Lake Titikaka is the highest lake on the planet. With an altitude of 3,800m above sea level, it is sure to make even the toughest of us a little light headed and short of breath.
While this lake is beautiful on its own, it’s the people that live in it and around it that make it much more special.
During my stay in Puno (which is the city in Peru where this lake is located), I stayed at Hotel Libertador. The food and service was great and the views were spectacular!
Our tour guide for the day picked us up in a boat and took us to Uros Islands. These islands are manmade floating islands with 5-7 families living and working in each. They live mostly of tourism and work on crafts to sell to the visitors they receive. They are very friendly Quechua people who still speak Quechua tongue and practice their own traditions.
Julia, a native Quechua from Taquile and a friend of hers received us at the town entrance to take us on a tour of the island.
It was quite a hike! And at 3,800m above sea level, it wasn’t so easy to catch our breath!
People in Taquile also live off of the tourism they receive. You can see many children selling bracelets throughout the island. They speak various languages and sure know how to haggle! They’re adorable though…
The views all the way up to the town’s center square are beyond amazing and beautiful. From Taquile, Lake Titikaka looks more like the ocean than a lake.
After a hike down the island, we arrived at Julia’s “estate”. She first introduced us to her adorable children who were playing around their “backyard”.
After that, she showed us around her home, where the views are unbelievable. These very humble people live very happy lives. They have well built homes, food year round because of their crops and livestock, and amazing views of the Island and Titikaka Lake.
So this was my experience around Lake Titikaka, and most tours operating around the lake offer a very similar itinerary.
If you’re planning a trip to Peru and thinking about skipping the visit to Puno… DON’T! I assure you it will be an unforgettable experience.