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What to see in the Lake Titicaca: Uros, Taquile and Amantani Islands

Visiting Lake Titicaca is one of the essentials on any trip to Peru. In this post I will tell you what to see and do in the Peruvian Lake Titicana, what the Uros islands are and how you can visit them, what to see in Taquile, whether it is worth visiting Amantaní, peculiar accommodation options and some travel tips that will be useful to you. help to visit this area.

To get to the Peruvian Lake Titicana you must reach the city of Puno. Although it is not the only option, it is the easiest.

In this post you will find all the information on how to get to Puno from Cusco: How to go from Cusco to Puno | Ruta del sol

Lake Titicaca straddles the Peru-Bolivia border in the Andes Mountains and is one of the largest lakes in South America. Being also the highest navigable lake in the world. It is located at 3800 meters of altitude and on the Peruvian side are the Uros, Taquile and Amantaní Islands, three different places that you can see on Lake Titicaca. Throughout the post I tell you how to visit this area for free and how to do it with tours.

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú


The Titicaca islands did not belong to their inhabitants until the middle of the 20th century. Then, tourism began in the 70s, although the area became famous and began to receive tourists in masses from the 90s.

At present, the inhabitants of the Peruvian Titicaca islands have achieved a more sustainable type of tourism and try to preserve their traditions and culture from generation to generation.

The agencies rotate the tourists so that throughout the month all the families on the islands have received a visit from tourism. It is usually once a week in high season per family and once a month in the low season per family. On these visits the family shows you their house, they prepare traditional food for you, they teach you their dances and they make you participate and at the end of the visit you can buy some of their handicrafts. For them it is tremendously important, especially in the Uros, where there is no agriculture or other economic activities as they have on the Taquile and Amantaní islands.

On the islands of Lake Titicaca in Peru, families are organized into communities. The work is collective and the Inca moral code is strictly followed: do not steal, do not lie and work hard.

Visiting Lake Titicaca is like taking a trip back in time. Electricity is scarce and is provided by generators and solar panels, there are no cars and people drink water from the lake. They have a school and a health center on all the islands, although for serious health issues or to continue their secondary studies they have to travel to the city of Puno.

The inhabitants of Titicaca only eat meat on special occasions. They are Catholic, although the influence of pre-conquest beliefs is noticeable and they fight to maintain their traditions and way of life. Although, according to what we were told, there are more and more young people who want to leave this way of life and go to "mainland" and to larger cities such as Puno, Arequipa or Lima.

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú

What to see in the Uros Islands

Las Uros are about 80 artificial islands, floating in Lake Titicaca. It is believed that its inhabitants are the oldest in the area, and that they were nomads who arrived from Bolivia. The Islands were built more than 500 years ago, to protect themselves from those who were on the mainland: first the Incas and then the Spanish.

Currently fewer and fewer people live on the islands, there are about 2000 people, mostly women and children. They speak Aymara and learn Spanish at the school, located on one of the islands. In each one there are between 5 and 10 families and a “president”, who is usually the only man, since the rest go to work in Puno or even in the suburbs of Lima. Not all the islands are inhabited.

The islands are built by their own inhabitants with totora, a kind of reed. Each one takes about a year to make, layer by layer, and they usually last about 30-40 years. They also use reeds for their boats…

Once you arrive on the Island they give you a demonstration of how the islands are built, they explain their history and traditions. Once the explanation is finished, you can visit their houses, see how they sleep and live from day to day, and even if the island has a boat, you can take a short tour on it, paying a supplement of about 12 soles. At this time they also take out their artillery and show you all the handicrafts that “themselves” weave.

My experience: Although the explanation of how the islands are built seemed very interesting, once this is finished you feel a bit intimidated and with the obligation to buy something (which is much more expensive than in Puno for example). In addition, the free time on the island (which are very small) is long, so in the end you get a little overwhelmed that they insist so much on buying from them. If you want to take a picture of their houses, they insinuate that you have to pay them etc…

Luckily the following stops on the Tour, on the other islands such as Taquile, we are not in this situation and they are a much more pleasant experience.

Hotels in some Lodge of the Uros Islands: Amalia Titicaca Lodge Uros Titicaca Lodge

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú

What to see on Amantani Island

Amantaní Island is practically circular and its area is just under 10 square kilometers. Some 3,600 people live on the island, divided into communities, who speak Quechua among themselves. They learn to speak Spanish at school and you can find older people who barely know how to say a few phrases in Spanish. Its highest point is 4,060 meters above sea level. So be careful with altitude sickness.

It takes about 3 hours to get to Amantaní from the Uros. Being the most remote island, not all tours go through there when visiting Lake Titicaca... that's why, since there is not so much tourism, it has a more authentic air. It is advisable to book your visit to the island with accommodation.

The inhabitants of the island are practically vegetarians and grow mostly potatoes and quinoa. On the island there are many cultivated terraces, similar to those you can see in other areas of Peru, such as the Sacred Valley. On the island there are many llamas, they consider them pets and even have names. They work the fabric and currently their source of income from abroad is tourism.

On the island as soon as you arrive you will meet the family with whom you are going to stay, they teach you their way of life, how they weave, how they manage to make quinoa flour, among many other things of their daily life.

On our free route around the island we found the school, being a bit curious (come on, I was gossiping) the children saw me and the teacher invited us to enter. They showed us what they were working on, their facilities and what day-to-day life is like with the children. The children were delighted to have visitors! In the end it was out of high season, they had not seen tourists for several weeks and they were curious to ask us things, they wanted to see the photos we had taken... I loved the experience!

At the top of the island (going up about 40 minutes) there are some Inca ruins. It is said that if you go three times counterclockwise, your wish will come true… so we had to try it.

From the Pachamama we could see a spectacular sunset. The descent was completely dark, as there are no streetlights hehe, but it was a unique experience.

We were staying on the island, in a private house: you can see the options from this link:

The family welcomes you with open arms and includes you in their daily life, they don't treat you like a guest in a hotel, they treat you like one of the family.

You can see from here accommodations on Amantani Island

Our accommodation option: Chaska Wasi Amantani

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú

What to see on Taquile Island

Taquile Island is narrow and long, and occupies about 6 square kilometers. It is almost 4000 meters above sea level. At present there are about 2,200 inhabitants, they are ethnic and speak Quechua.

When you go to visit Lake Titicaca, you will realize that Taquile is much more touristy than Amantaní, but less than the Uros. There are several restaurants, although they all have the same menu and the same prices, so there are no social differences.

When you visit the island in Tour, you will visit the house of a family, where they will teach you their customs, dances, they will give you food and you will be able to visit their house.

The textile art of Taquile Island is recognized by Unesco, and is said to be the best in Peru. Those who weave are men, who should start learning from childhood, and this skill helps them when it comes to proposing to the girl they like. You will see that all the men wear their caps and their little bags for the coca leaf. In the town square there is a market where you can buy, at a fixed price. There you have the guarantee that everything is handmade and that you are collaborating with the community, since they have a system that guarantees that no one will earn more than the rest. In the same market there is a roof terrace with spectacular views of the island and the lake.

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú

Taquile is uphill and very steep. As soon as you arrive at the port you start to go up, in our case it was halfway up when they stopped us to eat and we visited the house where they received us. It was a perfect break because from the climb we were short of breath. And we still had the worst!

After eating and resting a bit, we set off again to get to the town square. Although it is true that we were short of breath, we did not notice the altitude sickness. If you have problems during the climb, tell your guide! They have oxygen stations that will help you recover and that nothing bad happens to you.

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú

The good thing about visiting Taquile with a guide is that we arrived through a port, we made a route through the entire island until we reached another. We were able to see the less touristy area of ​​the island, where the cobbled path takes you along trails, stone gates and crops.

The best excursions to the islands of Lake Titicaca from Puno


I recommend that you stay in the center of Puno. There is atmosphere at night, a variety of restaurants and things to do. In recent years it has become very fashionable to stay in small Lodges on Lake Titicaca in the Uros Islands. I did not try this experience, but I leave you a couple of links.

Lago Titicaca, Puno, Perú


I hope you enjoy your trip to Peru a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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