Lake Titicaca Floating Islands

Not really knowing what to do, but knowing that we should visit lake Titicaca, our airBNB host arranged a two day tour for us, starting with visits to the floating islands on lake Titicaca, a homestay on Amantaní Island, and a trip to Taquile before coming back.

So after staying one night in Puno, we were picked up early the next morning by bus for our boat trip. After a presentation by the tour guide on the boat explaining how Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, we arrived at the first floating island, where the guide explained how the islands are built by the Uros people.The islands are basically made with plant material including reeds from the area, which are also a major food source for the Uros.

Once an island is built, I think he said it lasts for 20-25 years before they need to rebuild it. Every year, more reeds need to be laid down on the island to replace the ones flattened the year before.The islands were really impressive and we got to get out of the boat and walk around on a few of them.The clothing of the locals on the island was very distinct. We were surprised that in the cold weather (we had hats and jackets) the locals were still bare foot, but they had several layers under their skirts.Still, the people in the region are much more used to both the altitude and the temperatures being outside all the time.On the “big island” with the school, we stopped for some coca tea, made from the same plant which is used to produce cocaine. We had already been experiencing some altitude sickness in Puno and coca is supposed to help against it, which we found to be true.It was impressive that the locals even have a school out on the islands for young children, but if people want further education then they usually need to move into town back on land in Puno.

Some want to go and some want to stay. I mean, they even have TV on the islands, so it’s not like they are living in the dark. I think some of the electricity was acquired through solar panels on the roofs.Kay and I enjoying the sun warming us up a little.After awhile it was time to get back on the boat and head to Amantaní island for our homestay.If you have time around Peru, I definitely recommend visiting the lake. Some tours are day trips, so you could shorten your stay, but I’m so glad that we did our overnight homestay. It was such a special experience. More about that soon!

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