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The shimmering blue waters of Lake Titicaca are home to the famous, man-made Floating Islands of Uros. These islands and their dwellings, which date back to a pre-Incan time, are made completely out of totora reeds, a native bulrush plant that grows in the lake.
With a guided tour, get to know the inhabitants that have formed a small community and learn how these islands stay afloat. During the afternoon, visit the island of Taquile and experience the unique culture of the locals.
Puno Hotel Transfer
We will be picking you up from your hotel within the historic centre of Puno between 0645 and 0700 in the morning. Before boarding the motorboat to Uros Island we will have a brief stop at the boat pier where you can buy some snacks and bottled water.
Once you would settle in the boat, a local musician would welcome you with Andean Folkloric music. Our guide would then introduce himself and the captain of the boat before giving you a brief about the day’s itinerary on the World’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca.
Our first stop will be at the iconic floating islands of Uros. During the journey from the mainland to one of the Uros Islands, you can see totora plants that grow on Lake Titicaca. These constitute the basic source of food and, at the same time, they serve as a maintenance system that the Uros have to perpetuate the existence of the islands.
As the boat would dock in, local women dressed in the local attire would extend a warm welcome to the place they call home. The head of the island would then demonstrate how they build these islands using totora plants and would share a few words in their native language (Aymara).
Natives here are known for their handicrafts, so you may buy some if you would wish to. You will then have an option of sailing on the traditional totora reed boat (10 Soles) to the main island of Uros. If desired, you can get your passport stamped here as a souvenir.
From here, we will start our boat ride to Taquile Islands. You may walk up to the open deck on the upper level of the boat and get some photos of the floating islands that you would be passing through.
Breaching the green waters of Peru’s Lake Titicaca is the little mound island of Taquile where the local villagers have created a steady industry of knit handicrafts, which are knit by the men of the community.
Taquile is home to a Quechua population of 2,000 people who are mainly farmers, fishermen and above all renowned weavers. The fine textiles that come out of Taquile are renowned the world over and are even protected as a UNESCO world heritage subject.
However, unlike the often tragically traditional view of knitting and textile work as the demesne of women, it is the men of Taquile Island who do much of the delicate thread work. The craftwork is divided between weaving and knitting; women do the weaving, while the knitting is the man’s work.
The tradition begins when they are young as boys on the island begin learning their trade at the tender age of 8. Chief among these crafts are the iconic chuyo hats that many of the locals wear. Women can also be found making yarn and other tasks surrounding the creation of the items.
The 2,000-some residents of the island are well aware of the tourist appeal of their lovely island and its traditional Spanish garments. They have gone so far as to create a rather unique model for their visitor industry where the villagers act as a community to manage the comings and goings of tourists as well as the attractions they offer.
We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch at around 02:30 PM, you will be boarding the boat back to Puno. At approximately 04:30 in the evening, the boat will dock in Puno’s boat pier. We will meet you upon your arrival and will drive you back to your hotel within the historic center of the city.