Lake Titicaca Tour Highlights
Lake Titicaca is widely considered to be a major cradle of civilisation in the Andes, and it held a mythical place in the hearts and minds of Inca and Aymara people. Spend a few days at the lake and explore a long, rich history set in one of Peru's most spectacular landscapes.
Lake Titicaca’s must-see travel attraction are the “floating” Uros Islands. These remarkable islands are constructed from several layers of totora reeds, which grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake. Each day, a new layer of reeds must be woven by the islanders as the bottom layer begins to rot away. The number of islands varies, but can reach up to 40. The edible totora reed is also used by the islanders to make huts, boats, and handicrafts.
The Uros people retreated to their ingenious islands after suffering repeated attacks from the more powerful Aymara tribes. Finding floating life preferable to their risky existence on land they decided to stay, harvesting the lake's abundance and rarely returning to land.
Amantaní & Taquile Islands
Travellers interested in spending an overnight stay on the lake may consider Amantaní or Taquile Island. Both islands are inhabited by Quechua speakers who adhere strictly to ancient traditions, including traditional dress. The tiny island of Taquile is a hilly island known for its beautiful textiles and handicrafts. Amantaní Island contains two significant peaks: Pachatata (Father Earth) and Pachamama (Mother Earth), which are home to ancient ruins. Guests are invited to spend the night learning about the local culture and participating in traditional customs.
If you’re interested in cultural travel and want to get off the beaten track, consider a visit to Llachón. Here, you can try your hand at some of the village’s traditional fishing and farming activities, or spend the day kayaking on the lake. You can also visit the ruins of an Incan temple located on a nearby hilltop.
Anapia & Tuspique Islands
Round out your island tour with a visit to the Anapia and Yuspique Islands. These islands are located on the southern shores of the lake, and provide visitors with the opportunity to meet the local fauna. On Yuspique, an afternoon hike may put you in close range of the vicuña, the wild, beautiful cousin of the llama. On Anapia, you can try your hand at herding or fishing. After your day of manual labor is complete, relax and enjoy the regional food and music in the evening.
Explore the Yavarí
Take a step back in time to see the Yavarí, the world’s oldest commercial ship to navigate the waters of Lake Titicaca. The ship was built in Birmingham, England in 1862 and sailed the lake for 100 years. Now, it is beached outside the Sonesta Posada del Inca hotel in Puno and has been converted into a small museum and bar.
Bonus: Border Crossing to Bolivia
While many of Lake Titicaca’s attractions can be appreciated from Peruvian shores, crossing the border into Bolivia provides travelers with some bonus attractions. Hike the hilly terrain of the Island of the Sun to discover its treasure trove of ruins, including the supposed first footprints of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the labyrinth-like ruins of Chicana, and the Sacred Rock, carved in the image of a condor. Make a stop in Copacabana to get an unbeatable view of the lake from The Calvario, pay homage to the town’s famous cathedral, and visit two important Incan ruins—The Seat of the Inca and the Inca’s Gallows.