Lake Titicaca, Peru

A Trip to Lake Titicaca, Peru

Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest lake navigable to large vessels, lying at about 12,500 feet above sea level. Located on the southern border of Peru and stretching through the Andes Mountains, this lake is a must see destination!

This body of water is the largest lake in South America as well as one of the most visited tourist attractions in Peru. It’s an impressive 106 miles long and spreads over an area of more than 3,230 square miles! A visit to the lake offers the opportunity to experience scenic emerald blue water and yellow grass reeds while also allowing its visitors to take in an authentic cultural experience like no other.

Our trip began with a boat ride from Puno Bay. From there, we set sail for the floating islands of the Uru people. The highlight of any trip to Lake Titicaca is visiting these man-made floating islands. There are over a hundred man-made floating islands where its indigenous inhabitants live to this today.

The man-made islands in Lake Titicaca are spread over three miles across the lake. They are a part of a vibrant group of communities who have lived on the lake for almost 4,000 years. On our visit, the Uru people were warm and friendly.

The Uros islands range in size from about 100 feet wide to larger ones that can accommodate up to ten families. We had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the life of the wonderful people who have lived in this ancient tribe for centuries.

We spent an amazing time interacting with the Uros people, learning about their culture and lifestyle.

A Uru woman sewing a blanket.

The trip offered the opportunity to get a fascinating glimpse into the life of these ancient tribal people living the way they have for centuries.

The Uru people were traditional hunters and gatherers. Today, the Uru men are mainly involved in hunting and fishing, while the women make traditional handicrafts which they sell to support their livelihood.

A typical Uros stove and pots.

The islands are a remarkable engineering feat developed by the Uros in antiquity. The Uru people constructed these man-made islands by weaving the roots of the Totora Reed together to make a strong base layer for the island. This layer is about two meters thick.

More than 3,000 Uru people currently live on these man-made islands. They made the islands, thatched-roof houses, and their boats using reeds found near the lake.

Our trip ended with a ride on a sturdy Totora reed boat! As the boat sailed over the tranquil lake water, we enjoyed the surrounding views and the mesmerizing scenic beauty of this hidden gem.

South America has many popular attractions and UNESCO world heritage sites. A day trip to Lake Titicaca and the floating islands of an ancient culture is always a unique experience and
a worthwhile adventure. Meeting a local tribe, spending an entire day with a tribal family and learning about their culture is an experience to remember forever.

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