The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca – Puno, Peru

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From Cuzco, we decided to take a tourist bus to Puno. Along the way we visited a few ruin sites, a market, a scenic overlook and stopped for a nice buffet lunch. It seemed like a good idea initially, but it wound up taking all day and we didn’t really have much time at each stop. If we had to do it over again, we’d just take a normal bus.

Remnants of an Inca temple at RaqchiRemnants of an Inca temple at Raqchi
Remnants of an Inca temple at Raqchi27-Nov-2010 10:30
 

We were only in the small town of Puno for one night, but managed to find decent pizza and a cozy bar playing good 80’s music videos all night. The hostelowner at Inca’s Rest was so sweet and helped book us on an early morning tour of the town’s main attraction – Las Islas Flotantes (The Floating Islands).

Boats in the port of Puno, ready to depart to the floating islands and other places around Lake TititcacaBoats in the port of Puno, ready to depart to the floating islands and other places around Lake Tititcaca
Boats in the port of Puno, ready to depart to the floating islands and other places around Lake Tititcaca28-Nov-2010 09:11
 

We took a boat out to these unique islands that are made of reeds and mud. They were originally built by the Uros people to escape the Incan invasion and preserve their culture. Now, a community of Amayran people inhabit the islands.

One of the floating islands of UrosOne of the floating islands of Uros
One of the floating islands of Uros28-Nov-2010 10:03
 

It was interesting to see them and a challenge to walk on them. But, it was very apparent that they are almost solely a tourist attraction. We found them to be quite artificial and couldn’t really enjoy them because they’ve become so commercialized.

Some of the islands inhabitants, demonstrating how the islands are constructedSome of the islands inhabitants, demonstrating how the islands are constructed
Some of the islands inhabitants, demonstrating how the islands are constructed28-Nov-2010 10:09
 

After the tour, we jumped on a bus to head around the lake and into our 10th country – Bolivia!

About Heather

Heather and Erik set off on a round-the-world trip in April, 2010, travelling overland through Central and South America before getting engaged in Antarctica. In 2011-2012 they tackled Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

3 thoughts on “The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca – Puno, Peru

  1. Danny

    We ended up skipping the islands while in Puno…the altitude (we had come from the coast) was killing us and for some reason we found the coca museum more interesting! Hopefully you guys managed to find it…..

    Reply
    1. Heather Post author

      Hey Danny ~
      The Floating Islands were interesting, but super touristy. We had trouble with altitude too and enjoyed the Coca Museum. We just finished our tour of the Salt Flats. Amazing! Love your photo from the hot springs there.
      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  2. Lance

    I agree with Heather that the floating islands were super touristy, however, the old church in Raqchi was an absolute delight – a quiet slice of village life on the way to Puno.

    Reply

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