not have great luxuries, but it was more than enough to live his culture.
Once we rested for a while, the guide came to look for us and we headed to Cerro Pachatata (one of the 2 most important hills of the island). There we could contemplate some beautiful views of the island and the lake …
… as well as a spectacular sunset.
Once back in the village, we talked with our hosts and ate the typical dishes of the area (mainly vegetables). And, once the dinner was over, they gave us typical Andean clothes to go to a dance in our “honor”.
Being purists we can not say that it was to live like the inhabitants of the island, since it is prepared for tourists, but it was a nice way to enjoy the visit to this island.
Lake Titicaca: Taquile Island
We get up early, have breakfast with the family and say goodbye to our kind hosts. The island Taquile was waiting for us.
This island was not far, we arrived after an hour of navigation. We disembarked and with a calm step we went towards the high part of the island.
At the top there was a viewpoint with good views of both the lake and the mountain range in the Bolivian part. What a great contrast between the blue of the lake, the snowy mountain range, the sky and the clouds!
From there we went to one of the villages, where we could contemplate how they made the typical clothes of the island (it stands out more than Amantaní at a textile level). Afterwards we went to have lunch in one of the restaurants (it is not included in tour). Fried trout, the specialty of the area, is what we ate.
Due to the time, little else we could see. We walked the way back to the jetty and returned back to Puno.
Chullpas of Sillustani
We decided to go to Sillustani, where his famous Chullpas are located. The distance is short, about 33 km, so we took a van from Puno that left us in the same access of the place.
Once there, we pay the ticket (approximately 2.7 euros) and enter the archaeological zone.
Chullpas are funerary monuments in the shape of a tower that belonged to the Kolla culture. At an architectural level, they stand out for 2 reasons. First, because they are narrower at the base than at the top. Second, like other Andean buildings, for the perfection in the lace of each of the stones that make them.
In the remains of some of them you can see its interior, which is where the leaders who ruled in this community are buried.
They are located on the banks of the Umayo lagoon, not Lake Titicaca. However, the views from here are also quite impressive.
If you liked our experience, keep in mind our tips for this trip and plan yours now!
And not only Lake Titicaca, there are many more places to see in Peru. In addition, to facilitate your trip planning, we have at your disposal a trip configurator that will show you different options depending on the days you have available and your travel preferences.
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Kiss and hugs.