Blogs from Puno, Peru, South America


South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca September 30th 2021

After url= article about Amantaní Island was published in Fodor’s, I decided to go back to the island to see what the impact has been so far. If you haven’t read the article, check it out first. (There are also links on my website). This follow-up story will make a lot more sense afterwards. I went for a quick weekend trip and despite how long it takes to get to the island, I went there on Friday and came back to Cusco on Sunday. (Detailed instructions for how to get to Amantaní are at the end of this blog). Abel Mamani, as my main source in the Fodor’s article, has so far received pushback from one of the agencies I called out in the article. All Ways Travel ... read more
Getting ready for planting
A walk around the island
Plowing by hand

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca March 31st 2020

Puno est une ville sans charme particulier à mon avis, RAS ( rien à signaler pour mes lecteurs non initiés) 15 mars Départ le matin vers Capachica puis Llachón sur une péninsule du lac Titicaca en bus collectif, arrivés après quelques tribulations chez l'habitant qui nous attend, à la casa de Magno ou Tika Wasi (la maison des fleurs en quechua). Belle randonnée vers une montagne à 4100m, seuls au monde. Retour par la plage. Dans la nuit, un groupe de dix australiens qui étaient là aussi se barrent à 3h, on ne l'apprend qu'au matin. 16 mars Départ en bateau très lent, bruyant et puant le gasoil vers les îles flottantes Uros titinos, démonstration par le "président" de l'île de la façon de construire et maintenir une île en roseaux, et démonstration du troc entre ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca August 29th 2019

The past two days have been an amazing experience, giving us a privileged insight into some very different lifestyles. I feel as if I've been in the pages of National Geographic. We have been on the islands of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. We are now at about 3800 metres and I'm quite breathless when walking but otherwise okay. Yesterday we set off early on a boat and headed for the Uros Islands, artificial islands which are made entirely of totara reeds. The people literally build the islands with reeds and anchor them with stick formerly using reed rope but now using nylon. They also use the reeds for building their houses and boats, as food and sometimes ferment them to make alcohol. Their lifestyle is traditional and very simple, but the ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Puno August 27th 2019

Today we left Cusco for a long but interesting bus ride to Puno, on the edge of Lake Titicaca. This road is known as the Manco Capac route because legend has it that the first Inca leader, Manco Capac child of the sun, emerged from Lake Titicaca, together with his sister Mama Ocllo. As well as the stops, we had great views en route, including a mirror-like lake with fabulous reflections of the Andes and those fabulous craggy.mountains and snowy peaks. There were herds of llamas and alpacas and we passed lots of women in traditional dress working the fields, doing washing in rivers and carrying babies in colourful wraps on their backs. ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Uros Island June 12th 2019

12th June – Lake Titicaca We decided to get up at 6am. We were being picked up at 07:45 which gave us time to have a leisurely breakfast onboard before disembarking the magnificent Belmond Andean Explorer. Despite a cylinder of oxygen in our compartment, we struggled to operate the valves so suffered last night as a consequence. It was only when we mentioned it over breakfast, one of the train attendants accompanied us back and showed us the process. We both took the opportunity to inhale some temporary relief before leaving the train. We identified our luggage and boarded the mini bus to the hotel where the rest of our group (those who took the 9-hour uncomfortable bus journey) were waiting for us. Why, when we arrived in to Puno in relative luxury, did we all ... read more
Welcome to Titimarka!!
A Cross sample of the island construction
Two indiginous types and a condor!

South America » Peru » Puno » Puno June 11th 2019

9th & 10th June (rest days) After our intensive two days in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, now followed two rest days. Rest days? I make it sound like we’re participating in a sports tournament!! We both woke refreshed after having a relatively undisturbed night’s sleep. I only woke up twice which was a huge improvement on the first couple of nights spent in Cusco. We had no plans today. A lazy day suited us fine. We went down for breakfast at 09:45. Pat and Peter, the couple who had hired the car, still had the ‘do not disturb’ sign on their door so some people were even having a lazier day than us!!! Over breakfast we met Emma and David. They had been with us for certain excursions but for their Machu Picchu tour, ... read more
The crowds congregate on the main square of Cusco
The back streets of Cusco
Road block in Cusco

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Uros Island November 9th 2018

Woke up this morning to a beautiful view of Lake Titicaca which we couldn't see last night. This morning we were picked up at 07:00 and Condor Travel rep went with us in a taxi to the port for our tour of the islands of Lake Titicaca. All the boats were tied together and we had to jump from one to another to get to ours. Only four other people were on the boat but it quickly filled to about 40 before we set off at 07:30. After just 30 minutes we arrived at the first Uros floating island and a lady who is head of the island with her husband gave us a demonstration of how they build the islands our of reeds. The guide interpreted for her. The housing is very cleverly made out ... read more

South America » Peru » Puno » Puno October 14th 2018

We got up at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM went down to the hotel lobby to get our box breakfast and coffee while we waited to be picked up at the hotel at 3 AM and driven to the Lima airport. We were 12 groggy travelers leaving for Puno in this group, while another Kaypi group of 10 left later for an 8 AM departure. Someone must have told Kaypi we were the adventurous group giving us the earlier departure. Elias, our new guide from Kaypi Peru, met us at the Puno airport and gave those of us who had had enough coffee plenty of information about the area. Puno is located on a high plateau. The Puno airport has an altitude of 12,300 feet so we were instructed to be sure to drink a ... read more
Political signs on way to Puno
Children's parade for the Celebration of the Child Day on Parade Square in Puno
Quechua woman in the traditional bowler hat, Puno

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Uros Island October 14th 2018

Two person taxi choloswere lined up in front of our hotel at 7 AM to pedal 22 of us to the harbor in Puno for our exciting two days on Lake Titicaca, at 12,500 feet, the world’s highest navigable lake. We were deposited at a local lakeside market and instructed to purchase the necessary foods needed for our Amantani host people to make our meals later in the day. One of the things that made me choose Kaypi Peru Tours was their commitment to giving back to the people of Peru. Taxi cholos were chosen instead of busses so that more local people would benefit from the hire rather than one bus driver. In addition, one particular shop was chosen for us to buy food, water and gifts because this store gives a discount to the ... read more
Houses made from reeds on a floating island in Uros
Uros handicrafts being made while we watch
Our tortora (balsas) reed boat that carried us across the water to another floating island

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca » Taquile Island October 14th 2018

Waking up on Amantani with an early morning run down the stairs, in the cold (35 degrees) morning, across the courtyard, grabbing a bucket of water to flush to the outdoor toilet, washing my hands in the outdoor faucet was enough to wake me up. It was dawn and I ran back up and grabbed my camera to photograph the beautiful sunrise over Lake Titicaca. Since I was unable to photograph the famous sunset from the top of Pachamama, at least I got points for the sunrise. Flavia had breakfast on the table at 6:30 AM. Hot muna tea, warm potato pancakes with homemade strawberry jam fueled our bodies for the hike down to the boat. I know the altitude didn’t add to my ability to concentrate so after saying my thanks and goodbyes to Flavia ... read more
Leaving Amantani Island
Arriving on Taquile Island
Taquile climbers beat me up to the restaurant on Taquile Island

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