Located around 30km from Puno across Lake Tititcaca, the genuine islands of Taquile and Amantani offer a glimpse into a traditional Andean way of life that almost looks as though it was brought to a halt over a century ago. Untouched by the modernity of the mainland, the local inhabitants of these islands still wear traditional clothing and maintain the laws, customs and traditions of old - their language is predominantly Quechua and both islands have maintained some degree of cultural isolation with a community-controlled model of tourism providing home stays, local guides and cultural activities. Although it is possible to visit the islands on a day trip from Puno, a home stay with a local family is the best way to experience the islands with meals cooked by the woman of the house and the night spent in their home.
Inhabited for over ten thousand years by the Pukara and Tiahuanaco cultures, as well as the Incas and Spanish, the island of Taquile is now owned by the local descendants of the original Indians. Famed for making the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru, the people of Taquile, known as Taquileños, are mostly weavers and knitters with weaving and yarning exclusively a job for the women and knitting for the men.
Amantani is the least visited of the two islands and like Taquile is a basket-weavers’ island where the women dress in distinctly woven, colourful clothes. Two hills on the island offer wonderful views of the island and across Lake Titicaca with the ancient Temple of Pachamama the perfect place to enjoy sun set. Each night on Amantani a traditional dance is held where tourists can dress in local clothing and dance with the islanders.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Islas Taquile and Amantani, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to South America