Who hasn’t dreamt at one time or another of living on a boat? Along with treehouses, floating houses hold a special place in the human imagination. The Uros people of Lake Titicaca take this dream and push it a little further: They have created their own floating reed islands that house their villages.
According to Uros tradition, they predated all other humans here and lived here even before the birth of the Sun itself on Isla del Sol. Also according to tradition, the Uros have black blood which protects them from the cold and from drowning. While the blood story may not be true, the Uros do have an incredible tolerance to cold, since the dried reeds that make up their homes don’t allow them to heat their houses due to the risk of fire.
The construction of the reed islands are true feat, as new reeds must be constantly added to the top to replace ones on the bottom that have dissolved into the water. Reed houses, stone stoves and fireplaces, and watchtowers all have to be supported by the island, as well as the weight of the residents and any possessions or animals they own. The reeds can also be eaten as a natural iodine supplement.
Sillustani is a pre-Incan site that consists of a group of huge cylindrical tombs. The towers of Sillustani are the most impressive of the burial towers constructed by the Colla people. They are distinctive because the Colla used brick-like rectangular edges, in contrast with the Inca who used stones of varying shapes.
The Colla, who were later incorporated into the Inca empire, constructed the towers to bury their nobility. The carefully carved stones are adorned with complicated carvings, some of which project out from the surface of the piece. It is important to also note that the openings in the tombs face east, where it was believed that the sun was reborn by “Pachamama,” or Mother Earth, each day.
At one end of the hill stands the tallest of the towers at 40 feet (12 m). From here you can enjoy views of Puno; on the other side it’s possible to see smaller towers set against the backdrop of Lake Umayo. Unfortunately, many of the tombs have been pillaged by grave robbers, while others were left unfinished by the original builders.
It was a really nice and well organized tour. From taking a boat, visiting Uros, walking uphill with incredible views and having a delicious lunch at Taquile. Tour guide was... read more
Very nice guides. A lot of interesting information, but a little bit too touristic. The good-by singing was a bit over the top.
Fantastic experience. This was our honeymoon trip and Planet Odysseys went above and beyond in organizing this two days experience. Totally recommend them.
This was one of the best experiences I had on my trip in South America. Lake Titicaca is massive and having a knowledgable guide is a key to the best... read more
Planet Odyssey staff were professional and helpful. The homestay was the highlight for us but a couple of caveats. The evening fiesta was a 45 minute walk each way from... read more
Everything about the tour company and this your was positive. I totally. Enjoyed every moment of this trip and I want to thank Nancy especially for being sokind
Planet Odysseys was incredible. I work in the tourism industry and was very picky when it came to selecting a provider that did good by its local, its workers, the... read more
Due to COVID, the tour was switched to Amantani, which is fine. However, I was charged $20 more for that and was informed only after the fact.
The Uros... read more
From start to end Planet Odysseys staff took great care and were very helpful. They were prompt to respond to my messages. I travelled by bus from Cuzco to Puno... read more
It was interesting to see the islands, but wish there was more to the tour than to see one island and a boat ride. Lake Titicaca is enormous, maybe a... read more