South America is full of natural beauty. There are stunning beaches, beautiful mountains, and great lakes. One of the most famous lakes is Lake Titicaca which can be found nestled between Peru and Bolivia. A visit to Lake Titicaca is a wonderful highlight of any South American itinerary. And the best way to do that is to get on the lake. A stay on the Uros Islands in Peru is a unique experience to remember. Keep reading for everything you need to know about visiting the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca.
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Lake Titicaca Facts
Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America. It’s as deep as 920 feet (280 meters) with a surface area of about 3,200 square miles (8,300 square kilometers). And the Uros Islands is just one of the over 40 islands on Lake Titicaca. The Uros people are indigenous to the area and live on these manmade floating islands. However, the Uru language is nearly extinct as the people have shifted to mostly speaking Aymara and Spanish.
Things to Do on Uros Islands
A visit to the Uros Floating Islands should be a relaxing, cultural stay. The islands are a special experience and there is plenty to do for those who are looking to unplug.
If the weather permits, go swimming in the largest lake in South America! Take a dive and enjoy the lake. Stay close to the island you’re staying on as there are many boats throughout the lake.
Tour the Lake Via Boat
Take a boat ride and get to see some of the surrounding islands. You can ask your host to arrange this for you.
Enjoy Some Wine
Sit back and “wine” down at the lake. Or have a few beers. This place is all about disconnecting and relaxation so take it in. You deserve it!
TIP: There isn’t much of a wine selection in Puno so I would suggest getting wine from a bigger city if you aren’t flying into Juliaca.
Watch the Sunset
There’s nothing quite like finishing off the day watching the sunset. Lay back as the sky turns into magical hues.
Since you’re away from the city you can see many stars. It isn’t the darkest sky but still makes for a nice nighttime activity.
What to Expect When Visiting the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca
When visiting the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca there are some things to keep in mind. The islands are completely manmade and don’t have modern amenities such as a hot shower or flushable toilets. This does not mean your stay won’t be pleasant but is something that every traveler should know. Also, don’t expect WiFi even if your accommodation states they have it. It will likely be a cellphone hotspot you can use from your host if you really need it to check something.
The islands can get pretty cold at night depending on the season. You’ll want to keep that in mind and pack accordingly. Expect this to be somewhat like camping but know that you will a stable structure to sleep in, a bed, and lots of blankets.
What to Bring to Uros Islands Peru
You don’t need to bring much to the islands and if you have the option you can store your luggage at the hotel you stay in Puno. Pack just enough for the time you’ll be staying there. Most accommodations may include breakfast into the stay or offer that along with lunch and dinner at an additional cost. There will be a small shop where you can get snacks but if you’re looking for anything, in particular, I would suggest getting that from the mainland.
Lake Titicaca Essentials
multiple layers for the cold
change of clothes
book or deck of cards for entertainment
Getting to Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru
To get to the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru you’ll want to head to Puno which is known as the “folk capital” of Peru. Getting to Puno is accessible by plane, train, or bus. See below for the different ways to get to the Uros Islands.
First, you’ll want to get to Puno:
To get to Puno you’ll want to fly into the Juliaca Airport. From here you can either take a taxi or bus to Puno. A taxi will cost anywhere from 90 to 110 soles. You can have your hotel arrange for pick-up (which may cost a little more) or get into a marked taxi at the airport.
Via bus from Arequipa
You can also take a bus from the Arequipa to Puno. It costs around 30 soles. It takes about four hours but this also depends on the border crossing. Alternatively, you can book a tour with PeruHop which is a lot more convenient as they usually pick up and drop off at or near your hotel/hostel.
Via bus from Copacabana, Bolivia
If you’re coming from Bolivia you can take the bus from Copacabana to Puno. This is another cheap option as it only costs around $6 US dollars. It takes about six hours. Alternatively, you can book a tour with BoliviaHop, like Peruhop, which is a lot more convenient.
You can also take buses from Cusco and La Paz which will take at least eight hours. However, there are overnight options.
If you are arriving from Cusco another option is to take the train. The journey from Cusco to Puno via train takes 10.5 hours but so much more comfortable and way more scenic. Prices vary deepening on the type of experience you’re looking for.
If you plan on hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu then heading to Lake Titicaca to relax, taking the train is a wonderful option. Yes, it’s more expensive but worth the experience.
Transfer from Puno to Uros Islands:
Depending on where the island you are staying on is located the host will let you know which harbor to go to. This is where you’ll meet the boat that the host arrange for you. This will likely be there own small boat and may come at an extra cost. The host can also arrange for a taxi from the city center to the harbor. I recommend this so that there is direct contact with the host and transportation.
When you leave the harbor you’ll stop to pay an entrance fee for visiting Uros Floating Islands. This will cost 8 soles.
If you prefer not to stay overnight on the island you can always opt for an organized day tour from Puno.
I hope you enjoy visiting the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca!
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