4.5 star rating: Recommended 65 Reviews

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

Puno ATTRACTIONS See all

Uros Islands/Islas Uros Tours

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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8-Day Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca Tour from Lima, Lima, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

8-Day Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca Tour from Lima

4.5 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Explore the best of the Andes on an 8-day tour of Peru departing from Lima. Visit the Sacred Valley including Ollantaytambo, the circular terraces of Moray and ...  Read more

Location: Lima, Peru
Duration: 8 days (approx.)

From USD $1,623.75
10-day Tour from Lima: Amazon Jungle, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, Lima, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

10-day Tour from Lima: Amazon Jungle, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

Explore Peru on a 10 day tour from Lima. Fly to the Amazon Jungle and see native wildlife in their natural habitat. Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and ...  Read more

Location: Lima, Peru
Duration: 10 days (approx.)

From USD $2,041.00
Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat, Puno, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Uros and Taquile Islands by Fast Boat

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 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 $74.90
Half-Day Tour of Lake Titicaca and Uros Floating Islands from Puno, Peru, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day Tour of Lake Titicaca and Uros Floating Islands from Puno, Peru

3 star rating: Worth doing 1 Review

You will be picked up from the hotel in the morning.  The boat departs from Puno city to The Floating Islands - a  group of around 70 small islands that are ...  Read more

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

From USD $13.32
Taquile Island and Uros Floating Islands Day Trip from Puno, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Taquile Island and Uros Floating Islands Day Trip from Puno

Spend 8-hours with enclosed access to Lake Tititcaca and its people. Depart from the Puno's Pier heading to Uros Floating Islands, embodied by an amazing tribe ...  Read more

Location: Puno, Peru
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $25.90
Private Tour: Taquile and Uros Islands by Kayak and Motorboat from Puno, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Private Tour: Taquile and Uros Islands by Kayak and Motorboat from Puno

Join this amazing private 10-hour kayak and culture adventure from Puno. Kayak about 6 mi/10 km from the peninsula of Capachica to Taquile where you'll enjoy ...  Read more

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

From USD $130.00
Uros Kayaking and Taquile Island Day Tour, Puno, Private Sightseeing Tours
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 $146.00
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 Floating Islands and Taquile Lake Titicaca Tour from Puno, Peru, Puno, Half-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full-Day Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Lake Titicaca Tour from Puno, Peru

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
Half-Day Tour to Uros Floating Islands from Puno, Puno, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Half-Day Tour to Uros Floating Islands from Puno

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

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

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