It is the most important natural heritage of humanity. The cold waters that have the blue color embrace the city of Puno, which reveal wonderful places that still maintain their history and tradition intact. Its waters have an important meaning which is the source of life for humanity, likewise they seek with tourism to maintain the incredible landscapes and their culture. In addition, according to the legend, from its deep waters emerged Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who were sons of the sun god, founders of the Inca Empire.
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, is located in the Puno region which is shared between Peru and Bolivia, on the Peruvian side there are several villages that are located on different islands, among which Amantani, Taquile and the Uros, these islands still maintain their custom and pre-Columbian traditions.
Floating Island of the Uros
It was one of the most primitive prehispanic peoples of Peru, its origin comes from a ferocious and violent people, years later they were subdued by the Incas, who considered them as a subhuman people. Also this town lived in a prefect union with the Titicaca since they lived on the artificial islands that they had on the shallow waters of the lake. In the mid-twentieth century they became extinct as a pure race, since today their descendants come from miscegenation uro Aymara, their mother tongue is the Aymara, and still retain many of their customs of their ancestors.
Currently the Uros inhabit a swampy area of Chucuito Bay on Lake Titicaca which is located very close to the city of Puno, which coexist in a social political organization away from the traditional forms of modern civilization.
Approximately there are around 63 artificial islands, each of which is inhabited by between 3 to 5 uro-aimara families, who with totora mats roof and build their houses that float on Lake Titicaca. The main islands that stand out are Pachamama, Katati, Flamengo Suma Wiljpa, Tupiri, Santa Maria, Tribuna, Toranipata, Chumi and Paraíso.
The Uros are called as Kotsuna "the Lake Village", which dates back to the pre-Inca times. They still maintain the tradition of traditional fishing, carachi and pejerrey, as well as hunting wild birds. The men are expert drivers of totora rafts, while the women are expert weavers.
To visit the Uros Islands, which is located 5 km from the city of Puno, you must take a boat from the port, the approximate time of travel is 45 minutes, the minimum time to enjoy the visit to the Islands is 4 hours, the boats make a tour of different islands, in some of them disembarks to meet their inhabitants and the way of life they lead.
Some inhabitants of these islands offer accommodation in their homes and the possibility of being able to share the life and customs of the community with the visitor.
Surrounded by a wonderful landscape of Lake Titicaca, it has terraces, cultivation terraces and pre-Inca ceremonial centers. This island is the cradle of a pioneering experiential tourism enterprise in Peru, it shows an extract that is linked between nature, history and living culture. The main attraction of the island is its unique traditional textile art which has been categorized in 2005 as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Taquile is a natural island which has an approximate area of 6Km2, the altitude between the port and the town varies from 3,810 m. s. n. m. at 3,950 m. s. n. m. The maximum temperature reaches 23 ° C in the same way the minimum reaches 7 ° C. This island is located 35 km from the city of Puno, the estimated travel time from the port is 3 hours by boat. the people of taquile are very friendly who still conserve the customs and traditional clothes. They emphasize the fine and laborious textiles that have symbolic symmetrical decorations that contain strong colors which reflect the Andean habits and beliefs.
Experiential tourism in Taquile
It is one of the islands of Lake Titicaca. Its inhabitants are of Quechua origin and form a community of the same name. Until the 1970s Taquile was a closed community in contact with the outside world. Little by little and through individual promoters and other non-governmental organizations, the community was opened to non-conventional tourism, many of the visitors were attracted to the island in order to spend a few days with the inhabitants to learn from their traditional culture and to know more about their tissues.
At present the possibilities of being able to visit taquile are many depending on the time and the spending capacity of the visitor. most of the tourists that visit make a short tour, because it is part of a circuit with other islands such as Amantaní and Uros. There are also other tourists who choose to stay for one or two nights, thus allowing us to observe the pre-Inca remains and also observe the spectacular scenery offered by Taquile.
The textile art of Taquile
The fabric is an essential cultural element in the Quechua and Aymara cultures, the garments that are woven are used for the transport of seeds and food, warm oneself or also to carry or the children, in the social relations the tissues can also be offered as gifts , in the same way they represent the social status.
The art of the taquileño fabric is characterized by the combination of striking colors, the black color predominates in the pants and skirts, the typical garments of these zones are the chumpis and the caps, which are indicative of the civil status of the inhabitants. The whole family history of the weavers is recorded in the embroidery. In 2005, UNESCO granted the traditional Taquilean fabric the category of Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
It is inhabited by 4000 inhabitants which make up eight communities the population is Aymara that is dedicated to agriculture, their ancestral customs of the inhabitants, the way of life, their colorful clothing, their fabrics and the beautiful landscapes make their visit exciting moments, As in Taquile, it is a custom of its inhabitants to offer housing and food to all visitors who wish to spend the night in order to share the activities of the native communities.
The main activity of the settlers is centered on the cultivation of potatoes, corn, quinoa, beans, goose, and peas, the most representative craft is constituted mainly by textiles and stone carving.
The island covers an area of approximately 9 km2 and reaches 4,050 m. s. n. m. Its flora is characterized by the presence of plants such as salvia, muña, kantuta, tola and patamuña. Amantani is the largest island that Peru has in Lake Titicaca and it also has the best conditions for agriculture.
The most outstanding natural attractions are two viewpoints in the highest part, from which the lake can be seen, pre-Hispanic archeological sites, mummy cemetery and a ceremonial center.
It is located approximately 40 km from the port of Puno, from which you have to take a boat to visit it. The boats that make the transport to Amantaní usually make a stop in the Uros Islands to visit.
Experiential Tourism in Amantaní
The resource that manages through the communal property is tourism, they control the whole system of transport by boat and boats, food, lodgings, partly handicrafts which are made up of fabrics that have a similar quality to the Taquileños , as well as the stone carving from the Llacastiti, distillery and leatherwork.
When visiting Amantaní there is the possibility of knowing all these cultural rescues, guided by the locals, who provide information from the bottom of their own experiences. The majority of the men on the island are bilingual, meanwhile the women who speak Spanish are in smaller proportion.
Amantaní textile is a real wonder, take one of the textile pieces will be a way to perpetuate the experience gained throughout the trip, and to have one of the expressions of an ancestral treasure. As for the foods offered on this island are traditional, the traveler will not receive rice or noodles; They will offer something fish, potatoes, beans, quinoa and ocas. The visit of two days and one night may be insufficient, it is advisable to extend your stay for as long as necessary to be able to enter the full world of one of the communities which is entering a global market based on their differences natural and cultural
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