You’ve probably heard about Lake Titicaca. A large lake, at a high altitude, floating islands, ancient cultures, and much more. Lake Titicaca is one of the most popular places to visit in Peru. Lonely Planet has even put it at number 2 in the top 20 of Peru, with Machu Picchu at 1. We stayed in Puno Peru and from there we discovered Lake Titicaca and the surrounding area. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know when traveling to Lake Titicaca and Puno in Peru.
What is Lake Titicaca and why is it so special?
The highest navigable lake in the world is located at 3,812 meters above sea level. It is also the largest lake in South America. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by incredible surroundings. Lake Titicaca is mainly known for the Uros Islands, which are still inhabited by the Uros Indians. The Uros Indians created the Uros Islands to escape the violence of the Incas. These islands are built by reed and must be supplemented with reed each time otherwise the island will sink to the bottom of the lake. It is incredible to see how the people live especially that they developed their own language and aren’t registered as citizens, which actually means that they have no identity.
Best things to do at Lake Titicaca
There are some cool things to do around Lake Titicaca. We stayed in Puno from where we did all activities and also visited Lake Titicaca. Below you read the best things you can do at Lake Titicaca.
#1 Tour Lake Titicaca, Uros Islands and Taquile
You cannot discover Lake Titicaca on your, you need to book a tour. There are a lot of tours, the best tour is the one that shows the lake, visit the Uros Islands and Taquile. First, you will board a boat where the guide will tell you all the history of the area and why it is so special. After a short boat trip, you arrive at the Uros islands, here you go ashore and see how the people live. They show how they build their houses, what they eat, and how they sleep. After this, you continue the tour to the Taquile islands which was the highlight of the tour for us, which we didn’t expect. From this island, you have a beautiful view of Lake Titicaca. The island itself is also very beautiful, but what even more extraordinary is are the people that live here. It is a real community in which they build and share everything. We did this tour and highly recommend it.
Tour Lake Titicaca, Uros and Taquile | $29 per person
#2 Visit the archeologic complex Silustani
A visit to Silustani is definitely worthwhile, you should do this using a tour because you don’t actually have to go without a guide. Without a guide, you will not receive any information and it does simply not ward to go. Silustani is an archaeological complex that is one of the most important necropolises in the Andean world, due to its gigantic burial tower. These are also called Chullpas, which have been used by the Incas. The best thing about the tour is the explanation and the stories that the guide will tell you. This also helps you to understand the history of Peru better. For us, this was a fun afternoon tour, highly recommended. Also, this complex is located beside Lake Amayo. You can enjoy a beautiful view!
We have done the below tour and are very satisfied with it. You can easily book your spot via the below link.
Tour Silustani | $29 per person
#3 Do something crazy and eat a cuy
If you are reading this you probably think are you crazy? That is what we thought when we heard that eating a guinea pig is a delicacy in Peru. For Peruvians, it is very special to eat this and they only do this at unique moments such as a birthday or graduation. We wanted to understand why this was so special and we did it. We can tell you that eating once is more than enough, not because of the taste but because of the idea.
#4 City tour of Puno Peru
There are no free walking tours in Puno, so if you want to get to know the city of Puno better, you should join a tour. During a 2-hour tour, you visit the highlights of Puno on foot.
Tour Puno | $13 per person
#5 Stay with the locals
What to do in Puno that is really special? If you want to do something special you can spend the night on an island with the locals. It is not the same as #1, because during this activity you will also go to the island of Amantani. Almost no tourists visit this island, so due to this fact, it is very special to spend the night at island Amantani. For more information and to book your ticket you can use the link below.
Lake Titicaca 2 days | $71 per person
How many days do you need for Lake Titicaca?
You need a minimum of 2 nights to discover Lake Titicaca and its surroundings. If you only travel through Peru, 1 night is not worth going to, because of all the traveling. If you follow our travel route through Peru, you have probably just done the Colca Canyon trek and can also use some rest. So don’t do too much either, because your next destination is Cusco where you will do plenty of activities.
Is it worthwhile to visit Lake Titicaca?
Yes, this is worth it. You must have enough time to follow our travel route through Peru. If you don’t have a lot of time you can skip Puno as Puno is way out of the direction from the other destinations in Peru. If you go to Bolivia, a visit to Puno is definitely worth it! All in all, it is to see Lake Titicaca but of course, you should have enough time to fit it into your personal schedule.
If you have any doubts, you can always send us a message and we can help you.
How do you get to Puno (Lake Titicaca)?
If you come from Arequipa and you have done the Colca Canyon trek like us, you will automatically be brought to Puno by the tour agency.
If you are coming from Arequipa or Cusco you can easily get by bus. We recommend using the bus company, Cruz del Sur. You can buy a ticket from the bus company. Buses leave for Puno every hour.
Your next trip to Cusco is easy. A bus leaves every hour between 04:00 and 22:00 to Cusco. You can buy your ticket at the bus station. We recommend that you leave for Cusco at 10 p.m., so you will arrive in Cusco at 5 a.m., so you don’t lose any time traveling.
Arequipa – Puno | Price 25 to 75 S. / | Travel time 5 hours
Cusco – Puno | Price 30 to 80 S. / | Travel time 7 hours
Where to stay at Lake Titicaca? Stay in Puno
There are several villages around Lake Titicaca where you can stay, Puno is the best destination because all tours depart from here. Puno also has the best bus connections with Arequipa and Cusco.
Casona Hotel Centro
We stayed in Casona Hotel Centro and we highly recommend it. The rooms are very big and luxurious. The beds are incredibly comfortable and the breakfast is delicious. The hotel is located right in the center, so you can walk everything. A very nice place to relax.
Price per night from:
€ 26 double room
Titicaca Lodge Peru
Do you want to sleep on a Uros island luxuriously, then you need to stay at the Titicaca lodge. If you want to wake up with a view directly of Lake Titicaca, you should spend the night here. It is important to know that this lodge is very exclusive and popular, so it is sometimes fully booked months in advance. This makes it important to book in time to ensure your spot.
Price per night from:
€ 110 double room