Lake Titicaca Tour: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island
This Lake Titicaca Tour is a full day excursion which visits the fascinating Uros floating islands and the Aymara community on Taquile Island. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, spanning the border of Peru and Bolivia. During the Inka era, the lake was associated with the Inka god Wiracocha and today continues to be of spiritual significance to the local Aymara and Uros people.
We begin in the early morning with a transfer to the port where we meet our guide and board a motor boat with enclosed cabin.
Arriving on the Uros floating islands, we will feel a spring in our step due to the flexible reeds underfoot. While on the islands we visit villagers who tend to their island homes. There is also the opportunity to ride on the traditional reed boats which are still bound by hand.
The unique Uros floating islands, which number approximately 40, are man-made creations of matted totora reeds which grow naturally around the lake. The reeds are continuously added to each island’s surface as they slowly disintegrate. The islands are anchored by ropes tied to branches sunk in the lakebed.
Legend states that at some time during the 1200s, shore-dwelling Uros escaped persecution at the hands of the Inka’s soldiers by creating a floating colony in the middle of the lake. Mobility was a chief concern in case of attack. Today, the Uros population numbers approximately 2,000 of which about 600 people still live on floating island communities in Peru and Bolivia.
After visiting the Uros floating islands, we continue to Taquile Island, Inhabited for over 10,000 years, Taquile Island was settled around 1000BCE by the Pukara culture, responsible for the stone terracing still evident on the island. Taquile Island was administered by the later Tiwanaku culture until the arrival of the Inka in the 13th century. After the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century, the island became the property of Pedro Gonzalez de Taquile.
Today, Taquile Island is home to an indigenous Aymara population whose textile tradition has been recognized as a heritage of humanity by UNESCO. Traditional garments are loom-woven and knitted, the most common items being calendar belts which depict the annual cycle of community events; and chullos, woollen hats with ear-flaps.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant on Taquile Island.
After lunch we will climb the stairway to the top of the island to view the Tiwanaku-era ruins of Uray K’ari and Hanan K’ari. After our visit, we return to Puno and the hotel.
This tour is approximately 10hrs duration.