Puno & Lake Titicaca

Trip Start Oct 03, 2010
Trip End Sep 06, 2011

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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, July 29, 2011


From Cusco we headed east to Puno where we decided to take a trip to Lake Titicaca and an island called Taquile. Lake Titicaca is considered the world’s largest high altitude lake. We had heard good and bad things about Puno and Lake Titicaca. Some travellers think it is very touristy and, it is, but were in Peru and Lake Titicaca is tourist spot so what do you expect. The one thing we have learnt from travelling and that is to make the most of any situation, even if its not perfect you can still have some fun.

Our first stop on our trip was to the floating islands. We had left very early in the morning to catch a boat and it was bitterly cold. We had been warned that it would be so we had thermals on hats and gloves at the ready. On the way to the floating Islands we passed a 5 star hotel where Andrew & Pauline stayed on their trip to the Lake. We stayed in a hostel in Puno with our own double room with views over the lake, the catch was you had to provide your own loo paper, we bet Pauline and Andrew didn‘t.

The floating islands are made from reeds provided by the Lake, hundreds of people apparently live on them still. The main reason people still survive on the islands is due to tourism. There are lots of boats heading out to the islands each day to meet the locals and buy gifts from them. With our tour we also got an explanation of how the islands were made and what kind of food they survived on. Although the whole experience was very touristy we had some fun.

After meeting the islanders we headed off to a much larger island called Taquile. Inhabited for many thousands of years by the Quechua speaking islanders, they maintain lives largely unchanged by the mainland modernities. They also have a long tradition of weaving. While there we were able to observe one of their many fiestas. The women and men were dressed in colourful clothes and danced and drank around the main Plaza. We had a pleasant afternoon spent wandering around the main area of Taquile. The men wore their hats in a certain way so the females could determine if they were married, dating or single and the females likewise with their skirts. The boat ride back to Puno took about 3 hours and by this time the sun was out and the temperature was warmer.
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