Breathtaking Lake Titicaca

At 3820 meters above sealevel Lake Titicaca is literary breathtaking..


Breathtaking Lake Titicaca

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by jurgen on October 23, 2000

After a short flight from Lima I arrived at the airport of Juliaca. Juliaca is at 3822 meters above sealevel; Immediately one feels the altitude. Your heart starts beating much quicker, there is little oxygen in the air and you feel that it is much colder here. Next to the airport we rented a minivan to Puno, only 44 kilometers from here. The road to Puno is good so it's only a short ride. On our way to Puno we stop for a short while at a Coca Cola stand -in the middle of knowhere- to get us a bottle of water. The sun goes down really fast over here so we arrive in Puno in the dark. When the sun is down there is absolutely not one bit of heat left over here. It's freezing cold.
After arriving the hotel I want to have a hot shower, but to my surprise there is no water at this time. So we go to a restaurant to have a good meal and a cocatea. I'm told that cocatea is the best remedy against heightdisease, so it's definately worth a try. There are a lot of bars, restaurants and internetcafe's in Puno, so there's a lot to do at night. In daytime however you'll get bored here. Puno doesn't have any monuments or other sites to visit. The only place to visit from here is the lake.. which is definately worth a visit.${QuickSuggestions} To avoid height disease drink a lot of water and no alcohol. Quit smoking and try a coca tea. Don't worry about getting stoned or something by the tea, it's not that strong. For the rest take it easy and slowly. If this is not enough for you you'll probably be sick for a day. Stay in bed and you'll survive:-)${BestWay} You can get to Puno by taxi, minivan and bus from Juliaca. It's only 44 kilometers over a very good road, so you'll be there in a jiffy. There are also daily bus services to Bolivia, Cuzco and some other places. My bus trip to Cuzco lasted 8 hours, that's 6 hours less than my Lonely Planet guide told me. This is probably caused by the new road they just finished. I'll advise you not to take the train to Cuzco, I was told that it is a long, terrible ride..
Lake Titicaca
Near Puno
Peru

Taquille

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by jurgen on October 24, 2000

Early in the morning we leave to the harbour by taxi. Outside it is still very cold. There is ice on the roads, and it is the middle of July! In the harbour we take one of the boats to Taquille and the Uros islands (see other journalentry). It's a very noisy boat filled with tourists. The boat trip to Taquille takes 4 hours and with the sun in the sky the temperatures have become very pleasant. We spent our time on the roof of the boat, burning in the sun. And burning we do, the sun is very strong at this altitude.
After arriving at Taquille we have to climb a hill to reach the village. At these heights, that is not easy. In the village square the guide gives us a small explaination about the island and the people, very interesting. After this we have diner in a small restaurant. The food is simple but good. Potato and fish. We take some time on the island before we leave for Puno again. We arrived in Puno after sundown, which means that again it is very cold.

The floating islands

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by jurgen on October 23, 2000

Hundreds of years ago Uros people fled from the Inca's and started living on artificial islands in Lake Titicaca. Made from a package of reed, about one meter thick, they float on the lake. That way they were able to isolate themselves from the rest of the region. Today there is little isolation left. Only 300 people live on the islands, and the majority is only there to attract tourists. The Uros indians try to sell handcrafted little gadgets and try to let you pay for pictures. Don't be cheap--pay for it, it's their living. It's fun to see that some of the houses have solarpanels on their roofs providing the energy for the televisions inside. These panels where a gift by the Peruvian government.
The Urosislands can be visited by boats from the harbour of Puno. Boattrips are usually combined with a visit to Taquille island and only visit the tourist-islands. It is possible to negotiate a visit to a non-tourist island. But this will be more expensive and does not have much more to offer.
Uros Floating Islands (Islas Flotantes)
Lake Titicaca
Puno, Peru

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j2724-Puno-Breathtaking_Lake_Titicaca.html

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