After taking a few days in Cusco to recover from the Inca Trail, we headed by bus to Puno, a town on the edge of Lake Titicaca. At 3,812m (12,507ft) it is the highest navigable lake in the world.
Many people say to skip Puno as it doesn’t have a lot to offer but we actually didn’t mind the town. The main tourist attraction is the floating Uros reed islands. They are made from totora reeds that are anchored to the bottom of the lake and each one lasts about 25 years. Only a few indigenous Aymara people still live on the islands as most have moved to the mainland but they maintain them as a tourist attraction and it was really interesting to see.
We said our goodbyes to Peru and took a bus across the border to the Bolivian side of the lake. The boarder crossing was really simple. Get off the bus and get stamped out of Peru, walk up the road into Bolivia, get stamped in there and back on the bus.
We arrived in Copacabana, a little hippy backpacker town on the edge of the lake and where the boats leave for Isla Del Sol. Our hostel was a bit of a walk up hill, tough with the lack of oxygen but we were rewarded with a fantastic view of the lake from our room!
We took a boat to Isla Del Sol the next morning, an island in the middle of the lake. We’re sure it could be reached in half an hour on any normal boat, but this being Bolivia it took two hours, on the slowest boat in history.
If you’re not staying on the island most people get dropped off in the North and hike the 4 hour walk back to the South of the island for the afternoon boat back. Even though after the Inca Trail we swore we would never hike again, here we were agreeing to walk for 4 hours in the blistering sun at an elevation of over 12,000ft.
The Island was beautiful. White sand beaches, dramatic clifftops and inca ruins in the North, small communities and farmers working the land. The walk was pretty easy at first, sandy paths and gentle inclines, but these were soon replaced with some nice steep hills. We definitely wish we’d stayed on the island and explored it at our own pace instead of worrying if we’d make it for the last boat back. Still, a lovely day of stunning scenery and beautiful sunshine.