Experience the genuine culture of Lake Titicaca and its people. The lake is considered as the highest nagivable lake in the world and the second main attraction in Peru. Lake Titicaca is enormous, with more than 8,400 km2 length, 170 kilometers length and has a myriad of unvisited islands, indigenous communities with pastoral terrains, that have stood still in the passages of time, awaiting to be explored.
Lake Titicaca is situated at a seriously high altitude of 3,809 m.a.s.l (12,397 feet) in the region of Puno. Puno is known principly for being the entry to the beautiful Lake Titicaca and its marvellous floating islands.
Old fables say that from this glimmering blue expanse came out the first children of the sun: Manco Capac and his wife Mama Ocllo, creators of the potent Tihuantinsuyo Empire.
Once considered the `City of Silver´- a reference to the city's mining past. The high Andean town of Puno has a substantial and diverse history, the many conquering civilizations that have swept through the district each adding there own flavor. Today it is referenced to as the folkloric capital of Peru due to its abundantly imaginative culture and more than 300 cultural dances.
Nowadays, the ancestors of these fabled characters continue to live off the land and fish for the plentiful freshwater tout. The Aymara folk are the main culture of the district in both ancestral and native language and the culture stretches over the whole altiplano (high plateau), including Bolivia and Southeastern Peru. They have been handed down their ancestors skill in architecture, stonework, ceramics and textiles, which is fascinating for the traveler to see. Curiously, not alike the rest of the Andes, it is the men and boys who weave the amazing fabrics on the extraordinary Taquile Island, one of the prevelant islands of Lake Titicaca. The Lake Titicaca tour gives tourists a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the lives of these captivating communities.
The Uros Floating Islands
As unlikely as it sounds the Uros people live on floating islands made by hand from the totora reeds that grow in great amount in the shallow water of the lake, this unbelievable procedure began in pre Inca times, when they were under attack and made handmade reed boats to get away. Nowadays there are about 45 floating islands in which the principle economy comes from tourism, is is situated about 30 minutes from Puno.
Crew: A Tierras Vivas Representative in Puno and a professional Tour Guide on the Titicaca Lake.
Accommodation: A family homestay over a night (or more, if you like) on the Amantani Island on the Titicaca Lake.
Meals: 1 breakfast, 1x lunch, 1x diner (Please allow USD 5 for meals no included).
Transportation: Motorboat transportation.
Please note: if you would like do a 2 day trip, breakfast and dinner on the Amantani or Taquile Islands are not included.
Amantani Islands - A tourism initiative that directly supports the community through homestays, artisan cooperatives and more.
Pick up and transfer to the port in Puno in the morning, where we will board a motor boat to the Uros floating islands (30 minutes) before arriving at Amantani Island. We begin our trip by visiting `The Uros Floating Islands´, a little community that has lived on these reed islands for decades.
The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate and protect themselves from rival tribes, the militant Collas and the Incas. The Uros people gathered the reeds in the shallow of the lake, packaged them tightly together and constructed floating island platforms complete with reed houses and canoes, thus creating their own small world. Fishermen and hunters reside on this island. The inhabitants are known as the `water tribe´ because they must build their own island regularly, adding new layers of totora reeds so that the island stays afloat! The thick roots of the plant supports the island. The roofs are wterproof and the houses are very humid due to the water that surrounds them. Today they speak Quechua and Aymara. We walk around the floating islands and then continue our trip. You are taken to the island of Taquile, where you will enjoy an authentic experience. The island is vibrant and colorful and preserves its traditions and culture. We can enjoy a typical lunch of fresh trout. There is also a craft exposition on the plaza that sells excellent wool goods which are of very fine quality.Taquile Island is well known for its craftsmanship, especially for the exquisite fabrics. The island is narrow, about 1km wide and 6 to 7km long. It is at 13,000 ft above sea level! There are many examples of pre Inca and Inca ruins here and Inca terracing. Later we continue our journey to Amantani Island where we will spend the rest of the day. On arrival we are greeted by a group of indigenous people. Amantani is an archaic spiritual place with two pre-Inca temples dedicated to the earths abundance. They are on different hills and are sacred places where ceremonial rituals are stll practiced. The inhabitants are considered gebtle people.Later you have dinner with a local family. You can buy woven fabrics, ceramics and straw baskets. We then return to Puno.
Inhabitants of the floating islands of Uros have intermarried with the Aymaras and no pure Uros already exist. For that reason, Uros´ language got extincted and nowadays´ Uros people speak Aymara. There are about 300 families living on the islands; however, their number has been slowly declining.
The present Uros people do fishing, bird hunting, but mostly live from tourism. Tourism has opened their lives to the scrutiny of cameras and video cameras. Of the 42 islands, only less than half receive tourists. The tourism is very intensive and a mayor part of their incomes, but the islanders depend on it now so it contributes to the erosion of their culture like that.
Another Titicaca Lake island worth visiting is Amantani, a very beautiful and peaceful island!! There are 6 villages, temples and ruins on both of the island's peaks - Pacha Tata and Pacha Mama offering an excellent views of the lake!! You also can find there a throne carved out of stone called Inkatiana! About 15 January of each year, a big festivity is celebrated. The festivity is very colourful, full of music and hard-drinking. There is also a festival on the first Sunday of each March containing brass bands and colourful dancers. Amantani´s residents produce exquisite textiles that sell quite cheap at the Artesania Cooperativa (an artist´s association). They also make basketry and stoneware. The residents are Quechua speakers, but also understand Spanish. There are not hotels on the island, but local families offer their houses to tourists so you can enjoy an extraordinary experience sharing a house with a local family!!
You should not miss a visit of the amazing Taquile Island!! There are numerous pre-Inca and Inca ruins and terraces! The island is only about a kilometre wide, but 6-7 km long. Ask about a (unmarked) museum of traditional costums placed on the main square (plaza) and also about where to see local people weaving. There also is a co-operative shop on the main square selling exceptional woollen products, which are not cheap, but you do not find better quality in whole the Peru!! The main festivals of the island are Easter, the Apostle James celebration to honor this Taquile´s saint patron (the festivity takes place from begining of July to the 2nd August) and the Taquile Textile Art Fair taking place from 25th July to 5th August. The festivities include a lot of music, dances, food and mostly drinks.
Llachon is a small village located in eastern end of the Capachica Peninsula, 46 miles far away from the city of Puno (a 1 hour and 20 minute ride). The village has 1,300 inhabitants who are spread out all over the peninsula and they belong to the ethnic group of Quechuas. The village that owns electricity and 1 phone opens itself to tourism just recently! Its scenary is very pretty with its sandy beaches, pre- Inca terraces, typical trees and flowers. The view of the sunset seeing from the Auki Carus Hill is unique and even better that from the Taquile Island! Visitors share local activities with its inhabitans and 70% of all production of the village serve to contribute local farms. The peninsula is ideal for hiking and mountain-biking as well as sailing while boats or kayaks can be hired on the site. Neither Taquile nor Amantani are far away from there. A local curiosity is that 12 local families offer accommodation to tourists on a rotational basis!
Local flights: No local flight is included in the cost of these tour.
A guided tour through the Sacred Valley of the Incas takes travelers on a journey through time, visiting the Pisac market and Inca city, the fortress of Ollentaytambo, and many other locations throughout the valley. This valley is well known for how lush it is, and is a perfect location for agriculture, where locals use traditional Incan terraces and farming techniques to grow a variety of crops. The rich history and culture of the Sacred Valley makes for an incredible experience on this tour of the towns, modern and ancient, of this landmark of Peru.
Experience one of the deepest canyons in the world, more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and the second deepest in Peru. This location is perfect for hiking or sightseeing and enjoying the lush nature of this valley. Full of charming towns, healing hot springs, delicious food (especially the freshly caught trout from the river), and of course the famous Andean Condors, Colca Canyon is an ideal getaway for appreciating the natural beauty of the Andes and of Peru.
The Andean Condor is the national bird of several South American countries and the source of many more legends and fables. It is called the “eternity bird”, having a life span near that of a human, and a much larger wingspan (7-8 feet). This trip offers the perfect opportunity to see these incredible birds, the population of which is currently declining. They are considered Near Threatened. The viewpoint by which to watch for these birds also offers breathtaking views of the canyon and the surrounding landscape, and the relatively short hike up to this point is picturesque and quite peaceful.
This remarkable journey through the mountains is a challenge, but well worth the effort, as the final destination is truly a beautiful mountain face, the rainbow pattern of which is caused by eroding layers of sedimentary rock, 7 distinct colors of it. The altitude of this trek reaches 4,400 meters above sea level, so it is especially important on this trip that travelers be accustomed to the altitude (at least 2 days in Cusco beforehand is recommended). There are emergency horses if necessary, but one of the best parts of this hike is the feeling of having overcome adversity, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.