This 15-day itinerary starts in Lima before heading east to Puerto Maldonado, gateway to the Amazon Rainforest. Spend three days viewing wildlife while enjoying a comfortable stay at an eco-lodge. From there, head to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, where you'll visit Rainbow Mountain and spend a day trekking to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. Finally, travel to Lake Titicaca to explore the region's history and beautiful islands.
Lake Titicaca straddles Peru and Bolivia at an elevation of 12,507 ft (3,812 m), making it the highest lake in the world that is navigable by large commercial vessels. The coastline outside of Puno is home to the Uros indigenous people, believed to be one of the first ethnic groups to populate the Andean region. They live on floating reed islands made from the totora plant, a thick buoyant reed. Totora is used to make everything from homes and boats to the islands, and is replaced frequently as the bottom of the island can rot in the water.
The Uros people offer guided tours to their homes and sell traditional handicrafts to supplement their traditional hunting and fishing economy.
Travelers can experience the traditions and culture with a 2-day guided trip, starting early in the morning sailing to the floating islands of Uros where they will spend time with the community and learn how they have been building their islands for centuries. Later they will continue to a larger, permanent island of Amantani where they will meet local residents who invited the travelers into their homes for lunch and a hike around the island. At night, they will join in the local celebration with the villagers before resting in a charming homestay.
After enjoying a simple, but tasty, local breakfast the next morning, the boat departs from Amantani towards Taquile Island. This is a beautiful Mediterranean-like island, where we'll be able to witness how the Taquileans have kept alive their traditions for centuries. Their colorful clothing and their unique knitted and woven textile handicrafts are spectacular to see. Following, we will have lunch in a local restaurant with amazing views of Titicaca Lake.
Finally, we'll walk down the stone stairs to the dock, from where we will board our boat back to Puno. We should be arriving at around at 15:30 to Puno.
For many, it can be a very special experience, although sometimes hard to communicate, as most villages do not speak English, with Quechua being their native language. English-speaking guides can help facilitate conversations.
Itineraries with Uros Floating Islands & Amantani Homestay
Explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, along with Machu Picchu, and the largest lake in South America on this 9-day exploration of local Peruvian culture. Start in metropolitan Lima, then head to Cusco to experience the local culture and culinary traditions. Continue on to the Sacred Valley to visit its ancient ruins and colorful textile markets. Next, spend a day visiting the iconic Machu Picchu ruins. Finally, venture to Lake Titicaca to see its floating islands and intricate hand-made crafts.