Saturday May 9, I arrived in Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca which, at 3,810m altitude, is the highest navigable lake on earth. With a surface measuring 8,285 km2, it’s fifteen times bigger than Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It has a maximum length of 172 km, a maximum width of 64 km and the deepest point is at 283m. It is situated between Peru (60%) and Bolivia (40%).
Puno is a little town of 120’000 inhabitants. Tourists usually transit trough this town for a night or two before moving on to Cusco, Arequipa or to Bolivia.
On Sunday May 8, I went on a boat trip to visit the floating islands of Uros, about an hour’s distance from Puno. These islands are pretty impressive, forming a big village on the water. There are about 90 islands where 500 families live (2,500 inhabitants). The island we visited accommodates 25 people and every island has its president who is elected for one year. They showed us how the islands are built: they take some earth from the lake to form blocks about two meters high and then they pile up a metre of reeds. Every two weeks, the islanders add an extra layer of reeds. Back in the day, the Uros people lived on these islands in order to escape from the Incas.
After visiting the houses, we left for Tequile Island which takes two hours by boat. On arrival, we hiked up the hill for about 20 minutes to get a good view over the lake. We then walked another 30 minutes to the restaurant where we ate lunch. On the menu, quinoa soup for starters and for the main course we had rainbow trout with potatoes and vegetables. I think it’s probably the best trout I’ve ever tasted!
After lunch we walked to the port where the boat took us back to Puno, it was quite a long trip (three hours) but worth it for the sunset.
It was a really nice day for me, I spent it with two guys from the hostel, Kirk from the UK and Rob from the US. It was also my last day in Peru, so in the evening we went out together for dinner and, afterwards, we had Pisco Sour to celebrate.
From Puno, I took a bus to Copacabana situated on the Bolivian side of the lake. It’s a three hour trip and crossing the boarder was without difficulty.
Accommodation suggestion in Puno : I stayed at the Cozy Hostel, two minutes from the Plaza de Armas. The beds are very comfortable (the best so far) with warm covers. The wifi was also very good.