East of Puno in the high-altitude sunshine, Taquile's brown dusty landscape contrasts with green terraces, bright flowers, and the surrounding blue waters. Snowcapped Bolivian mountains loom in the distance.
Taquile folk are known for weaving some of Peru's loveliest textiles, here created by both men and women. Islanders still wear traditional dress and have successfully maintained the cooperative lifestyle of their ancestors. The annual Taquile festival the third week of July is a great time to visit.
Taquile's steep hill has long, curvy trails leading to the main square, where islanders often perform local dances for tourists. There are many ways to reach the top of Taquile, where there are Inca and Tiahuanaco ruins; the most popular way is to climb up the 533 stone steps, or you can take a longer path. The island is 35 km (22 miles) from Puna. The boat trip takes about four hours each way and there is no transportation on land once you arrive. Visitors wishing to stay the night are lodged in small bed-and-breakfasts or in the homes of local families. There are a few shops and small restaurants, as well as an excellent textile store. If you are not prepared for an arduous walk, then you should probably skip Taquile Island.