What’s there to do at Lake Titicaca?
120 miles (193 km) long by 50 miles (80km) wide.
Situated high in the Andes Mountains on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
Highest navigable lake in the world at 12,506 feet/3812 meters in elevation.
Supposed birthplace of the Inca’s first king, Manco Capac.
But, you may ask yourself, is it worth a stop during my Peru trip? What is there to do at this beautiful location? And the answer: So much! There are many great ways to experience Lake Titicaca and we want to share with you our top 5 things to do at Lake Titicaca.
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Top 5 things to do at Lake Titicaca
1. Tour the Uros Islands
The Uros Islands are the famous man-made floating islands made from the local Totora reed. The Uros people have lived on the islands since before the Inca and there are estimated to be around 1200 people still living on the 62 islands that make up the Uros Islands. During the visit, you’ll learn how they make and maintain the islands and have the opportunity to take a ride on a reed boat (usually an additional fee).
The details: They are short 45 minute boat ride away from Puno. Usually, a trip to the Uros islands is coupled with a visit to Taquile island and an entire day tour with a guide can be arranged for around $70.
2.Tour Taquile Island
Taquile Island is about as picturesque a place as you can find. Blue, crystal clear waters surround the island and there’s even a sandy beach that some tours will visit. Couple that with an incredible landscape and the colorful dress of the locals, and you’ll probably take some of your most memorable photos here. A visit to Taquile Island usually includes a walk/hike to the top of the island, a demonstration by a local family of weaving, dancing and music and a delicious lunch (we had trout).
The details: Taquile island is about 1.5 hours from the Uros islands (2.5 hours from the shores of Puno) and as mentioned above, is usually coupled with a trip to the Uros islands.
3. Visit Sillustani tombs
Sillustani is a pre-Inca site of the Colla people The main attraction of the site is the huge (up to 40 feet/12 m high) cylindrical tombs built to bury the Colla nobility. The site is perched on top of a hill overlooking Umayo lake and boasts incredible views.
The Details: Sillustani is located in between Puno and Juliaca and we recommend a stop there on your way to or from the airport. You can arrange transportation with a tour guide or just arrange with a driver to stop there.
4. Do a home-stay
One of the best ways to experience life on Lake Titicaca is with an overnight home-stay experience. It’s a great way to get a more in-depth view about how the locals live. During our home-stay in the Luquina community on Chucuito Peninsula, we shared meals with our family, dressed up in traditional clothes and learned a local dance, went on a hike to admire the view, helped bring in the cattle and sheep from grazing and spent hours relaxing in the sunshine and talking with our host family.
The Details: Home-stays are offered in many places on/near Lake Titicaca: Chucuito peninsula, like we did, Taquile or Amantani islands and even some on the Uros reed islands. There are a few travel agencies offering home-stays (we did ours through Go Get Peru) and there are also some listed on AirBnB (though most of those are managed by 3rd parties/travel agencies too).
5. Kayak on Lake Titicaca
You’ll have bragging rights for years as you tell your friends that you kayaked on the highest navigable lake in the world. It’s an amazing experience to enjoy the silence and serenity of this incredible place all while getting a great work-out at 12,500+ feet/3800+ meters!
The Details: Many tour agencies offer day tour packages that include kayaking. They usually include a trip to the Uros islands and lunch with a local community. Make sure you go with a reputable agency that includes safety/support boats. The water at Lake Titicaca can cause hypothermia in minutes and it’s critical that the tour agency has safety protocols in place.
No matter what you decide to do, your visit to Lake Titicaca will be an experience you’ll be talking about for years!
We’re also including this handy-dandy summary sheet of the main sites/cities around Lake Titicaca.
*Note: We do not receive any compensation from Go Get Peru for promoting their tours at Lake Titicaca. We just had a really awesome experience with this agency.
Who is writing?
Hola! I’m Abigail, writer for ALL ACROSS PERU and lover of all things Peruvian! I live in Lima and you’ll often find me eating lomo saltado and sharing pisco sours with my patas (friends).