We took a bus alongside Lake Titicaca to cross the border into Peru, then took a mini bus from the border to Puno. Puno isn’t as pretty as Copacabana and is much bigger – more a small city than a town. Puno’s claim to fame is as the launching point for trips to the floating islands of Uros and to the other islands close to Puno.
We decided to do a full day boat tour which went to the floating islands and to the island of Taquille. We were picked up around 6.45am and then went down to the harbour to take a boat to our first destination.
The floating islands are made of reeds and are home to the Uru people http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uru_people . We arrived and were welcomed by the president of the island of Chumi, and then went on a reed boat tour. We then came back to the island and the president explained more about how the islands are made and maintained.We then had some time to explore Chumi – it was pretty tiny, as only about ten families lived on it!
After that we headed out to the island of Taquille, famous for its weaving. Here we walked up towards the main square and had lunch while watching some traditional dances. We then went on to the main square and over the top of the island before heading back to our boats and back towards Puno. It was an interesting but rather touristy kind of day – lots of people were selling different kinds of things and it felt a little like the islands were “on show” for the people who were visiting. However, it was still interesting to see the floating islands in particular, and a nice way to see more of the beautiful Lake Titicaca.
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Lake Titicaca looks so beautiful, and the islands sound really interesting — although I get your “tourist show” reservations. And to be hosted by El Presidente de Chumi !!
Lol, I love how the president of the island just comes down to say hi. The islands sound fascinating!