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itsv Jan 8th, 2010 10:58 AM

Lake Titicaca-where to stay, what to see?
I have checked other posting but wanted to get some recent options- As part of my 50th birthday trip to SA, we are thinking of seeing Lake Titicaca. Some of the postings have been negative such as the area is overcommercialized and the "floating Islands" are floating tourtist shops. Should Lake Titicaca be part of our trip?? If so any recommendations on where to stay? Reviews of Puno seem to be that is is not a "nice" town so is there someplace we should make as our base. Also we want to go to Puerto Maldonado afterwards so what is the best way. flying?? a bus??

Thank you for all your help, I can hardly wait until the trip.

Elizabeth_S Jan 8th, 2010 01:06 PM

We visited Puno in 2006, mainly as a gateway to do a homestay on one of the islands on the Lake. We arrived in Puno later in the day (after driving from Cusco) and the next morning took a boat to Amantani, which is a couple of hours from Puno. On the way we stopped at Uros (the floating reed islands) for a tour which we thoroughly enjoyed. But the night on Amantani was the highlight for us. The next day we returned to Puno and spent a few hours wandering around the town and had a really nice dinner there.

So all told we really enjoyed the experience, but alot of that was due to our wonderful homestay on Amantani.

Pics on our blog here

and follow the little arrows at the bottom of the page to see the next posting for Amantani....or here it is

happy to answer any questions you may have

qwovadis Jan 8th, 2010 02:04 PM Private Collection great there

Taquile is an amazing island

Puno sort of dodgy and Islas Flotantes(Uros)

sort of touristic

But all worth it for me if you are selective.

afz Jan 8th, 2010 09:45 PM

I like the center of Puno, although most people hate it for some reason. The homestay on Amantaní or Taquile, along with tour of the floating islands, is definitely worth doing. Your hotel or any agency in town can set it up for you for ~$20. See Sillustani if you have an extra day there.

All transport to Puerto Maldonado is via Cusco, so you'll have to arrange your itinerary to go while you're there. There is no flight and no road from Puno.

justshootme Jan 8th, 2010 10:17 PM

I wouldn't skip Lake Titicaca. Yes, it's comercialized, but so are many other tourist destinations. I'm glad that we added on a few extra days to include a visit to Lake Titicaca. We opted not to do the homestay and we stayed in a hotel in Puno and visited the floating islands as a day trip.

crellston Jan 9th, 2010 12:38 AM

I agree with justshootme and others, don't skip Titicaca. Yes the floating islands you will be taken too are touristy but islands like Taquile are well worth a visit for an ovenight or a day trip.
If you are coming from Cusco then the bus trip (we used Inka Express) takes you through spectacular scenery with stops along the way - well worth it.

We stayed in Puno itself for a couple of days and enjoyed the town itself. Some good places to eat and lots going on.

Be aware that Puno is at higher altitude than Cusco (4000m +) and some people are affected by this. We had been at altitude in Cusco/SV and Lares for 6 weeks or so and my wife was still affected with sickness and headaches etc in Puno.

rosewillow Jan 9th, 2010 11:01 AM

It has been a few years, but I really enjoyed
Agree with being concerned about altitude, this was the first (and so far only) place in my life where I had problems.

eenusa Jan 10th, 2010 10:52 AM

I would not skip Lake T ... we stayed at Casa Andina Private Collection ... toured some places off the beaten path (Aramu Muru, Chucuito, Sillustani - the latter more frequently visited, but not commercialized) ... others more commercialized but interesting nonetheless (Floating Islands, Taquile)... my blog is at: All Peru entries are in the April 2009 archive. Lake T entries start with ... has photos of the hotel. There's a link at the bottom of the post that will take you to the next post, or pick from the archive list.

nonohina Jan 18th, 2010 09:04 PM

I visited Lake T last month and enjoyed the trip overall. I didn't care for Puno overall, but you are almost forced to stay at least one night, if not two because of travel time. I stayed at the Royal Inn and was pleased with the location, cleanliness and service. The Uros islands are very touristy but worth seeing. You're going to feel forced into buying something, but save your money. You can find everything you want in Lima or Arequipa for just as cheap, if not cheaper; and better quality. This is the only area in Peru that I had altitude problems. I had trouble sleeping because of it.

itsv Jan 19th, 2010 12:05 AM

Thank you all for your help. Unfortunately with travel times and what we want to see, we cannot do a trip to Lake T and Puno. We had to decide between the Amazon out of Iquitos or Lake T and the family voted for Tahuayo Lodge outside of Iquitos. They have a survival program which my teenage son wanted to do and my DS was accepted into a program at the San Diego Zoo where she is sort of a teen ambassador-she will explain conservation and the animals to the public and the trip to the Tahuayo Lodge falls within her interest. Plus now it gives us a reason to return to Peru.

itsv Jan 19th, 2010 01:47 AM

eenusa-Thank you for citing you blog. I enjoyed it very much and your pictures were wonderful. It sounded like a wonderful trip. Since I too am celebrating the big 50 in South America, it was nice reading about your husband's birthday.

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