Uros Islands and Sillustani Cemetery Tour

Puno Travel Blog

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Floating reed island in the Uros, near Puno.

Woke up to pouring rain this morning, but it cleared by the time we left Amantani Island and our host family en route for the Uros Islands.  The trip took about 3 hours, and it was a very wierd sensation stepping onto the reeds and feeling the squishy feeling underfoot.  We were given an explanation of how the islands are created, and tasted some of the local bread.  The cooking fires are lit directly on top of the reeds, but the fire hazard is low because of the lack of oxygen.  Walked around the small huts to see how they are made, and then had the obligatory tourist products thrust at us.  We then took a reed canoe for a 20 minute tour around the island and back to our boat, where a delicious lunch of salad and ham rolls was waiting for us.

got back to the hotel at about 1pm and almost straight away left for our tour of the Sillusatani funerary tower site.

Our reed canoe transportation, Uros Islands.
  Three styles of tower can be found here, the styles changing over time.  The site is on top of a very exposed hill and it was therefore freezing cold.  There are still a lot of tombs believed to be underground from the first epoch, and excavations will continue.  The most impressive towers are the Incan ones which loom over the landscape.  The ancient Colla tombs are much smaller and tend to now just be piles of rock and not really identifiable as tombs or towers.  On the way back to Puno we stopped at a traditional courtyard-style farmhouse where the lady showed us around and let us try different varieties of potatoes and other food.  Their guinea pig pen was classic - they´d actually built a double storey house for the little fellas, so they were probably living in more luxury than the humans!  Didn´t do much tonight, just sat in bed and watched cable TV - what luxury!

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Floating reed island in the Uros, …
Floating reed island in the Uros,…
Our reed canoe transportation, Uro…
Our reed canoe transportation, Ur…
Incan funerary tower, Sillustani C…
Incan funerary tower, Sillustani …
Traditional courtyard farmhouse, n…
Traditional courtyard farmhouse, …
5 star guinea pig hotel!
5 star guinea pig hotel!
Puno
photo by: lrecht