Puno and the Floating Islands

Floating Islands

Guillaume and I arrived in Puno around 10pm after taking the bus from Copacabana. We found hostel close to the bus station because we knew we were only going to stay one night before heading on to Arequipa.
View on the boat to the Floating Islands
That morning we went to the floating islands on a tour that was 20 soles. This included the transport to the islands by boat and the entrance fee. The boat ride took around 30 minutes from Puno and upon arrival we went to one of the islands. Once we were there we learned about the construction of the floating islands and that they need to put more reeds on the island every two weeks. If they don’t then the entire islands will be wet because, eventually, the water does soak through the construction.  After the brief talk, we got to go into one of the homes to see its construction.
Next, we were given the opportunity to look around their artisanal shops. However, they were rather pushy and I did not enjoy this portion of the tour at all. We were then told that we could go on the inhabitants special boat (for an additional 20 soles). My friend and I thought this was ridiculous so we decided not to go. However, they kept pressuring us and eventually we agreed to go but only for 10 soles for the two of us. We went around the bay to observe some of the other floating islands (there are hundreds of them) and then we went to the oldest island to walk around before heading back to Puno. Once in Puno we walked through the vegetable, fruit, and meat market and then wandered to the main square where we strolled through the street and grabbed lunch before heading to the bus station and Arequipa.
While the floating islands were neat it was a TOURIST TRAP in the absolute worst way. If I had known what it was like beforehand I probably would’ve skipped it but since we only had a half day in Puno it did allow us to see a little bit of the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca.
Travel Tip: We found a great lunch spot before our bus called Valeria. It offered an AMAZING three course lunch for 18 soles.
Market in Puno

Author: jordansjourneys92

Hi! My name is Jordan Gurkin and I am currently traveling around the U.S. and working for a non-profit called Compassion International. I just finished spending a year backpacking and teaching English in South America. I'm a travel blogger focused on bringing you budget travel advice, travel tips, and some of my recommendations on places to visit!

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