Lake Titicaca’s Totora Reed Boats

Take a step on one of Lake Titicaca’s famous “Floating Islands”, and you may find yourself on shaky ground… literally. These 42 islands, 10 of which are accessible by tourists, float near the border of Peru and Bolivia in South America on the sizable Lake Titicaca. They are home for the Uru people, pre-Incans who juggle their rich traditions with modern conveniences and waves of tourists. The Uros use bundles of dried totora reeds, found in abundance on the lake’s floor, to painstakingly build and repair the islands. As the bottom layers rot away in the water, the Uru people add fresh bundles to the top, creating islands that can last for lifetimes. Using rope, they tie the islands to sticks secured in the mud beneath the lake, The Hartford Car Insurance, anchoring the islands in place. Every island visitor sinks an average of 2-3 inches with each step as they visit the craft booths of island residents and try to get a glimpse of life on a floating island, a life rich with contradiction. While the Uros do not reject modern technology, like televisions or motor-powered boats, one commonly still find a resident catching fish in a boat made only of totora reeds.

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Important Destinations of Lake Titicaca

Located in the Andes Mountain region along the Peruvian border with Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in all of South America. When visiting the lake, most people enjoy the islands located in the area. These islands provide an abundance of wildlife that is often unspoiled by modern technology. The people in the region live peacefully, largely removed from the hectic pace of contemporary society.

Taquile Island
This tranquil island has about 2,000 inhabitants. There are no hotels, restaurants or bars for tourists.Confused? Here ‘s Read the rest of this entry »

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The ancient Uros of South America found a unique way of escaping attackers. They simply moved their island. Although it may sound difficult, it is actually quite simple when your island is man-made, floats on top of a huge lake, and is anchored to the sea floor by rope and sticks embedded in the ground.

As surprising as it is to believe, the Uru people live on these floating islands to this day, attracting a significant number of tourists each year. The Read the rest of this entry »

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Building a Totora Reed Boat

Traditionally, reed boats made from bundles of totora reeds have been used by the Uros people around Lake Titicaca and Easter Island. They are still used to this day as fishing boats and can be seen all over Lake Titicaca, although they’ve mostly been replaced by wooden plank boats in many parts of the world. They remain popular not just Uros natives on the lake, but also to tourists visiting the region.

Totora reed boats are remarkably easy Read the rest of this entry »

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Peru and Bolivia share the mysteries of ancient Titicaca. Titicaca, a picturesque natural lake in the Andes Mountains, is fed by 25 rivers and streams and sits higher above sea level than any other lake navigable by commercial craft. Such facts, however, do not explain why Titicaca, after wallowing in relative obscurity for roughly 60 million years, has recently become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.

Not even the ruins of a sunken pre-Incan Tiahuanaco temple and sacrificial altar in a blanket of Read the rest of this entry »

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On blue Lake Titicaca, your eyes fool you. What appear to be small islands on the Peruvian lake are actually large rafts of skillfully woven totora reeds. The Uros began living aboard such rafts prior to the rise of the Inca Empire.

Necessity compelled the Uros to manufacture islands large enough to sustain small villages; before the Uros moved offshore, aggressive neighbors, such as the Inca and Collas, frequently attacked them. A removable town surrounded by water was easier to defend, Read the rest of this entry »

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Lake Titicaca’s Floating Islands

Take a step on one of Lake Titicaca’s famous “Floating Islands”, and you may find yourself on shaky ground literally. These 42 islands, 10 of which are accessible by tourists, float near the border of Peru and Bolivia in South America on the sizable Lake Titicaca. They are home for the Uru people, pre-Incans who juggle their rich traditions with modern conveniences and waves of tourists.

The Uros use bundles of dried totora reeds, found in abundance on the lake’s floor, to painstakingly build and repair the islands. As Read the rest of this entry »

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