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Lake Titicaca and the floating islands of the Uros

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He Titicaca lake next to floating islands of the Uros, It has become one of the must-see in the south of thePeru. Perhaps not so much for its beauty, but the mere fact of thinking that it is one of the most cultural corners of Peru, where its people wear colorful outfits, live in islands where they move every day and where theAymara and theQuechua They live together with Spanish, well worth a visit.


Floating Islands of the Uros

Lake Titicaca and the floating islands of the Uros

Stone cougar It is the meaning of the word titicaca and that gives name to the lake, being at an altitude close to 4000m. In fact, it is considered by size and water storage the highest of all. No wonder because it looks like a whole sea when one approaches its shores and is unable to see the other side. In addition, its deepest point is more than 300 meters deep in Bolivian territory.

It also serves as a border between two countries, Peru (60%) Y Bolivia (40%), which have had to put river border patrols to avoid the continuous smuggling that was happening in the area.

The Peruvian side is chaired by the city of Fist, where every day numerous tourist buses arrive from the cities of Cuzco Y Arequipa. Therefore, as you can guess, our visit to theAug Titicaca part of the port of Puno, where we can hire numerous excursions by the lake visiting the floating islands of the Uros and other islands like that of Taquile.


Floating Islands of the Uros

Floating Islands of the Uros

That click I took the first time I visited the floating islands of the Uros. Today they are a tourist attraction where its inhabitants live by and for tourism. Armed with solar panels to survive with modern electricity, their old way of life ended as a result of this gift from the former president Fujimori. Not in vain who would not accept it, everything is to have the best possible quality of life.

Certainly there are many more and surely they are more unmarked from tourism. In total there are more than 20, where churches and schools have even been erected.


Floating Islands of the Uros

Several boats leave daily to visit the Floating Islands and optionally stopping on some lake island, such as Taquile. At Uros Islands It takes about an hour to arrive, leaving the first excursions at 7 AM.

These islands, settled by a family of the same blood, are made from Cattail, a plant that grows at the bottom of all the Titicaca lake. We have called them islands, but they are really gigantic rafts where a small community sits and as a good raft it has an anchor and everything, so that the island does not move at will.


Floating Islands of the Uros

The community we visited lived mainly from tourism, selling crafts and canoe trips made with Cattail. These canoes are totally handmade and it takes more than 3 months to build each one.


Floating Islands of the Uros

Its inhabitants are Aymara and we should not confuse them with Quechuas. These are generally friendlier and have a very different language, in addition to being preinca, has its days numbered. Too bad because less and less people speak it.

They feed mainly on fish and meat they bring from the mainland, but since they cannot cook it, they dry it as if it were a serrano ham.


Uros Islands

Our visit lasted an hour and gave us the opportunity to travel by canoe for the small amount of 10 soles while a sweet child sings a melody in three languages. Once finished, we take the boat towards the taquile island.

Taquile Island

It's curious travel to taquile island where its inhabitants (Quechuas) wear the typical attire Majorcan. And this is not by chance, but by the story related to Spain Guarding the island and a Spanish Duke of Balearic origin who lived on their lands. Last name Gonzalez de Taquila, hence the name of the island, forbade Quechua dress and forced all citizens to dress in a more peasant way, specifically that used for those times in the Mallorca Island.

Today the island has 1700 inhabitants and is the largest of all Lake Titicaca. It takes approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from the floating islands, so it is a good time to take a nap before visiting it.

Once there you will have to climb a good slope from 3900m to 4020m, so take oxygen and patience !!


Taquile Island

Perhaps the best thing about the island is to observe its people. The colors of their clothes indicate their rank and if they are married or single. Good way to know if you can enter seductive mode or not 😀. Another curious detail of the island is that men who do not knit directly have no future. It is the main way of life and almost mandatory to be able to subsist, although today there are some who have deals with the agencies of Fist, obtaining benefits thanks to tourism.


Taquile Island

When women get married they weave the husband's belt and indicate in it the reasons for what they expect in the future ... children ... That the island has curiosities, where money is only for tourists because they still continue with the old tradition of barter.


Taquile Island

The most photogenic point of the island are the doors That divide each neighborhood. This, for example, is found before arriving at the port from where the boats return to Fist.


Taquile Island

An interesting visit is that of Taquile, even more if you are looking for a cultural immersion in Peru. A fairly complete day that also gives you the opportunity to take a bus to Arequipa on your return

Practical data on Lake Titicaca

When to go to Puno or Lake Titicaca?

The ideal is to avoid the rainiest months that are usually January, February and March. The rest of the months are usually very dry and a bit cold. Keep in mind that we are 4000 meters high and the nights go down to 0 degrees with ease.

How to move?

From the port of Puno or from the bus station itself, you can hire the excursions that travel the Titicaca lake and visit the floating islands. To think that the first tours leave at 7:00 AM and those that leave later do not have time to get to Taquile.

 Excursion to the Uros and Taquile Islands

If you think that sailing can make you dizzy, this will not be the case. The boats are very very slow, due to a speed restriction in the area.

How to get to Lake Titicaca?

Both from Cuzco how Arequipa there are regular night and day bus services. The nocturnal ones are usually of type premium, quite comfortable and logically more expensive, but keep in mind that you save a hotel night and do not miss a day on the roads. We went with the company Southern Cross, $ 18 to 25$ depending on whether you choose bed or semi-bed. The bed option is first class with individual TV ... so what if you go to sleep ?.

Where to eat on Lake Titicaca?

In the floating islands it will not give you time, although you can chew Cattail, so the option stays in Taquile, where there are very few options. The first is to take your own food, the second to go with the tour guide and opt for the restaurant arranged for that purpose (15/20 soles) and the last is to make use of the small supermarket in the town square, where prices are adjusted to tourism ... 1 to 2.5 Suns 0.75-1.5l water bottle.

How much does the visit cost?

About 30/45 soles. Without counting meals or additional boat trips.

Where to stay in Puno?

We opted for the hotel Qoñi Wasi, hard to pronounce. Well located and little noisy unlike other hotels.

Go to Bolivia from Puno

Many travelers think that from Puno you can go to Bolivia. Unfortunately this is not the case since there is no ship service between the two countries. The only way to cross the border is by land and thus reach the Sun `s Island, the most visited point on the Bolivian side.

Travel insurance

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