TOUR TO THE UROS FLOATING ISLANDS $50 USD Per Person
Visit Man Made Islands Of The Lake Titicaca - Half Day Guided Boat Tour
The Uros Floating Islands are located just 5km west from Puno harbor, at 3810m and 30min in a boat ride from Puno, Peru.
The Uros is the name of a group of pre-Incan people who live on 41 self-fashioned floating man made islets located in Lake Titicaca. The Uros use the Junko or Totora reeds to make boats (balsas mats) of bundled dried reeds as well as to make the islands themselves.
The Junko or Totora is a cattail type rush growing native in the lake. Its dense roots support the top layer, which rots and must be replaced regularly by stacking more reeds on top of the layer beneath. The islands change in size, and more are created as the need arises. The Uros residents of the islands create their homes from the reeds. The roofs are waterproof but not humidity resistant. Cooking fires are built on a layer of stones to protect the reeds. Residents wear layers of clothing, mostly woolen, to protect themselves from the cold, the wind, and the sun which at this altitude can burn fiercely. Many women still wear the distinctive derby type hat and full skirts. The larger and most visited islands appear many travelers as floating souvenirs, and to some extent these indeed are tourist-traps, their inhabitants having succeeded in living off tourism. However, most of the smaller islands remain isolated from visitors and still practice a traditional way of life that includes old-technique fishing, bird-trapping, and relying on Junko or Totora for housing and transportation.
These floating islands are the home of the Uros tribe, one which pre-dates the Incan civilization. According to their legends, they existed before the sun, when the earth was still dark and cold. They were impervious to drowning or being struck by lightning. They lost their status as super beings when they disobeyed universal order and mixed with humans, making them susceptible to contempt. They scattered, losing their identity, language, and customs. They became the Uros-Aymaras, and now speak Aymara.
The Uros traded with the Aymara tribe on the mainland, interbreeding with them and eventually abandoning the Uros language for that of the Aymara. About 500 years ago they lost their original language. When this pre-Incan civilization was conquered by the Incans, they had to pay taxes to them, and often were made slaves.
The islands are part of the TITICACA NATIONAL RESERVE, created in 1978 to preserve 37 thousand hectares of marsh reeds in the south and north sectors of Lake Titicaca. The reserve is divided into two sections, RAMIS, in the provinces of Huancané and Ramis; and Puno, in the province of the same name. The reserve protects over 60 species of native birds, four families of fish and 18 native amphibians species. There are three islands in the lake, Huaca Huacani, Toranipata and Santa María.
The floating islands are protected within the Bay of Puno and are home to 2000 Uros people, who claim to have "black blood" are consequently immune to the cold. They call themselves be kotsuña, or people of the lake, and consider themselves the owners of the lake and its waters. They continue living by fishing, weaving and now, tourism. They catch fish for themselves and to sell on the mainland. They also catch shore birds and ducks for eggs and food. Occasionally, if the level of the lake decreases, they may plant potatoes in soil created by the decaying reeds, but as a norm, they are not agricultural. The reed boats quite often have an animal face or shape on the prow and are a favorite photographic subject.
The purpose of the island settlements was originally defensive, and if a threat arose they could be moved. The largest island retains a watchtower almost entirely constructed of reeds.
Around 2,000 descendants of the Uros were counted in the 1997 census, although only a few hundred still live on and maintain the islands; most have moved to the mainland. The Uros also bury their dead on the mainland in special cemeteries.
The islands can be visited by a quick tour from Puno that take less than half an hour to reach the islands. Tour takes 3 hours. In alternative, you could take a longer tour, which includes also the natural islands of Amantaní and Taquile are located in the TITICACA NATIONAL RESERVE.
TOUR ITINERARY OF UROS MAN MADE ISLANDS
You will be picked up from your hotel in Puno around 6:40am or 1:45pm and transfer to harbor of Puno and aboard the boat and excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca. This tour takes around 4 hours to visit the manmade island located in the National Reserve of Titicaca.
The Uros floating islands are inhabit by fishermen and hunters, the residents of the islands us cattail a type of rush, which grows in the lake, to create the conditions that ensure the islands stay afloat. During the tour also you have plenty time to visit the small local handicraft where you can by something made by local women, little museum is open where you can see different types of birds of the lake. Also is available a short trip on artesian boat made by locals with Junko or Totora reed.
Return to the port and transfer to your hotel.
NOTE: This tour can be done every day at 7am or 2pm depending of the season and rain season.
TOUR TO THE UROS FLOATING ISLANDS INCLUDES
- Transfer from hotel to the port and aboard the speed boat
- Official english speaking guide
- Speedboat and safe jacket
- Entrance fees to Titicaca National Reserve
- Lunch at Taquile Island
|TOUR SCHEDULE & COST 2013
|TOUR TO THE UROS FLOATING ISLANDS $50 USD Per Person
Visit Man Made Islands Of The Lake Titicaca - Half Day Guided Boat Tour
|Backpacker Service (join group)
1 to more participants $50 USD each
Private Service (Private boat/guide)
2 participants $135 USD each
3-4 participants $125 USD each
5 to more participants $105 USD each
|Discount: $5 USD of discount for South American Explorers Club
Discount 3%: Discount for Travel agencies and travel agents
Students:$5 USD of discount only with valid green ISIC card
|Organized Groups: We offer private service and any time/day according request, ask our special rates for froup more than 5 participants
|Group size: 12 - 25 participants per each guide and according the boat size
|BOOK HERE: We highly recommended to book space prior you arrival to Peru
All prices stated above are subject to change.
Exchange rate $1 USD = S/. 3.02 (rate may vary daily).
Daily departures are available all year at 7am or 2pm.
We provide a private official tour guide and boat to make your trip as comfortable as possible and the itinerary is flexible according the request of our clients.
- Hotel in Puno
- Travel insurance
- Soft or alcoholic drinks
- Breakfast on the first day
- Tipping for guide and camp staff
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING/CARRY
- Rain jacket or poncho
- Strong comfortable and waterproof footwear
- Sweater and jacket (something warm)
- Water bottle
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
- Sun block (sun protection cream)
- Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits etc,
- Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries
- You also need to bring your original passport on the tripl
- Optional: walking sticks or poles
PRIVATE LAND TRANSFERS FROM/TO PUNO
Airport of Juliaca (45 minutes)
Colca Canyon (Chivay - 7 hours)
Cusco (7 hour)
Arequipa (7 hours)
Puerto Maldonado (11 hours)
Border Peru/Bolivia (Copacabana or Desaguadero - 2 hours)
Boorder Peru/Chile (Tacna - 7 hours)
Prices under request by e-mail - Each transfer includes hire of transport for 2 people up to 38 travelers, driver service, fuel, road tax, transport insurance, first aid kit and medical bottle of oxygen - Additional service could be English-speaking tour guide to be confirm at booking time - The service can leaves from your hotel or from the port of Puno at any time and day.
For more information about the tour or you request a new date to departure for this tour, please contact us....
Some of our clients e-mail us saying our confirmation e-mails are placed to their spam folder rather than their inbox. We recommend to modify your JUNK or SPAM FILTER SETTINGS to receive our e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
on the correct inbox. You may also want to add this email address to your list of known contacts. This will prevent our responses from being filtered into your Junk or Spam mail folder.