One of my favorite places when I visited Peru in April was the famous Lake Titicaca in Puno. At 12,500 feet above sea level and nestled between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. The lake has a fascinating history: Incan mythology cites it as the place from which the rest of the world emerged. On any trip to Peru a visit to Lake Titicaca is a must-do, and make sure to wake up early enough one morning to catch a beautiful sunrise over the lake.
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One of the things that surprised me most about Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca was the unexpected bursts of color scattered throughout the town. My husband and I wandered a bit off the beaten path in Puno and were rewarded with beautiful buildings like this one, painted bright red with windows that reflected the ornate church tower across the courtyard. You might not want to wander too far off Puno's main, well-travelled streets at night, but during the day make sure to get out and see all the colors the town has to offer.
Visiting Puno, Peru, on the banks of Lake Titicaca in April, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised by the unexpected pops of color we found when we wandered off the beaten path and into the town's many alleyways and courtyards. I love that most of the houses in Peru displayed a rooftop icon similar to the one here, with bulls to represent prosperity, a cross to represent their belief in Christianity, and a ladder to represent progress. If you find yourself in wonderful Puno, make sure to take some time to walk the town's lesser-travelled streets (at least during the day, maybe not at night), where you'll be rewarded with unexpected finds like this one.
In March, my husband and I spent a few nights in Puno, Peru, on the banks of Lake Titicaca. One of the best things we did during our stay was to hire a guide for a day to drive us to some of the smaller towns outside Puno. We wanted to get a better sense of how the local people lived around Lake Titicaca, what day-to-day life was like at 12,000+ feet of elevation in rural Peru. We told our guide to take us somewhere visitors usually don't usually go, and he chose a delightful town called Lampas about an hour outside Puno.
While wandering through charming Lampas, at one point I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched. I looked around and saw that I was, in fact, being scrutinized pretty closely by this young boy - he must have wondered why I was taking pictures of his town. There are many fascinating, beautiful towns around the more-popular Puno, so if you visit Lake Titicaca, take a day, hire a knowledgeable guide, and tell him or her to take you somewhere most people don't think to visit. You won't be disappointed.
When visiting Lake Titicaca in Puno, Peru, in March, my husband and I decided that we wanted to spend a day getting off the beaten path, exploring some of the small towns around the lake that most tourists skip. We grabbed our cameras, hired a guide, and were on our way! We told the guide to take us to a town where we could see what a typical day was like for people living at 12,000+ feet around Lake Titicaca, and he chose the town of Lampas near Juli. At one point, our gregarious guide asked if we wanted to stop by his friend's house to really get a sense of rural Peruvian daily life, and of course we jumped at the chance! This was his friend's daughter, and she charmed us all. She was fascinated with my camera, and it thrilled her when I took a photo of her and showed it to her on the camera's screen. The day spent exploring Lampas and Juli with our wonderful guide was the highlight of our visit to the Lake Titicaca area - not something I'll soon forget.
My husband and I visited Puno, Peru, in March to see Lake Titicaca, and at one point we decided that we wanted to spend a day exploring some of the small towns around the lake that most tourists skip. So we hired a wonderful guide and asked him to take us to his favorite off-the-beaten-path towns in the Lake Titicaca area. We explained that we really wanted to get a sense of what daily life was like for the people living at 12,000+ feet elevation around Lake Titicaca. He obliged and chose the towns of Lampas and Juli, about an hour outside Puno.
At one point, our generous guide asked if we wanted to visit his friend's house near Lampas for a truly up-close view of Peruvian daily life, and of course we jumped at the chance! This was our guide's friend, and he turned out to be the warmest, most hospitable person we met in Peru. He had a permanent smile on his face and his good mood was contagious. Although he and his family didn't necessarily have a lot of material wealth, they seemed to be some of the happiest people I've ever met. The man was especially proud of his llamas, this white one being his favorite one. I couldn't get over how he and his llama had matching smiles - they made a perfect pair! The day we spent in Lampas and Juli with our wonderful guide and his friend was the highlight of our visit to the Lake Titicaca area, an experience I won't soon forget.
While visiting Lake Titicaca in Puno, Peru, my husband and I decided that we wanted to get off the beaten path and explore some of the small towns around the lake that most tourists skip, so we grabbed our cameras, hired a guide, and were off. We told the guide to take us to his favorite towns in the area so we could get a sense of what daily life was like for the people living at 12,000+ foot above sea level around the lake. He chose the lovely towns of Lampas and Juli for our visit. Lampas was amazing, with almost all of the buildings painted a beautiful shade of dark pink. I loved the pink of this building against the colorful flowers in its courtyard. The day we spent in charming Lampas was the best of our time in the Lake Titicaca area, not something I will soon forget.
During a March 2011 trip to Lake Titicaca in Peru, my husband and I hired a guide for a day and asked him to take us to his favorite off-the-beaten-path towns in the area. What a great decision - that day wandering through the countryside is one of our favorite memories of Peru!
After a visit to beautiful Juliaca, our guide surprised us with an impromptu stop at his friend's house in the rural Peruvian countryside because he knew how interested we were in Peruvian daily life - he thought we would enjoy meeting his friend's family and seeing how they lived. The family generously welcomed us into their home, at one point even showing us their traditional way of weaving alpaca rugs on a loom. This particular rug was being made from baby alpaca wool so it was especially soft. That day we spent traveling through the towns around the Lake Titicaca isn't one I'll soon forget, and I'm so grateful to our guide and the hospitality of his friend's family.
Visit the One-of-a-Kind Uros Islands on Peru's Lake Titicaca
On any trip to Lake Titicaca, a visit to the Uros Floating Islands is a must-do. You can hire a boat (a group boat if you want to save some money, or a private one that costs a bit more but allows you a bit more freedom) for the short trip across the lake to the islands.
You'll enjoy a first-hand view of the fascinating islands that are made from living reeds and meet the charming and resourceful Uros people who've lived on the islands for generations. The Uros make everything they need from the reeds, from their furniture to their homes to the boats they use to navigate around Lake Titicaca.
That day on the Uros Floating Islands was a memorable one for my husband and me, a wonderful memory we won't forget any time soon.
We enjoyed a cloud free day when visiting the floating island of Uros on Lake Titicaca Peru. The sky reflected the deep cerulean blue of the lake water, and this young man slowly and silently guided our boat around his home island.
Looking out it felt a bit like we were at the end of the Earth. The water and the sky seemed to touch and perfectly mirrored one another in color. Some ripples in the water made by the soft wake of our small boat and a wispy cloud or two, helped to remind us which was which.
The sun is strong on Lake Titicaca, a lake so enormous it's hard to believe it's an enclosed body of water, especially when you're coasting through in its center and can just barely make out the wheat-colored shoreline.
We felt a lot peace traveling here, embracing the warmth of the sun in sharp contrast to the stiff chill of the wind that whips around this region of the world in fall. We island hopped, met travelers from all over the world, and shared in the awe and beauty of being surrounded by a distinct and pristine blue hue.
The only thing that disrupted all this magnificence? The motor. The loud loud motor. A singular (unavoidable) flaw in jumping on a tour using 30-year-old-boat...