Lake Titicaca

Taquile Island

Stunning, unpredictable, and enormous, Lake Titicaca is a world of unique flora, fauna, cultures, and geology. Lago Titicaca, which means lake of the gray (titi) puma (caca) in Quechua, borders Peru and Bolivia, with Peru's largest portion to the northwest. While Peru boasts the largest port in Puno (57% of the lake is in Peru), The Lake itself is larger than Puerto Rico, with an average depth of 7.5 meters (25 feet) and a minimum temperature of 38˚F. Lake Titicaca gains 5 feet of water in summer (rainy season) and loses 5 feet in winter (dry season).

Puno bay is separated from the lake proper by the two jutting peninsulas of Capaschica and Chucuito, home to the descendants of the Uros people, who are now mixed with the Aymará and Quechua. The lakeshores are lush with cattail reed beds-valuable as building material, cattle fodder, and, in times of famine, food for humans. Although it's generally cold, the beaming sun keeps you warm and, if you don't watch it, you'll get sunburned!

The Uros Islands Known as the Floating Islands they are man-made islands woven together with reeds that grow in the lake shallows. Replenished often with layers because the underbelly reeds rot, these tiny islands resemble floating bales of hay and average 3 meters (10 feet) thick. Yes, locals sell trinkets, but visiting the floating islands is a glimpse into one of the region's oldest cultures, the Uros. Now mixed with Aymara culture, it's a form of human habitation that evolved over centuries. The closest group of "floating museums" is 7 km (4.35 mi) from Puno. The islanders make their living by fishing, hunting, cutting reeds, collecting eggs, trapping birds, and selling visitors well-made miniature reed boats and other handicrafts.

Taquile Island 35 km (22 miles) east of Puno in the high-altitude sunshine, Taquile's brown dusty landscape contrasts with green terraces, bright flowers, and the surrounding blue waters. Snowcapped Bolivian mountains loom in the distance. Local folk are known for weaving some of Peru's loveliest textiles, and men create textiles as much as the women. Islanders still wear traditional dress and have successfully maintained the cooperative lifestyle of their ancestors. The annual Taquile festival the third week of July is a great time to visit. Taquile is on a steep hill with curvy long trails, which lead to the main square where islanders often perform local dances for tourists. There are many ways to reach the top of Taquile where there are Inca and Tiahuanaco ruins; the most popular way is to climb up the 533 stone steps, or take a longer path. The boat trip takes about four hours each way and there is no transportation on land once you arrive.

The island of Amantani is 45 km (28 miles) from Puno and almost three hours away by boat from Taquile. Amantani has pre-Inca ruins and a larger, mainly agrarian society, whose traditional way of life has been less exposed to the outside world until recently. Not as pretty as Taquile, Amantani is dusty and brown, though the island is renowned for its homestay programs, giving unequivocal insight into the life of the people here. Facilities and food are basic, but cozy. Most of the younger generations here speak Spanish and even a smidgen of English, but the older generation speaks only Quechua. Amantani has a population of 3,600 Quechua. Sacred rituals are held in its two pre-Inca temples, dedicated to the earth's fertility. 35km(22 miles) east of Puno in the high-altitude sunshine.

Day 1:Arrive from Cusco or Lima to Puno. We pick you up from your flight from Lima or train or bus from Cusco and escort you to our comfortable hotel. The rest of the day / evening are free to relax, adjust to the altitude or explore the town.
Day 2: Taquile/AmantaniAfter a leisurely breakfast we pick you up and transfer down to Puno port and board our motorized launches. Our first stop is the floating reed islands of the Uros indigenous group who maintain houses and even schools on these floating reed islands. We continue to Taquile Island and then to Amantani for the night with a local family. Both islands have a strong weaving cultures and are steeped in tradition. Families on Amantani each have fitted out a guest room where visitors can stay. B: L: D
Day 3: Amantani to Puno After a full morning to explore Amantani Island and lunch, we return to Puno on our launch. The afternoon light is often enchanting and we arrive at our hotel weary but having experienced the essence of lake Titicaca, the cradle of Andean civilization. B.L
Day 4: Puno to Cusco or LimaWe pick you up after breakfast and take you to the station for your bus or train to Cusco or to Juliaca airport for your flight to Lima. B.

Note:Prices do not include flights, trains or buses to and from anywhere but we'll arrange this by request
Leaves every day, Private trips by request