Isla Taquile

Lake Titicaca Travel Blog

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Our accommodation on the island. No electricity was part of the charms of the island.

There are two parts of the day for residents on Taquile Island. One part is the tranquil way of life - fishing, farming, providing for family and community alike; the other is what I would call the 'crazy time' between 12noon and 2pm everyday when numerous boat loads of tourists dock at one port/jetty, race to whichever of the 'local restaurants' their tour company has organised for lunch, enjoy a meal of fresh fish, salad and chips, and then race to the other port/jetty to leave. It is literally crazy, I am not sure what the islanders must make of it all - these foreign alien like people from far away lands arrive for 2 hours, eat all their fish and then leave again. To be fair to those people who do choose to experience Taquille in this way, it is a lovely boat ride out to the island, there are magical views from the island while enjoying some of the best fresh water fish round anywhere in the world and it is a lovely boat ride back again.

There are no roads on the island. Just a series of paths, with the main one being cobblestoned.
...but geez, slow down a bit cause the other 22 hours on Taquille island are what its all about.

The island is 6km long and is home to around 2000 Quechua speaking inhabitants. There is a main village, containing a central square, small shops selling bottled water + chocolates + sweets, numerous stalls selling local clothes, crafts, jewellery and lots and lots of restaurants that open their doors at 12 noon and close them again at 2pm. There are no cars on the island so there is no need for streets, instead, there is a network of gravel and cobblestone paths all over the island which provide access to most parts of the island. The islanders are still quite traditional in their way of living, including their clothing. Most noticeable are the men who all wear large floppy like beanies (picture a christmas elf with their hats!!).

Walking "towards the light" in the late afternoon on Taquille Island
Red denotes that the man is married while red + white mean they are readily available, with other colours representing their status within the community. Its a case of safety in numbers, one bloke would look silly wearing what they do, but with all of the islanders dressed similar and being aware of the tradition in doing so, it just adds to the magic of the island!

But back to our adventure. Luckily for Anna and I, a tourism minister for the island just so happened to be on our boat from Puno. We got talking with him and he offered to help us find some accomodation for the night. Not that it would have been hard by ourselves as when you arrive in the square, loads of children acost you offering a place to stay with their family. We probably would have gone with this option had it not been for the chance meeting with our  little tourism friend.

A late afternoon stroll around the island.
After a nice lunch of fresh water trout, he led us about 500m out of the village to a house that doubled as a hostel, run by a lovely lady and her equally adorable young daughter. It sat halfway up a hillside and offered some magical views over the lake and across to the snow capped mountains of Bolivia. It was very basic, with no electricity but the beds were nice and there was a toilet (which is always a bonus).

That afternoon we explored the island, took loads of photos and basically just relaxed, enjoying the peace and quiet with not a car horn to be heard (ahhh, the simple things in life!!). Much to my amusedment, Anna managed to get herself scammed by a small girl offering to pose in a photo with her little brother. only to accept a 1 sole payment and another for her brother.

A local islander making her way home after school
Ahahahaha, falling for that old trick. Fair play to them though, they definitely know a sucker when they see one!

In the evening, we watched a stunning sunset and ate a wonderful meal (cooked fresh by our lovely host) by candle light. The constant presence of the ladys little daughter provided some amusement, she seemed to just love poking and pulling all parts of our face and hair....it made eating a chip a little hard on occasions. I think we must have been in bed by 7:30pm...a trip record so far!!

The next morning we were up before dawn hoping for a cracking sunset. We werent let down, hopefully our photos do it justice. After a hearty breakfast of crepes with chocolate topping (so good!!) we unattached our little friend from our legs, said our goodbyes and headed up to the main village.

A little monster
There we checked out the local crafts and found a nice spot with views across the other side of the lake where we basked in the glorious sun before catching our boat home.

I think Lake Titicaca and Taquille island will be one of the highlights of the whole trip for me. Big call I know, but not without reason!

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Our accommodation on the island. N…
Our accommodation on the island. …
There are no roads on the island. …
There are no roads on the island.…
Walking towards the light in the…
Walking "towards the light" in th…
A late afternoon stroll around the…
A late afternoon stroll around th…
A local islander making her way ho…
A local islander making her way h…
A little monster
A little monster
Two little monsters!
Two little monsters!
Sunrise over Lake Titicaca
Sunrise over Lake Titicaca
A glorious morning greeted us on T…
A glorious morning greeted us on …
Anna appearing through one of the …
Anna appearing through one of the…
The journey back to Puno.
The journey back to Puno.
The small departing docks on Taqui…
The small departing docks on Taqu…
Waiting for our boat back to Puno.
Waiting for our boat back to Puno.
Lake Titicaca
photo by: NazfromOz