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Uros Islands & Lake Titicaca

The Uros “floating” islands in Peru is another one of the unique and interesting places we visited during our 2-month trip. Located on Lake Titicaca, this group of man-made islands is built out of reeds that grow in the coastal waters near Puno. They are constantly adding to the islands, placing bundles of new reeds to the surface to maintain stability. The Uro people still live on the islands today, although technology – solar panels and motorboats are common now – have changed the islands over time.

Lake Titicaca is impressive by itself; it is the largest lake by surface area in South America. It is known as the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at an elevation of 3,812-metres (12,507 feet). It is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It collects water from the nearby Andes mountains, and is a part of the Altiplano, a high plains that cover parts of Peru, Bolivia and as far south as Chile and Argentina. It is the second largest high plains in the world, behind those of Tibet.

We had just spent several weeks in Peru, and it was finally time to say goodbye. Puno would be the last city we visited before heading across the border into Bolivia. Puno is a fairly tranquil place, with a colonial center and an ever-growing city sprawling along the side of the lake. It has a nice waterfront area that was nice to take a walk alongside.

The tour to the Uros island was definitely the highlight. There are about 60 islands that exist just outside of Puno and are home to over 1000 people still.The Uru people use bundles of dried reeds to built their islands, boats, and homes. Once you arrive on the islands the locals put on a bit of a show for you, showing off their villages while dressed in traditional outfits. As we were preparing to leave the islands, we were sent off with a song, as the local girls sang “row row row your boat” in several different languages, followed by their version of the popular Spanish song “Vamos a la Playa” (let’s go to the beach). The girls got a few laughs for that one.

As we left the islands, we got to watch as dark storm clouds moved in over the lake and we got to watch an epic lightning storm over the water. The rains flooded the town, and we were soaked after a few minutes going between the bus and our hotel. Later that evening, we had to go back out in the rain to meet a really good friend of ours for dinner. The roads had turned into mini rivers, and it was impossible not to get soaked. We met exactly halfway between our hostels in order to make sure we all got equally wet. Kallie had just done a different Trek to Machu Picchu, and we got to catch up over some pizza and beers.

We absolutely loved Peru, but it was time to move on to a new adventure. After visiting the Islands, the next morning we took a bus across the border and entered the third country of our 2-month trip; Bolivia. The border crossing didn’t go too smoothly – as we may or may not have lost an Italian passenger – but we made it across without too much stress.

Stay tuned for some of our Bolivia posts coming soon!

Uros Islands:


Solar Panels on the Uros Islands. 2017.


Traditional Boats used by the Uros. 2017.


Brightly coloured traditional outfits worn by Uros women. 2017.


Dressed up for the tourists – locals wear traditional outfits while waiting for a boat to arrive. 2017.


A traditional structure used by the Uros people. 2017.


Traditional Boats used by the Uros. 2017.


The entrance of the canal that connects the Uros Islands and Puno. 2017.


Traditional Boats used by the Uros. 2017.


The houses, the islands, and the boats are all made out of reeds. 2017.


Traditional reed built artwork. 2017.


Each of the islands has an elected mayor who is responsible for each island. Ours was nice enough to give he gave us a visual explanation of the history of the islands. 2017.


The edge of the Uros “floating islands”. 2017.


A storm was brewing in the distance, as we went back to town. Dark clouds were followed by an intense lightning storm with torrential downpour. 2017.



The waterfront of Puno has a lagoon, a nice promenade with boats everywhere. 2017.


Central Plaza of colonial Puno. 2017.


Puno Lighthouse. 2017.


Norma walking along the waterfront promenade of Puno. 2017.


Many of the locals still dress in traditional outfits, such as this woman, walking through the central square. 2017.


Fishing Boats have mostly been converted into tourist taxis between Puno and the Uros Islands. 2017.


Rooftops of Puno. 2017.


The lagoon of Puno. 2017.


Everything in Peru was so colourful, even this large slide in a playground. 2017.


Fishing Boats have mostly been converted into tourist taxis between Puno and the Uros Islands. 2017.

Central Plaza of Puno. 2017.


Horses in a large field playing while kids play soccer in the background. 2017.

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