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Lake Titicaca from la Isla de Amantani

This was the stunning view over Lake Titicaca, taken from the farmhouse where Patrick and I stayed. Below us, terraces of different crops ... quinoa, beans, potatoes, and many things I did not recognize. It was a very steep climb up the hill from the dock to the farmhouse, picking our way through these terraces and over the rocky walls, trying to keep up with our guide. It is very high altitude here, and we were both completely out of breath on arrival.


From Wikipedia -


Amantaní is another small island on Lake Titicaca populated by Quechua speakers. About 800 families live in six villages on the roughly circular 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi) island. There are two mountain peaks, called Pachatata (Father Earth) and Pachamama (Mother Earth), and ancient ruins on the top of both peaks. The hillsides that rise up from the lake are terraced and planted with wheat, potatoes, and vegetables. Most of the small fields are worked by hand. Long stone fences divide the fields, and cattle, sheep, and alpacas graze on the hillsides.


There are no cars on the island and no hotels. A few small stores sell basic goods, and there is a health clinic and school. Electricity was produced by a generator and provided limited to a couple of hours each day, but with the rising price of the petroleum, they no longer use the generator. Most families use candles or flashlights powered by batteries or hand-cranks. Small solar panels have recently been installed on some homes.


Some of the families on Amantaní open their homes to tourists for overnight stays and provide cooked meals, arranged through tour guides. The families who do so are required to have a special room set aside for the tourists and must fit a code by the tour companies that help them. Guests typically take food staples (cooking oil, rice, sugar) as a gift or school supplies for the children on the island. They hold nightly traditional dance shows for the tourists where they offer to dress them up in their traditional clothes and participate.


A short boat ride away is the island of Taquile. Taquile is a hilly island located 35 kilometres east of Puno. It is narrow and long and was used as a prison during the Spanish Colony and into the 20th century. In 1970 it became property of the Taquile people, who have inhabited the island since then (current population around 3,000). Pre-Inca ruins are found on the highest part of the island, and agricultural terraces on hillsides.

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Taken on March 16, 1999