Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, spanning 3,232miles2. And apparently the highest navigable mass of water in the world, reaching 3,810m. Within Lake Titicaca there are numerous islands, in which some can be visited by tourists.
Homestays of 1-2 nights are the real way to enjoy the peaceful beauty and traditions of the islands. I was able to visit 3 islands; Islas Uros, Isla Taquila and Isla Amantani.
Isla Uros is about 30 minute boat trip away from Puno. It is unique island in the fact that they have been created by layering reeds that grow in the surrounding area. In addition these reeds are used to make reed boats, homes and crafts.
You can easily visit Isla Uros for the day with frequent boat trips to the island, but the best is to go further afar from Puno, as Islas Uros is rather ‘touristy’ and commercial.
I stayed over night at the quiet Isla Amantani, where the locals welcomed us into their homes cooking lunch, dinner and breakfast, mainly consisting of rice, potatoes, cheese and quinoa. The island is known for the ‘ruined topped hills’ called Pachamama and Pachatata dating back to 200BC and 1000AD. Unfortunately for me the sunset wasn’t one to watch as the rain clouds came over the island.
Isla Taquile is an island of interesting traditions, from the woolen hats worn by the men to represent their marriage status to the clothes worn by the locals are only made by the family. Lunch at the island is one not to miss with fresh trout caught from the lake being offered.