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Lake Titicaca

  • Puno Region, Peru

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 31 March, 2024

Straddling the borders of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is South America’s largest lake by water volume. According to Andean lore, the lake was venerated as the birthplace of the Sun God; located at a staggering 3,830m above sea level, it’s not hard to see why it would inspire such beliefs – and the sunsets are glorious.

The lake is also the cradle of the Incas and the ancient Tiwanaku Empire: archaeological sites litter its shores.

The Uros People

The waters of the lake are dotted with artificial floating islands made of reeds by the Uros people, using pre-Inca methods.

The floating Uros Islands are made from tightly-packed bundles of totora reeds, a giant bulrush segde that is native to South America. The islands were originally built for defence, allowing the settlement to be moved if threatened, and the largest still has a watchtower. The largest islands house about ten families, the smaller ones only two or three.

Although tourism has had an impact, the Uros people still follow many of their traditions, including wearing traditional costume. Their ways of life have little-changed in millennia.

A number of companies arrange kayaking excursions to the islands as part of a tour. These generally include a homestay with a local family, which gives a wonderful insight into Andean life.

Logistics

Price from: £3
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Daily flights from Lima, Arequipa and Cuzco land in Juliaca, to the northwest of the lake. Alternatively, PeruRail runs a luxury train service from Cuzco (10 hours) that includes lunch and a pit-stop at Raya, the highest point on the route.

From Puno, travellers often transfer to lodges on the outskirts of the bustling, colonial-era city on the northwest shore. This is a good base for day trips to Taquile island, an ancient agricultural centre with ruins, as well as the Uros floating islands – the Uros islands are 5km west of Punos.

Note – this area is extraordinarily high and altitude sickness can be a problem. Spend the first day completely relaxing.

When to do it

The lake lies amid the frigid Andean altiplano. The peak of the dry season, from June to August, is the sunniest time for outings. Visitors arrive all year round, but the rainiest months (December-March) can be cold and wet.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Lake Titicaca (Day Trip) Uros & Taquile Islands

  • Puno

Lake Titicaca (Day Trip) Uros & Taquile Islands

Viator

The shimmering blue waters of Lake Titicaca are home to the famous, man-made Floating Islands of Uros. These islands and their dwellings, which date back to a pre-Incan time, are made completely out of totora reeds, a native bulrush plant that grows in the lake. With a guided tour, get to know the inhabitants that have formed a small community and learn how these islands stay afloat. During the afternoon, visit the island of Amantani and experience the unique culture of the locals.

Price $51

Min age 1

Rating 4.71 / 5 [164 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Lake Titicaca (2 Days)

  • Puno

Lake Titicaca (2 Days)

Viator

One of the world’s highest expanses of water, Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia—with a history of habitation by the indigenous Uros people dating back to pre-Columbian days. On this 2-day tour, reach the islands of Lake Titicaca and spend the night in a local family's homestay. Travel by boat between Amantani and Taquile islands, and enjoy an immersive experience of life on the water.

Price $74

Min age 1

Rating 4.75 / 5 [156 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Website >

Lake Titicaca (Half Day) - Uros Island

  • Puno

Lake Titicaca (Half Day) - Uros Island

Viator

Seize the opportunity to visit the incredible and unique Uros Islands, which sit floating on magnificent Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. On this guided tour, learn how these man-made islands are constructed and maintained, as well as how the local people live sustainably, using the resources available to them. Take a trip away from the bustling city, and discover these little-known, distant communities.

Price $26

Min age 1

Rating 4.2 / 5 [20 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Website >

Lake Titicaca (Overnight)

  • Puno

Lake Titicaca (Overnight)

Viator

One of the world’s highest expanses of water, Lake Titicaca straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia—with a history of habitation by the indigenous Uros people dating back to pre-Columbian days. On this 2-day tour, reach the islands of Lake Titicaca and spend the night in a local family's homestay. Travel by boat between Amantani and Taquile islands, and enjoy an immersive experience of life on the water.

Price $64

Min age 1

Rating 4.66 / 5 [12 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >

Lake Titicaca Half Day (Uros)

  • Puno

Lake Titicaca Half Day (Uros)

Viator

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, at over 3,800 meters above sea level! Take a trip from the port of Puno and navigate these shimmering waters to the legendary Floating Islands of the Uros people, constructed entirely out of the buoyant totora reed, a bulrush wetland plant which grows naturally in the lake. Discover a unique community and way of life, that was until recently unknown to the outside world.

Price $21

Min age 1

Rating 4.5 / 5 [10 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Website >

Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Peru

  • Peru

Peru

Destination guide

A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.

Round-ups

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