Spanning the borders of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,507ft (3,812m). The region is famous for its islands and crystal-clear waters as well as its festivals and archaeological sites.
The floating Uros islands are one of the main reasons tourists flock to Lake Titicaca. These islands are made
Despite an obvious lack of authenticity, I would encourage any traveler to include the Uros islands in their trip. It ’s a completely unique spot in the world. Going there allowed me to immerse myself in the daily lives of an incredible and almost extinct society in an amazingly picturesque landscape. The trip is three hours long (one hour on-site) and costs S./ 40 -50 (
Three hours by boat from Uros on the other side of the Capachica peninsula is Amantaní island, offering a breathtaking view of the snowy Bolivian mountain peaks.
With the vivid blue of the lake, the island’s stony ground, and the rustic look of some of the houses, the town has the feeling of a small village along the Mediterranean coast. The locals seem somewhat wary of visitors. I'm not sure if they are simply shy or if they 're concerned Amantaní might become a mass tourism attraction like the Uros.
To get here, it ’s advisable to book a
Three hours from Puno and one hour away from
Known for its artisanal cloth – the women do the weaving, the men do the knitting – Taquile is generally a bit livelier than the other islands. Taquileans are also famous for distinguishing their relationship status with how they dress (the color and placement of hats, skirts, and tassels all have their meaning), and for promoting living together before marriage. You can visit Taquile in one day – with a stop halfway in Uros – for S/. 80 (
This enigmatic pre-Inca archaeological site is on the shores of
In addition to the cylindrical funerary towers called
Exploring Lake Titicaca isn’t just about touring the islands – Puno is well-known for being one of the most vibrant towns of Peru. Almost every month a festival or other celebration takes over the streets.
The best-known of them all is the Virgen de la Candelaria, a Catholic festival which has been given Intangible Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO. This is when people dance the amazing and
I happened to be in Puno some years ago when they were rehearsing this dance, and I still remember the beat as if it was yesterday.
Want to know more about Peru? Check out our podcast. We chat about alternative treks to Machu Picchu, how Peru is the original home of surfing, and look at what vaccinations do you need when traveling to South America.
Exuberant festivals, ancient civilizations, and local customs – our insider Fiona shares her insights on Peruvian culture.
Take an epic plunge through Peru’s deepest canyon, or paddle deep into the Amazon. Our insider Will reveals his top adventures.
You’ll find plenty of local traditions but not many tourists in this secluded region of the Andes. Our insider Zdenka gives you the scoop.