I spent one single day in Puno, so I don’t have too much to offer, but what I do know is that hitting up Lake Titicaca is something that you should definitely do. We explored the floating islands here, and let me tell you, I have never witnessed such an interesting way of life!
The city: There wasn’t too much going on when we arrived in Puno. It seemed like a standard small, quiet town. The city is nestled on the coast of Lake Titicaca, and is a connecting point between Peru and La Paz, Bolivia. It is known for its festivals and celebrations, however, we did not see too much during our few hours there.
The Lake: Lake Titicaca is spectacular. It is the largest lake in South America and the “highest navigable lake” in the world, sitting at 3,812 metres. Be sure to explore it for a day if crossing over into Bolivia, or dipping to the very south of Peru.
The lake is home to the Uros Islands, or the famous “floating islands” of Peru. I can’t even put into words how amazing these little islands are. Completely human-made, they house around 400 local families, who live off of the water and rely a lot on tourism. To get to the islands, you must take a boat from Puno, which takes approximately 20 minutes. Once you arrive, the locals are welcoming and hospitable. When we got to one of the islands, we were able to get off of the boat and explore, talk to the locals, enjoy the souvenirs they had available and we were even invited into one of the family huts. The islands are made entirely of totora reeds from the lake that have been carefully woven together. It was quite impressive. You can also pay a bit extra to take a ride on a boat, made of the same reeds, to some of the other sights close by.
If you travel to learn, grow and experience new things, I would highly recommend visiting the floating islands. They will open your eyes to a way of life that you won’t believe is real!