June 05, 2010

Peru: Lake Titicaca

We flew into Juliaca to reach Lake Titicaca which at 12,500 feet above sea level is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world (slightly larger than Lake Tahoe). Our room in the Hotel Casa Andina Private Collection had a spectacular view of the lake.

Early in the morning, we set out for the Uros Floating Islands. Our enthusiastic guide explained how floating islands are created from totora reeds, fish are farmed and how water depth is checked. When the islands get built up too much and are too close to the bottom of the lake, they are pulled out to deeper water.

We appreciated seeing how the women created the textile souvenirs we bought. 

We had our picture taken with colorful singers, moments before they hopped off and sang our farewell concert.  Two strong men rowed us over to the next island which was much more fun than taking the bigger, faster speedboat.

We were picked up from Amantani and sped off to the larger and fixed (not floating) island of Taquile. We climbed and climbed until we finally reached our restaurant for lunch.  Gorgeous views on a gorgeous day.

Then we climbed even higher via a steep shortcut to “downtown” or the main square.

Further along, we saw a home under construction, waiting for its bricks to dry.

Finally, we cleared the island ridge and started our descent, passing an industrious weaver.

As we waited for our boat to bring us back to our hotel, we marveled at how the water was as clear as in the Caribbean.

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