Amantani Island Cultural

When you choose this tour you are contributing to the Titicaca Literacy Project that helps to maintain the 10 libraries we have implemented in each section of the island.

Amantani Island & Tour Overview

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 more expensive and
you need to reserve ahead of time.

Why choose the Cultural Amantani Island Tour

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 requesting for more fair treatment and payment from tour operators. At the same time, it is the answer to many travellers wondering if the money they pay truly benefits the local people. 

In this tour you will pay directly for the services you will be provided by your local hosts and we will help for it to be easy and gratifying experience.  

There is a fixed fee to be paid to us. This payment includes the trip organization boat transportation, entrance fees, transfers from and to hotels and a certified bilingual tour guide. Then, you have a list of services that are going to be provided by the local families and you can choose beforehand what you desire to do and we will calculate the amount to be paid to them. Check out the list of all available cultural immersion activities here. If you stay one night in Amantani you can do two to three activities. If you stay two nights on the island you can do all the activities on the list.

Additionally, if you have an artistic gift and want to share it with your host families, we will help you organize games or educational activities in the community. We have had travellers who have given moments of laughter to the children of the island by showing their skills as clowns or puppeteers. What memories we have of moments like that! We have even managed to put on a theatre play!

Last but not least, for 15 years our company has carried out an educational project for motivating reading in Amantani. We have implemented 10 small libraries throughout the island and we work hard to motivate the locals to use them as self-educational centres.  Since 2019, we host the mother library in our main office premises in the city of Puno. We collaborate with a grassroots organization called Luz Verde. From our library, Luz Verde members plan many educational workshops that are brought to parks in different neighbourhoods and remote villages in the highlands.

Possible Cultural Activities on Amantani

ACTIVITY 1 
LOCAL PRODUCE SHOWING AND QUINOA COOKING WORKSHOP 

Through this experience, we will learn about the island’s native crops such as quinoa, corn, and different sort of potatoes including the dehydrated potatoes.  We will taste the local “snacks” such as corn, wheat, barley or roasted fava beans. Local people will explain how they follow the cycles of nature and how important it is to show gratitude to mother earth (Pachamama) for its fertility. We will finish the activity discovering the traditional way of preparing the precious quinoa for daily consumption, its collection, washing and preparation until it is edible. We will also get to see the handmade instruments that are still used to process food. We will end the activity tasting delicious quinoa pancakes! 

Adults:  20 soles per person (6.00 USD per person approximately),

Children: 12 and less free.

ACTIVITY 2
EMBROIDERY AND WEAVING DEMONSTRATIONS:

In this experience, we will discover how some men and women of Amantani strive to keep alive the tradition of spinning and weaving their own sheep wool. Women still use rudimentary instruments to weave thick blankets with sheep wool and some men of the island have mastered the art of embroidery. They will explain to us about the threads they use, the types of blouses they make and how functional are some clothing pieces such as the “chuj’u” a sort of headscarf that women use for carrying a baby, or firewood or food, or used as a coat if it is cold.

We will end the activity weaving bracelets with using some Andean patterns. 

Adults: 15 soles per person (4.50 USD per person approximately),

Children: 12 and less free.

ACTIVITY 3: 
VISIT A STONEMASON WORKSHOP  

This is a family from Amantani that strives to preserve the art of stone carving. The artist of the family uses the stone that the lake shores generously offers to its people. In this activity, the stone crafter will take us to his stone quarry and we will help him transport the material to his home. We will try the basic tools he uses to carve the stones. It sounds like a simple activity but this man does this following his family tradition and tirelessly tries not to forget how we can use the local resources to create art and embellish their own houses. 

Adults: 15 soles per person (4.50 USD per person approximately),

Children: 12 and less free.

ACTIVITY 4
GETTING ON A BOAT WITH A LOCAL FISHERMAN

In the past fishing was as important as agriculture as a food source for the people of Lake Titicaca. Unfortunately, in 1940 extraneous fish species such as trout and catfish were introduced. These large fish have taken over the smaller native species. Today, overfishing has dramatically reduced the number of fish and the few fishermen who still dare to go out to the lake now use fishing nets. They leave at sunset to throw nets and return in the early morning to pick them up. Going out with these fishermen is a beautiful adventure to appreciate the evening light on a magnificent lake and connect with the magic that emanates from it.

This activity is carried out in two parts. The first outing is at sunset when you leave in a rowing boat to throw the nets and the second is an outing at dawn to collect the nets. Nowhere in the world is a fisherman’s life easy. This activity is ideal for travellers who love adventure and can withstand the cold of the Andes at 3800 meters above sea level. We suggest you wear thick winter jackets! 

Adults: 15 soles per person (4.50 USD per person approximately),

Children: 14 years old  and less not allowed.

ACTIVITY 5 
VISIT OF THE LIBRARY AND STORYTELLING

Children in rural villages do not have many opportunities to participate in cultural events. Depending on the group, we can just share time playing volleyball, soccer or other outdoor games or we can also partake in a storytelling circle. 

It was brought to our attention how willing the local children are to recite poems or sing songs in public, especially using their native Quechua language.  We have carefully evaluated the impact of this activity and have noticed that children reinforce their self-esteem when they receive applause and admiration from visitors. The objective of this activity is to ensure that the population of the island and, above all, children identify libraries as a space where fun and positive activities happen.

Free of charge and organized by the Travel Agency Staff.

ACTIVITY 6 
ANDEAN MUSIC WORKSHOP

This is an activity run by a young musician named Hugo Mamani, an artist who has returned home in Amantani with a mission to teach children the value of continuing playing the Andean local instruments. Hugo teaches Zampoñas, Quenas and Charangos. We will join him in an intimate workshop to try these instruments and get to know its secrets and sounds! 

Many indigenous people from the islands, like Hugo, have gone to Lima to look for a better future just to realize that life in the big city is also very difficult. As such, locals are very happy when they receive visitors on their island because tourism brings much needed economic benefits and an interesting cultural dynamic to their community. Tourism is also bringing younger people back home because they can improve their living conditions without having to suffer the loneliness and stress of trying to make it alone in the big city.

Adults: 15 soles per person (4.5 USD per person approximately), 

Children: 12 and less free

Tour 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 the appointed host families’ members are waiting for us. After we are assigned to our host families, we will walk with them to the houses. We suggest you bring the minimum luggage to the island. You will be happier walking at this altitude carrying little weight. 
  • 14:00: Lunch in a local house.
  • 15:00 to 19:00: Choose up to two activities from the list above (activities 1 – 5):
    • Activity 1: Local produce and quinoa cooking workshop,
    • Activity 2: Embroidery and weaving workshop,
    • Activity 3: Visit a stonemason workshop,
    • Activity 4: Boat-trip with local fisherman,
    • Activity 5: Library visit and storytelling (free activity).
  • 20:00: Activity 6: Andean music workshop.
  • 20:30: PARTY AND DANCE: ACTIVITY OPEN TO ALL. It has become customary on the island of Amantani to have a party at night as a gesture of gratitude for your visit. This is an activity that you have to join with an open mind and heart. Often, some travellers mistakenly assume that local people in the communities sing, dance or play music only for getting tips from tourists. The truth is that our life in Peru is always full of music and dance. We dance for every special occasion we can! Amantani people are not an exception of this rule, the locals are proud to show and share their traditional clothes with you. They have a genuine desire to share their music and their joy to have you as guests. We recommend not missing this moment but do not feel obligated to participate in this party if you do not want to.
  • 6:30: 
    • ACTIVITY A: Sunrise and collection of fishermen nets (if you signed up for boat trip with fisherman on day 1),
    • ACTIVITY B:  Hike to the highest point of the island to see the sunrise over the lake (optional, free activity).
  • 7:30: Breakfast. 
  • 8:15: will leave Amantani Island and board the boat to continue in direction to Taquile.
  • 9:00: We arrive in Taquile Island and start a soft hike up to the main plaza of the community. At some point during the visit, we will meet the renowned knitting men of Taquile island.
  • 12:00: After lunch in a local restaurant, we will start a 45 minute hike down to the main dock. 
  • 13:00: We embark on the boat back to Puno.
  • 16:00: We arrive in Puno dock and we will be transferred to our hotel.
  • Contact for briefing the day before the tour
  • Coordinated transfers from and to hotels in downtown Puno
  • Entrance fees to Uros, Amantani and Taquile islands.
  • Boat transportation to the islands round trip.
  • Certified bilingual tour guide.
  • Coordination and organization of all chosen activities in Amantani.
  • Assistance and support during your stay in Puno

NOTE: Please be aware that some hotels in Puno are not in downtown. You will have to pay a transfer supplement if you are in one of these hotels: Libertador, Eco Inn, Casa Andina Private Collection, Posada del Inka, Jose Antonio and any hotel in the town of Chucuito.

  • Lunch in Taquile

** Activities paid directly to local people – See options and prices below. 

ABOUT FOOD IN AMANTANI 

The food in Amantani is simple but delicious. Most of their dishes are made with local and natural produce. The economy of this community is basically self-sustainable and they feed on what they produce. Their dishes are commonly made with quinoa, various types of potatoes, vegetables, and if there is fish from the lake they will also use it (fish is becoming increasingly scarce). Some ingredients are brought from the city such as rice, eggs or vegetables that they don’t produce. Fruit on the islands is a luxury product. If you wish to bring a present to the local family, a small fruit basket will be much appreciated.

ABOUT FOOD RESTRICTIONS, ALLERGIES, INTOLERANCES

The menu in Amantani tends to be vegetarian because meat is a luxury item. Meat consumption is reserved for celebrations of baptisms, marriages or a town party.

Local families go out of their way to understand intolerances and the severity of various food allergies but in a society as simple as theirs, it is very difficult to ensure that the dish consumed will not have traces of gluten, peanuts or other specific allergens. Please, if you have an important allergy to certain products, you will have to think about the risk of being exposed to a food allergen. The best we can suggest is to bring your own food. In Puno, we will do our best to help you get food that you can bring to the island

ABOUT MEDICAL CARE:

In each community, there is a basic health centre and there is usually a nurse who provides non-specialized care. For emergency care, we have to return to the city of Puno. The boat trip takes between 2 to 3 hours and the navigation on the lake is restricted by law between 5:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Outside these hours, navigation is very risky.

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 the daytime, hand sanitizer and camera.

**Local Services

See options and prices below.

These services are paid directly to the local people.

Lodgment & 3 Meals

USD18 / 60 Soles pp.

Free for children under 5.

*They accommodate guests according to your preference. Families can be accommodated in the same house for example. 

Cooking workshop

USD6 / 20 Soles pp.

Free for children under 12.

Weaving workshop

USD4.5 / 15 Soles pp.

Free for children under 12.

Stonemason visit

USD4.5 / 15 Soles pp.

Free for children under 12.

Boat experience w/fisherman

USD4.5 / 15 Soles pp.

Free for children under 12.

Library visit

FREE

Music workshop

USD4.5 / 15 Soles pp.

Free for children under 12.

Evening party & dance

FREE

Lunch in Taquile

USD6 / 20 Soles pp.

Free for children under 5.