Amantaní island is located 40 Km (25 miles) away from the city of Puno (3 hours of navigation in normal boat). Because of its more distant location, tourism on the island of Amantaní has not developed in the same way as on Taquile. The main difference is that home-stays have remained a more authentic cultural experience in Amantaní.
The 3,800 inhabitants of Amantaní are of Quechua origin and they are mainly small farmers. The most important crops in Amantaní are Andean potatoes, barley and green beans. The “Amantaneños” have not been as successful in their entrepreneurial tourism initiatives as their neighbors from Taquile. However, they are very friendly and warm hosts and offer a great homestay experience to travelers.
A visit to Amantaní necessarily implies to stay one night on the island. The houses are very simple and services are basic. There is no running water in many of the houses and toilets are basic. There are no showers. For many people this home-stay experience and the encounter with the host family is a revelation of the reality of Andean people at such altitude.
This cultural exchange experience in Amantaní is very touching and fascinating.
There are two little hostels in Amantaní Island and a luxury villa run by local native families, if you need some more comfort you can ask for more information about these hostels which prices range from $35,00 to $40,00 (US dollars- includes meals and lodgment) per person. The luxury villa is pricey and
you need to reserve ahead of time.
WHY CULTURAL AMANTANÍ?
This kind of tour is our answer to a plea that for years, the local people of Amantani have been making to tour operators in Puno. In fact, indigenous local communities in all touristy destinations are asking to get better treatment and payment from national and international tour operators. Therefore, we have designed a cultural tour that provides a chance to both, travelers and locals, to benefit of a more meaningful interaction. Also, in this tour our travelers are in charge of paying directly to their host families for lodging and meals provided during the visit. This way, local people do not have to travel long distances to be paid by the company.
We propose this kind of visit to tourists who enjoy travelling in small groups and look for a more authentic experience. Sometimes, our travelers have some artistic gift and they want to share it with their host families and more members of the local community. Let us know if you are willing to organize some games or educational activities in the community, we can help you prepare a little program during your visit! Visit Literacy Project in Lake Titicaca if you are interested in learning more about this initiative.
In summary, the main differences between classic and cultural tours are the size of the travelers group (cultural tours being smaller) and most importantly, the possibility to share more time with the local host family.
Remember: When you choose this tour you are contributing to Titicaca Literacy Project that helps maintaining the 10 libraries we have implemented in each section of the island.
ROUTE AND ITINERARY
ITINERARY: PUNO > UROS > AMANTANÍ ISLAND > TAQUILE ISLAND > PUNO
All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.
- 7:30: We start the transfers from hotels to the dock in Puno.
- 8:00: We embark on a boat journey towards Amantaní Island. On the way, we stop by the floating Islands of Uros for a guided interpretation of the local way of life of the Uro people.
- 13:30: We arrive in Amantaní Island where a welcoming group of local people is waiting for us. After we are assigned to our host families, we will walk with them to the houses.
- 14:00: Lunch in local house.
- 15:00: We will spend time with the local family and share with them the regular activities they do as farmers. This way, you will have a closer look about life in a rural community in the Andes and experience the beauty of a simple life. If there is time we can visit the little library of the community.
- 16:00: We will follow the stone pathway fixed among the farmers’ fields of the islands and walk towards the highest point in Amantaní Island. This lookout point is called “Pachatata” and it has been for many centuries the sacred place of worship for the people of this community. From this site we will enjoy the view of the magnificent Lake Titicaca and its islands.
- 19:00: Dinner in local house.
- 20:00: In our local culture, there is always a reason to enjoy the folk music and dance because that is an important part of life in the Andes. This is the reason why after dinner, the community of Amantaní organizes a gathering of local families and guests in the “salon communal”. A local group of musicians play Andean music with the traditional instruments and we are invited to join in the dance and happy celebration. We are also given the wonderful opportunity to try on the local dresses, “ponchos” and costumes.
- Lodgment in homestay
- 8:00: After breakfast, we will leave Amantani Island and continue in direction to Taquile.
- 9:00: We arrive in Taquile Island and start a soft hike up to the community. At some point during the visit we will enjoy a textile and cultural exhibition and the tour guide will offer an interpretation of the traditional clothing and textile designs from Taquile.
- 12:00: We will have a delicious lunch in a local restaurant of Taquile Island. Right after lunch, we start a 45 minute hike down to the main dock. Lunch is not included in the price.
- 13:00: We embark on the boat back to Puno.
- 16:00: We arrive in Puno dock and we will be transferred to your hotel.
WHAT IS A CULTURAL OR CULTURAL EXCHANGE TOUR?
Our cultural tours have been created to offer our travelers the opportunity to have an authentic look into the lives of indigenous Aymara and Quechua speaking Peruvians who continue thousands of year’s tradition. Most cultural tours include a homestay overnight. A homestay is a unique and special experience if well approached with a good tour guide and a responsible tour operator. Many travelers are discourage to try it because of the dubious reviews we can mostly read about homestays on travel forums but you will be positively surprise by how much appreciation and better understanding of life in these communities will these cultural experiences leave on you.
WHAT ESSENTIALS SHOULD I BRING?
It is recommended to bring your sunglasses, sunscreen with high SPF,
moisturizing cream, bathing suit (just in case water is cold in the lake!), a hat, warm and comfortable clothes for night and dawn hours, cotton T-shirts during daytime, hand sanitizer and camera.
ANY DOUBTS OR MORE INFORMATION?
CHECK OUT THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
INCLUDED / EXCLUDED