Long Reeds And Tall Waves:

Navigating The Planet's Highest Lake 

I bet you've seen lots of lakes in your life.

But Lake Titicaca, I can promise,

isn’t like anything you've ever come across.

Not only is it the highest navigable body of water in the world, the lake itself has over a hundred scattered islands, all of which have their own personalities. As we got inside our boats, the majestic Andes Mountain range stood sentinel, calm across the reflective waters of the lake. We were sailing towards Bolivia, whose banks make up the other side of this huge lake. We’d stay within the Peruvian side, and visit just a couple of islands, but the lake is so huge that our return journey took well over five hours; at that point, we had covered only a fifth of the lake.

Wmet this kid of about four on the Uros Floating Island of Lake Titicaca (Peruvian side), where our boat had cast moorings. These “floating” islands are just as they sound: constructed by hand out of bundles of reed which grow freely in the lake, and their rather dense roots interweave to form natural layers that live and die with the elements.

As we inquired from his playmate, it turned out that the boy was only a visitor from another neighboring island. He did not speak much, and we suspect we wouldn’t understand a word of what he had to say even if he did, since their primary language is not Spanish, but one of the indigenous languages spoken in their community.

While visiting the Uros Floating Island on Lake Titicaca, we discovered that these “islands” were in fact constructed by the indigenous population of the region out of bundles of reed growing by the lake. 

 

The shot was taken as we bade farewell to the families that live out their entire lives on this triangular piece of land drifting on Titicaca. This is one place that we'd highly recommend as a family vacation anytime you're in Peru. The short tour to these islands not only educates you, given the activity and boat ride that the trip entails, it is bound to leave your kids well engaged.

  • ALPACA SELFIES

    A Peruvian woman adorned in a traditional, colorful costume stands with her alpaca at a street corner for tourists seeking interesting photo opportunities in exchange for a few sols. This town of Chivay, in Colca Canyon, represents a place infused with both tradition and creativity, and should be on every visitor’s itinerary.

  • ALPACA COLORS 

    Chinchero, believed to be the birthplace of the Rainbow, is a small rustic Andean village at 12,350 feet located between Cusco and Urubamba, and is a great spot for visitors. It not only has a great display of Incan architecture and ruins and beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley, it’s also the home to the famous Peruvian weaving and has an authentic, indigenous market bursting with color and culture. We had the opportunity to visit the traditional cooperative. Local women dressed in traditional Peruvian dresses entertain tourists and show how alpaca wool is washed, dyed, and spun and transformed into blankets, soft sweaters, and other colorful textiles.

  • FLOATING ISLANDS

    See the floating islands of Lake Titicaca.

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  • SOARING HIGH

    Colca Canyon is the second largest after the Grand Canyon, but few know about it. This is also where the condors soar.

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