Puno, Peru

Whilst in Lima we booked our bus tickets with Bolivia Hop from Cusco, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia (https://www.peruhop.xn--com-to0a/). The organising of the bus times and pick ups/meeting points seemed really well thought out and easy to arrange by yourself on their website.

Our first bus was with Peru Hop and they took us from Cusco to Puno. It was an overnight bus from 10pm to 5am the next morning. As you can guess Peter slept fine but me not so much.

We were dropped off at our hostel called ‘Cozy Hostel’ where we went straight to bed as it was still early in the day and we hadn’t slept much. The hostel was very nice: serving a buffet breakfast, having sofas with blankets, a TV with Netflix and movies and the beds were very comfy. However, the shower was diabolical. Colder than freezing I’d say.

Our main reason for being in Puno was to see the ‘Floating Islands’ which we booked through Peru Hop. This lasted about two hours having started at 4pm. We were picked up from our hostel about 3:30pm and we then boarded a boat which took around twenty minutes to get to the Floating Islands. We got off at one of the many islands near the mainland (I’m sure our guide said there’s around ninety islands) where we were explained how the colonies that live here survive and how the islands are maintained. 

It was a really fascinating tour where we learned that the people of these islands have chosen to live on them since the 1400s after fleeing from the Spanish. The islands are literally made of reeds which they collect from the lake that is their home, Lake Titicaca. Everything is made of the reeds, their houses, boats, decorations and the upkeep is ridiculous. Apparently they have to put new reeds down every fifteen days to keep the islands a float which involves them having to lift their houses and buildings up.

This was such a fantastic tour. It was so interesting and nothing like I’d seen before. To us it is so surreal and almost back in time to choose to live on a floating island with such limitations but perhaps that’s all they are used to.

The people on the island were very welcoming but of course they are selling items. The handmade items are lovely but you feel very pressured to buy something from them as they showed you their home. We also felt a bit pressured to pay for a special ride on their ‘Taxi’, pictured below. This cost and extra ten soles each for a ride around the lake in their boat made out of reeds. 

We weren’t the only ones who decided to pass on this option and later we joined the others on another one of the island to get our passports stamped before heading back and getting dropped off at the hostel again.

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