Over the past few decades, South America has become increasingly popular among travelers from all over the world. The continent features some of the most fascinating natural beauty that you will experience anywhere. And the amazing country of Peru is popular not only for its natural beauty but also for the many different cultures that have lived there. That is why Cusco Peru Travel considers the Floating Islands of Peru are one of the most interesting cultures that you will visit.
Islands on the Lake Titicaca
The Lake Titicaca Peru, one of the highest lakes in the world, has an elevation of 12500 feet above sea level. It covers 3210 square miles and it is 120 miles long and around 50 miles wide at its widest point.
There are some rock islands. For example, the biggest one is Taquile, which is home to a community of very productive people who make some of the most wonderful knitwear in the Puno region. They are mostly self-sufficient also growing their own crops and supplying their people.
Another large island is Amantani which also caters to tourism. Both islands have family homes for overnight stays or taking a day tour which is also a wonderful experience to see how these gentle people live.
Uros Islands of Puno
The floating islands of Peru or the Uros islands are located 4 miles from the coast of Puno. The Uros are a unique indigenous race that migrated to Lake Titicaca an estimated 3,700 years ago. Over time, they mixed with the nearby Aymara and eventually abandoned their language and many of their traditions. Due to political uncertainty in the region, particularly with the arrival of the Incas, the Uros community built a mobile floating city in order to evade their enemies. Unfortunately, the Incas eventually found their colony and forced many of the Uros community into slavery.
The islands are unique in many ways, but what sets them apart is their construction. They have been constructed completely with the totora reeds that grow in the shores of the lake.
The daily lives of the community depend on the Totora reeds. They also built their homes with it, some of them are replicas of ancient houses, schools, boats to get from island to island and many crafts for the tourist.
Every year the islands are replenished from the top as they rot from the bottom making the islands spongy to walk on. Many islands are designed for tourists with colorful houses and traditional boats with elaborate bows. Additionally, tourists may take rides on these boats for a cost and it is possible to stay overnight on the islands.
The amazing city of Puno
On the mainland, there are many things to do in Puno. For example, in the main square, the Cathedral of Puno is open most of the day; it features a silver-plated alter, which was visited by the Pope in 1964. Also, another place worth visiting is the Museo Carlos Dreyer that features a fascinating collection of Puno archaeological artifacts and art. Finally, if you have time, visit the Coca Museum, this is a small but interesting museum about the history and medicinal purposes of the coca leaf.
Virgen de la Candelaria festival
If you are lucky enough to be in Puno in February, then you must experience the Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria. This month is a long celebration that features many religious events including many street parades with thousands of colorful dances and wonderfully loud music.
If you plan to be in Puno in this month, you have to book your accommodation early. As a consequence of the Virgen de la Candelaria festival, the hotel rooms sell out quickly.
How could I get to Puno?
Getting to Puno from all parts of Peru is easy with many flights from all parts of the country, arriving daily to the airport in Juliaca. Juliaca is an industrial town, located around a forty-five-minutes drive from Puno and it is best to arrange a transfer ahead of time.
By train from Cusco to Puno
If you have been in the imperial city of Cusco, you can also catch a luxurious train ride Cusco Puno Peru. The train leaves to Puno 3 times a week and travels over the high Andean plains to Puno city. The journey is a luxurious one and the sceneries are unforgettable.
By Bus from Cusco
The distance between Cusco and Puno is 385 kilometers. This is an affordable option for those travelers who want to take advantage of the time. You will spend 7 hours in a car on a night trip… so we recommend finding a good travel company for the journey!
Puno and the Uros Islands are a must-see on any Peruvian vacation, book your tour to Peru now!
Peru has many wonders waiting for you to be discovered. Here in Cusco Peru Travel, our speciality is to make your trip an outstanding experience, fill-in this form and let your tailor-made luxury Peru vacation begin.