Lake Titicaca is undoubtedly on the top of my list when it comes to highlights in South America. Spanning across the border of Peru and Bolivia it is the highest lake in the world.
On a full day tour of the lake I had the opportunity to visit three islands in particular, and experience the local culture of their inhabitants.
The Uros Islands, also known as the floating reed islands, are fascinating in their structures. They are set on stilts and can be moved to different locations if their inhabitants so desire. The locals raise families there, make handicrafts and welcome visitors to their local communities. Reed boats are a hand-crafted source of transportation and are very practical for getting around the islands.
Amantani Island is populated by the Quechuan people who live a humble lifestyle with minimal electricity, and no cars. Our tour group had an overnight stay on this island and we were each designated a family who welcomed us into their homes, performed a welcome dance for us, leant us local costumes to dress up in and cooked delicious meals for us while we worked on expanding our limited grasp of the Quechuan language. It was lovely to be completely immersed in their culture and open the mind to another way of living.
A stop at Taquile island for lunch allowed us to experience yet another culture and purchase handicrafts made by the locals; the hard work put into each item was evident and it was difficult to refrain from filling up a whole bag of goods.