Lake Titicaca's traditional islands are inhabited by communities preserving fascinating customs and unique ways of life.
Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca, is a town to visit the Uros Reed Islands and Taquille Island and a stopover en route to Bolivia.
Looking out over the shimmering deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca, with the distant Andes mountains of the Cordillera Real in the background, you begin to realise just why this lake is considered to be so special. Lake Titicaca is the world's highest navigable lake and the place where the myth of creation of the Inca Empire originated. For centuries the Peruvian Quechua and Aymara natives have managed to sustain a productive lifestyle in this extraordinary region. Today we find colourful communities living on floating reed islands and deeply held traditions continuing to thrive, none more so than on Taquile island, where the colour of a man's hat is based on his marital status and where knitting is the sole domain of male inhabitants.
'All guides were excellent: Malla was a pleasant young lady, Hildana had a perfect mix of humour and friendliness, Manuel provided useful information and Fernando was enthusiastic and knowledgeable.'
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'The entire journey was absolutely seamless and everyone turning up without hiccup. So far everything has worked like clockwork and our guides have been prompt, attentive and very knowledgeable.'
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'The Andean Train Explorer from Puno to Cusco was just outstanding. Fernando Chara was a very friendly and excellent guide in Cusco.'
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'All our guide were exceptional, sharing their enthusiasm and their knowledge of their countries. In Peru, Fernando and Henry were amazing and make our trip unforgettable."
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Insights - Puno
Puno is a small town on the shore of Lake Titicaca, and is the main arrival destination for people wanting to visit the Peruvian side of the lake. It has a wide variety of hotels, both within the town and on the lakeside, some with magnificent views over the lake.
Puno is also a great departure point for excursions to visit the lake's many islands. The Uros islands, located a short distance from the bay of Puno, are a collection of floating islands man-made from the lake's vast supply of Totora reeds. An boat trip out to this unique settlement will show you how the islands are constantly maintained as well as the way of life of the people who live on them.
Insights - Travelling to Puno
You cannot fly to Puno, but it is served by the airport in Juliaca, about an hour away by road. Juliaca has a number of flights every day from Lima, Cusco and Arequipa.
Those who would like to combine Lake Titicaca with the Colca Canyon can travel by road, which is a scenic half-day journey.
To travel in style, take the Andean Explorer train from Puno to Cusco - a full day luxurious train journey where you can watch the landscape unfold from the comfort of your seat and enjoy lunch served at your table. Or alternatively, travel by coach and stop off at various points along the journey from at some of the lesser known places of interest in Peru.