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Puno

Once-In-a-Lifetime Boat Ride
During a trip to Peru's Lake Titicaca, my husband and I debated whether to visit the Uros Floating Islands - we'd received mixed reviews from travelers who had already visited the islands. We decided to give it a shot and hired a private boat to get to the islands since it wasn't much more expensive than a group boat and we could be a bit more on our schedule.

We were so glad we decided to visit the Uros Islands! Aside from learning about the Uros people's fascinating culture, one of the young Uros men, seeing how interested we were in their way of life, treated us to a really special experience - a boat ride in his traditional Uros reed boat! When in the Lake Titicaca region, I definitely suggest you check out the Uros Floating Islands, despite anything negative you might hear from others who've visited them before. It's a glimpse into a life lived literally on a lake, and it's unlike anything I've seen before or since.

Sunny Yellow on the Uros Islands
When my husband and I visited Peru's Lake Titicaca in March 2011, we couldn't decide whether or not to take a trip out to the Uros Floating Islands. People who'd been there before us had offered mixed reviews. But we decided to give it a go and we were so happy we did!

Aside from learning about the interesting culture of the Uros people, we were also able to take a once-in-a-lifetime boat ride in a traditional Uros reed boat. I loved this building's sunny yellow roof and door - it matched the cheerful attitude of the Uros people we met, who offered nothing but smiles. I highly recommend a trip to the Uros Floating Islands if you visit Lake Titicaca.

Strolling Through Puno
Aside from exploring the most well-known attraction of Puno, Peru - the fascinating Lake Titicaca - the town is also a great place to watch the local Peruvian people go about their daily routines. I loved the colorful traditional clothing and boller hats (called "bombins" in Spanish) that Peruvian women wear, like these two women who appeared to be enjoying each other's company on a casual afternoon stroll through town.

Peru truly is a feast for the senses, with Puno and the areas around Lake Titicaca being some of the most colorful and interesting Peru has to offer.

Floating on Lake Titicaca with the Uros Tribe
About 2,000 people in the Uros tribe live on large floating islands made of reed in the middle of Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world. Each island is controlled by a family with its own mayor. The lovely and gracious people live year-round in reed huts through harsh winters and brutal summers at high altitude. While many feel the tourism that has become a routine part of Uro life takes advantage of the Uro people, the money helps them maintain their community and provide for their families.

Lake Titicaca Bread
Strolling through Puno, Peru, on the banks of the fascinating Lake Titicaca, we passed many stores displaying produce and fish for sale, but nothing looked or smelled as tempting as this freshly-baked bread.

Curious to find out if it tasted as good as it looked, my husband and I bought a loaf and took it with us back to our hotel. Sure enough, the bread was even better than it looked: crisp and flaky on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. No matter what country you're in, nothing beats the taste and smell of fresh bread.

Puno, Peru