Titicaca lake by campervan

Click here to view The full screen map with the exact reference of the parking lots and other points of interest

Lake Titicaca is one of those places on the planet that is worth devoting a long time to visit. In addition to being the highest navigable lake in the world and the place where they say the Inca empire was born, it is an area with a special energy and has a good number of points of interest, both in the Bolivian part and In the Peruvian.

After touring the surroundings of the lake for two weeks in our van housing, we want to share some practical information in which we highlight the most interesting points and point the places where we sleep with the truck , The prices of each tourist activity (at the end of 2014) and other information that can be useful if you are planning to travel the area for free, especially if you want to do it in a camper.

The Bolivian part
Copacabana

On the Bolivian side, the most convenient way is to get to Copacabana, where the most important port of Lake Titicaca is located on the Bolivian side. There are plenty of “parking” as they are called here, where you can park the van and approach the port to find a boat that will bring you to the two most famous islands of this country: The island of the Sun and The island of the Moon. There are many boats and it is easy to find one that will take you.

Island of the sun

The island of the Sun is the largest, is about 45 minutes by boat and has two small ports. If you ask to be dropped off in the south, then you can walk to the north harbor, which is about a 20-30 minute hike. During the walk you can see the terraces, which is the way of cultivating the area and the views are excellent.

Once in the northern port you will find the Inca staircase and the fountain of eternal youth. In that area is where we can stay if you want to spend the night in the island, and there are different houses and lodgings with affordable prices. It is worth spending a night and being able to see the sunset from a viewpoint that is very close. The island is large but the tourist part is just in that area of ​​the harbor.

Island of the moon

The island of the moon is close to the island of the sun, about 20 minutes. If you visit with an organized tour, the route takes about 30 minutes and usually only visit the ruins of the temple of the virgins. There are cheap accommodation options on the island too, for about 30 Bolivians the double room, in case you want to stay and be able to discover the island a little better and enjoy the tranquility that is breathed there.

Floating Island of the Uros Irohito

The famous islands made with totora, a plant very typical of the lake were extinct in this country years ago. In these islands lived the Uros Irohito. Currently there is only one company, Crillon Tours, which has recovered one of these islands so that tourists can see what these islands were like and explain how they lived. So if you only visit Titicaca from the part of Bolivia and someone wants to see what an island made of Totora is, the only option is to hire them to visit it. The other option is to go to the Peruvian part, where the totora islands are well present.

Tiwanaku and move to Peru

To cross Peru from Bolivia can be done from the northern part of the lake with a boat or the south. We went to the south, to visit the ruins and the village of Tiwanaku (also quiet for sleeping), which is on the way to the Peruvian border, located in the town of Desaguadero. If you arrive on a Sunday it is quite difficult to cross the country as you have to pass through in the middle of tooooodo a market full of people and merchandise of all kinds everywhere. We arrived on a Sunday, of course, without knowing it, and it took us all morning to make the process of going to Peru.

The Peruvian part

Chucuito

Once in Peru, the most important port where the boats leave to visit the islands is Puno. Until arriving at Puno there are dozens of quiet villages where you can stay to sleep without problems in the square or in some street. We chose to stay in Chucuito, located 18 kilometers from Puno. It is a small town, with a large green square, wide and with a sundial, presided over by a cathedral.

In that square you can sleep well quiet in front of the municipality. Near that square is the temple of the phalluses, the biggest tourist attraction of the population. There are preserved ruins of an Inca temple dedicated to fertility. Two stones with a phallic shape are located on the side and side of the entrance door to an enclosure of about 200 square meters where we find about 80 phalluses carved in stone.

According to the inhabitants, if a woman sits on top of one of the phalluses, she is assured to have a good fertility. However, as explained in the same town, phallic stones were placed a few years ago in the temple as a tourist attraction, complementing in a graphic and attractive way an enclosure that would have been used to pay tribute to the Pachamama (The mother earth) and ask for fertility to the earth.

Puno

Dónde aparcar en Puno. Clica aquí para ver la ubicación en el google maps.

From Chucuito you are just under an hour from Puno. In Puno there are two distinct parts. El Puerto, from where the boats leave, and the center, where all the hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are. In the port there are also cheap hostels … We went to one, Apu-rimak, where the service is average poor. Only one towel per double room, the hot water does not work, the technician has to come, the wifi … is that we have to stop the device because if it does not heat us … well … it is worth asking what services they have before trying to stay In one of them.

And if not, a cheap and safe option to be able to sleep on the van is the “la escuelita” parking lot just in front of the port. It’s a green door. It does not make it a parking, you have to ask. Inside is very large and can fit enough cars. There, for about 10-15 soles they let you park and spend the night in the car. The best thing is that if the next morning you want to go to do the tour, you are right in front of the port. It is not advisable to leave the van on the street. Several people warned us that they had been stolen in the car, so we better prevent it.
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Floating islands of Uros and Taquile


In Peru there are several islands within the lake, some more tourist than others, and there are also the floating islands of the Uros, a few kilometers from the port, where, according to tourist guides Of the area, still live about 2000 people. For 35 Bolivians per person, we hired a one day tour that took us to a small floating island of the Uros and passed by the island of Taquile, the largest of Titicaca.

The maximum authority of the floating island explained to us that this one was manufactured recently, taking advantage of the tourist interest aroused by this type of islands. He also assured us that currently a small community lives in the place, a fact that seemed unlikely during the visit and that some Titicaca residents did not confirm later.


Excursions to the islands of the Uros and Taquile can also be done by free, buying in the port a ticket for a boat that can take you to the two islands.

Taquile stands out for its textiles, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco. Its inhabitants dress in a specific way according to whether they are single or married, thus maintaining the ancestral traditions, so it is advisable to spend a whole day on the island or even spend the night in the house of one of the families.

Sillustani’s chullpas


After the experience with the tour operator of Puno, we decided to visit for free another one of the most tourist islands of the lake, Amantaní, located in the peninsula of Capachica. But before, we passed by Sillustani, a town located halfway between Puno and Juliaca. It is worth spending a few hours at the archaeological site of Sillustani, a cemetery that houses a large number of tombs in the shape of an inverted tower or chullpas, belonging to the Kolla culture.
At the entrance to the village there is a guarded parking where you have to leave the vehicle, and for a price of 10 soles per person you can visit the archaeological site. Sillustani is located in a privileged place, on the shores of the Umayo lagoon. From the lagoon you cross a road full of vendors that goes up to the hill where the ruins are. Above, it is usually quite cold and windy, so even if it is sunny, we recommend wearing warm clothes and a cap that protects the ears.

Isla de Amantaní

 Where to park in Llachón and Chifrón. Click here to see the location on google maps.
Visiting the island of Amantani by free is a relatively easy option if you have your own mobility.

From the beach boats regularly leave for the island for a price of 5 soles per person. When you arrive in Amantani, it is easy to find accommodation, since the same families that have a place in their houses – which are the majority – come to offer you one. In our case, for 30 soles per person we stayed in the house of Ricardo, Francisca and Andrew on a full board basis. The house, which is located in the square, has three double rooms and a very cozy atmosphere. The experience is advisable, since in addition to enjoying the island to your air, during the days that you stay there you are living with the local people and knowing their traditions first hand. Among the attractions of the island, you can visit the temples of Pachamama and Pachatata, two short excursions worth doing in the morning, before the tours arrive.

Llachón


To finish the tour of Lake Titicaca we go to the southern part of the peninsula of Capachica through an unpaved road and not in very good condition, we arrive at the coastal and Elongated village of Llachón. Far beyond the center, we met Felix and his family who run the Samary Lodge. Attracted by the great variety of fabrics and handicrafts in the area, we arrived at his lodging, where he showed us the techniques of weaving and cultivation together with his wife, as well as explaining the way of life of his ancestors. Current.
The place is spectacular, with incredible views of the lake, but the price of the hostel is relatively expensive (60 soles per person), so we opted only for dinner at the hotel (15 Soles per person) and we slept in the van. There is not much place to park, as the road is narrow and with houses and fields to side and side, but at the end of the village we commented that there was a bit more place. We parked on the side of the road just in front of the Samary hotel sign, taking advantage of a small esplanade.

And so far the practical information that we have been able to collect on our journey in kombi around this unique place. We hope you can be useful for your next trips and from here we send you a warm greeting and wish you very good routes!

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4 responses to “Titicaca lake by campervan”

  1. Cristina

    Nos encantan las fotos! Nos encantaría conocer aquella parte del mundo.
    Os seguimos desde Barcelona!!! Un abrazo grande,

    Ramon y Cristina (http://holabehippie.blogspot.com)

  2. luiz kesselring

    Olá muchacas
    Y que comeran mientras estaban en Bolivia?
    gracias
    lucho

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