Lake Titicaca Peruvian Side
Lake Titicaca is the second most visited place in Peru, after Cuzco, it is the second largest lake in South America, with more than 8,000 km2 of extension, of which 56 percent corresponds to Peru and 44 percent to Bolivia. It is the highest navigable lake in the world (3,812 meters high) and it is estimated that the deepest point has 281 meters.
Lake Titicaca moderates the climate of its surrounding area, absorbing and retaining the solar energy of the day and radiating it at night. For this reason, the climate in the areas surrounding the lake, are not extremely cold as would be expected above 3800 meters above sea level, this in turn influences agricultural activities in the area surrounding the lake. Due to this, in Peru the area surrounding the lake is the most important geoeconomic region of the Peruvian south Andes; only in this area are 49 percent of the alpacas, 32 percent of sheep, 29 percent of llamas and 10 percent of cattle throughout Peru.
The most accomplished activity is visiting the natural and floating islands that are along the lake. For these, we must embark on boats with a guide, either privately or in groups.
The floating islands of the Uros, are interesting to know such a special way of life. Each island has a name and about 3 meters thick and is anchored to the bottom of the lake. Every 15 days they add another layer of totora (reed), which is the material with which they make the boats, and in turn, all the buildings on the island. In addition to that, some use the totora (reed) as a source of food.
The totora (reed), has grown in the lake for thousands of years. There are about 80 islands of this type in Peru. They live mainly of the exchange and in the last years, of tourism. Each island corresponds to a family, with one president per island.
Once you have visited the floating island, you can enter one of the Uros boats, who will guide you through Lake Titicaca and tell you their traditions and their history.
A natural island to visit is the "island of Taquile", the largest on the Peruvian side, where you can go for a walk. From here you can see Bolivia and it is recommended to do the walk slowly. This is because the height usually plays against, not so much for the difficulty of the road.
Another option is Amantani Island, known as the "island of love", Amantaní has majestic fields, eucalyptus trees and flowers like the cantuta that grows in the plateau. This island is the largest of Lake Titicaca and is three hours by boat from the city of Puno. Being an isolated town, the inhabitants and travelers move from one place to another walking, since there is no means of transport such as motorcycle or taxi.
In turn, people can stay in any of the islands. Includes nightly accommodation and two meals. Most of the inhabitants of the islands are very friendly, so they are open to offer their homes to tourists.
If you get here, there are dozens of activities to carry out, mainly, aquatic activities. Rowing, sailing and diving can only be done in permitted places. While the kayak, will move the athlete from the island Esteves to reach the floating islands of the Uros. You can also go trekking, perfect to admire the majestic Andean landscapes. Finally, you can enjoy cycling, an activity that can be practiced on the shores of the lake, enjoying its flora and fauna.
Finally, the islanders make and sell handicrafts to tourists, which is another source of survival for the Uros.
The most important thing to do here, is to look for a place (either raft, floating island, natural island or coast of the lake) and appreciate a real sunset, one of those that fill you with peace, tranquility, and that in turn, attract to hundreds of photographers annually.
+ If the couples divorce, the island is divided.
+ Depends on the hats they wear, they have different meanings among the Uros.
+ It is considered a sacred place for the extinct Inca civilization. According to legend, it was in this place where the world was created, when the god Viracocha came out of the lake and created the sun, the stars and the first people (according to the Inca mythology).
*Location: 800 Km southeast from Lima.
*Rates: (all prices are in Peruvian suns)
Uros raft ride...$10.
Staying in the islands...$80.
Tour around the islands in group...$100.
Tour around the islands in private...$180.
*Duration: 2 days.
*Warning: Keep calm and enjoy in a relaxed way, height can play a role against.
*Best time: October-March.