Puno, Peru, aug 14 - 18 and aug 19 - 22, 2012

The city of Puno is nothing to write home about but is a base with good infrastructure to explore the famous lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world (3,812 m). We booked a boat tour to two islands. The floating islands of Uros were very touristy and had a Disney like feel, but were interesting nonetheless. The Uros people left the shore and started to built floating islands out of reeds to avoid having to pay taxes to the Spanish conquistadores in colonial times. Nowadays it is primarily a tourist attraction, but there are other floating villages that can't be visited where residents still live full-time on the water. The second stop was at Taquile island. It reminded me of the Mediterranean islands and is inhabited by a shy, but friendly Quechua-speaking community.

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Karina >>