Lake Titicaca sits on the border of Peru and Bolivia at 3,812 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest navigable lakes in the world. I had heard it needed to be seen from both sides, so we started from the Peruvian side in a town called Puno.
Puno is about a 6 hour bus ride from Arequipa. At the hostel in Arequipa we met an Irish couple, an American guy, and a kiwi guy all heading in the same direction, so we went together. They were all awesome except for the kiwi guy but I’ll tell you about him later.
Puno isn’t the most attractive town, and it was the first time I’ve seen so much poverty up close in Peru. But it is on Lake Titicaca, therefore its also on the gringo trail.
Our first night in Puno we all walked through town together and down to the lake. I was surprised to find the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca far from impressive, it was dirty with a funky smell. The hostel however, was lovely. The Point hostel in Puno is all comfy and new and it has the one magic ingredient I have come to love in a hostel… free Wi-Fi.
The following day my travel buddy and I and the kiwi guy jumped on a tour of the floating reed islands. The others did a 2 day trip staying over night, so it was good byes for now.
So, what are the floating reed islands? As far as I discovered, in the time of the Incas another tribe built floating islands from the reeds of Lake Titicaca to escape the Incas, and there are still people living on these islands today. Which is pretty much what people go to see in Puno.