4.5 star rating: Recommended 28 Reviews

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  • Address: Puno, Peru
  • Admission: Varies by operator

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Uros Islands/Islas Uros

The 40-plus floating Uros Islands are perhaps the most photographed attraction on Lake Titicaca, famously constructed with springy totora reeds. The reeds are collected from around the shores of Lake Titicaca, and used to replenish the fragile islands every three months or so, as the bottom of the two-meter (6.5ft) totora mat slowly rots back into the lake. Thus, the islands change shape, size and even number as the centuries pass, anchored to the lake bottom but in many ways a completely separate world.

The Uros people are an ancient race, predating the Incas by millennia and, according to local legend, even the sun and stars. The “People of the Lake,” as they call themselves, once said that they did not feel the cold, thanks to their “black blood.” (The last full-blooded Uros woman died in 1959, after centuries of intermarriage with Aymaras and other races, so that claim is subject to some conjecture.)

Heavily taxed by the Incas and enslaved in the silver mines by the Spanish, the Uros have managed, through ingenuity and isolation, to outlast their tormentors with their unique culture largely in place. The key to their survival is the reeds, whose starchy tubers are consumed for food, flowers brewed to make tea, and stalks used for medicine, handicrafts, and the construction of gondolas, homes, schools, churches and just about everything else on the islands.

The islands change in size and number over the centuries and will quickly thin if not meticulously maintained. Tourism on the handful accessible to tourists is relatively open and you can arrange trips with several Puno travel agencies or even come on your own, in public boats that leave regularly from the Puno pier. The 5km (3mi) trip takes about thirty minutes.

The islands are part of Titicaca National Reserve which protects 37,000 hectares (143 square miles) of reed bed, including some 60 species of bird and 14 of fish, many collected by the Uros for meat, eggs, and as work animals, such as cormorants used to fish. You’ll also see plenty of domesticated cats, to keep mice from devouring the delicate islands.

While many of the Uros traditions have been maintained, the islands are by no means frozen in time. For example, they no longer speak their original language, having switched to Aymara after centuries of trade and intermarriage, and have more recently embraced technology, such as electrical generators, modern motors on reed boats and so forth. 

Tourism has brought money and opportunity to the islands, which cuts into time once spent doing traditional activities, such as the all-important collection of totora. They are savvy enough to know their time’s worth, so expect to be charged for photos and/or offered handicrafts with a cheerfully hard sell.

Tours & Tickets

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Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat, Puno, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Full day tours to Uros and Taquile on fast boat. Enjoy a beautiful day on Lake Titicaca visiting the two most impressive islands on there. Transfers, entrances ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $92.00
Uros Kayaking and Taquile Island Day Tour, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros Kayaking and Taquile Island Day Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

On this amazing day tour, go kayaking on Lake Titicaca up to the Uros floating islands. Explore the islands and continue on to Taquile Island by boat. Get to ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $136.00
Half-Day Boating Tour to Uros from Puno, Puno, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day Boating Tour to Uros from Puno

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Join this 3.5-hour boating tour to Uros from Puno.

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $46.50
Full-Day Uros and Taquile Island Tour from Puno, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full-Day Uros and Taquile Island Tour from Puno

Spend a full day exploring the islands of Uros and Taquile in Peru's Lake Titicaca on this small-group tour, limited to 15 people. See what a "day in the ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $100.00
Cultural Tour to Uros Floating Island, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Cultural Tour to Uros Floating Island

Enjoy a cultural experience on Uros Island where you will learn about the life of Uros Islanders and understand the activities they do in order to survive. ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00
Half-Day Tour to Uros Floating Islands from Puno, Puno, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day Tour to Uros Floating Islands from Puno

The name Uros was used to name a very particular ethnic group that coexisted in lake Titicaca with the Incas, Aymaras and possibly with older civilizations. In ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $44.00
The Highlight of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands Half-Day Tour, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

The Highlight of Lake Titicaca: Uros Floating Islands Half-Day Tour

The highlight of Lake Titicaca, the Uros Islands, are a small group of handmade floating surfaces in the lake. The locals use a natural reed that grows around ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $13.50
Full-Day Tour of Uros, Taquile and Sillustani from Puno, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full-Day Tour of Uros, Taquile and Sillustani from Puno

On this full-day guided tour you'll visit the Islands of Uros and Taquile, and travel overland to Sillustani. Speedboat traveling means less travel time to be ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $215.00
Uros Floating Islands Half Day Tour from Puno, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros Floating Islands Half Day Tour from Puno

Experience Lake Titicaca in this amazing half day adventure. Along the journey you will feel the sensation of sailing on the highest lake in the world. Here ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $187.50
Day Trip Uros Floating Islands and Taquile from Puno, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Day Trip Uros Floating Islands and Taquile from Puno

The Taquile Island is 35km from Puno city and it's the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. The Quechua name of Taquile is “Intinka”. On Taquile ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $52.00

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