Why Take A Lake Titicaca Home Stay
Lake Titicaca is the perfect place to get off the beaten path and enjoy some unique travel experiences. Many of the islands that dot this majestic lake are home welcoming families who are happy to invite travellers into their homes to stay with the family and experience their way of life and customs. For travellers who don't mind a night of basic comforts, a Lake Titicaca home stay offers a unique chance to glimpse what real life is like in Peru.
It's a good idea to prepare for your home stay by bringing small gifts for your host family. Coloured pens and children's books will go down well among the kids, basic essentials like rice and batteries will be appreciated by your hosts.
The island of Amantaní, located approximately 25 miles (40 km) from Puno by boat, is a popular place to enjoy a home stay while on Lake Titicaca. You can explore the small island’s archaeological sites by foot during the day; at night, your host family will invite you eat a hearty home-cooked meal (quinoa soup, potatoes, and local fish are dietary staples), and attend/participate in a traditional dance with the locals. The Hospedaje Kantuka is an option for travelers who don’t want to participate in a local homestay.
The tiny, traveller-friendly Taquile Island is home to sandy beaches and pre-Incan and Incan ruins. Its inhabitants are experts in the art of handwoven textiles and clothing, for which they were recognized by UNESCO in 2005 as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”
Arrange an overnight family homestay to learn about the Taquileño textile tradition, and don’t forget to do a little souvenir shopping before you leave in the morning. There’s also a guest lodge on the island—TikaWasi—for those who prefer to skip the family homestay and enjoy a solar-heated shower.
An overnight stay on one of the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca is not your typical lodging experience. You’ll be hosted by the “children of the lake”—the Uros-Chullani—and invited to work, rest, and dine alongside them. Most notably, your feet will pad the soft, spongy layers of totora reeds that keep the island afloat. The reeds on each of these islands are woven and repaired each day as the bottom layer of the island begins to rot away. Spend the evening on one of these islands to learn more about the culture.