Lake Titicaca Homestay
Homestays are a unique opportunity to learn what real life is like for residents on the islands of Lake Titicaca. Immerse yourself in the daily culture of small communities and enjoy some good ole Andean hospitality. Browse our guide below for essential details about this tour.
2019 New Machu Picchu Regulations
Beginning January 1, 2019, limited tickets are available to enter each hour between 6 AM and 2 PM. The hopes in creating this system is to stagger visitor entrances, avoiding large lines to enter and overcrowding once in the ruins. For whichever hour your ticket is for, you have the full hour to enter the ruins. You may not enter before the stated entry time on your ticket. If you arrive after the hour, you will not be permitted entrance into the ruins. For example, a ticket with entrance from 8:00 AM will allow entry only from 8:00 until 8:59.
Length of Time in Ruins
Each ticket is valid for a 4-hour stay in the ruins with only one entry. With the standard ticket to Machu Picchu, you will not be allowed back in after you exit, even if you did not spend the full 4 hours allotted with each ticket. However, following the pathway through the ruins generally does not last 4 hours. A complete guided tour only tends to last between 2 to 3 hours. However, at this time, there are no measures in place to ensure people are exiting within 4 hours and no one verifying the tickets upon exit. This being said, we encourage you to respect the World Heritage Site and exit within the 4 hours.
Keep in Mind
The regulation with the time on the tickets will begin to be enforced from town upon boarding the buses. For example, if you want to go up at 8 AM but your ticket is not valid until 12 PM, they will not let you board the bus. We suggest you arrive to the bus stop at least 1 hour before your entrance time at the ruins.
Choose Your Lake Titicaca Tour
Uros Islands Homestay
Uros are the famed floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca. Between three to ten families live on each island and offer travelers an unforgettable homestay experience.
A major perk to the steady tourist flow to the Uros Islands are the wide range of recreational and educational activities organized by the host families. Women in vibrant traditional clothing perform lively displays of song and dance – with guest participation encouraged. During an overnight stay, cruise aboard a paddle driven reed boat, test your fishing skills, and browse the hand-made crafts for sale.
Taquile Island Homestay
A night on Taquile Island gives you additional time to explore its distinct Andean tradition. In 2005, the textile art of Taquile was declared a UNESCO intangible and oral tradition of Peru. Beautiful artisanal garments that are woven by hand are the majority in Taquile; not made from synthetic fiber yarns or factory-spun wool. Over a home cooked meal prepared by your host family, learn about this ancient pre-Inca tradition practiced by local women, men, and children.
The only transportation in Taquile is by foot. Stroll along cobbled pathways criss-crossing this small island to the pre-Inca ruins of Uray K’ari and Hanan K’ari. Enjoy the company of your host family and then find a quiet spot to soak up the island’s natural beauty!
Amantani Island Homestay
Distance quite literally separates Amantani Island from mainstream tourism. From Puno, a boat ride to the island goes past the Uros Islands and another 2 hours out from Taquile Island. Residents of Amantani traditionally farm and fish, but nowadays earn extra income by hosting overnight guests.
Families greet guests at the island’s main dock and walk them to their adobe-brick houses. Amantani is home to around 4,000 people living in small rural communities built along its terraced slopes. There are no cars on the island. Hike up to the mountaintop temples of Pachamama and Pachatata for breathtaking lake views, and partake in evening festivities of dancing, singing and photo opportunities dressed up in traditional Andean clothing.
What To Expect
A 2-day, 1-night tour package to the islands Lake Titicaca typically includes transportation to and from Puno, accommodation at a local family’s home, meals, and island-based excursions and cultural activities.
Basic know-how about the Lake Titicaca homestay experience is outlined below.
*Your travel advisor will share more information about your customized trip.
- Accommodation at each home is basic. Room are private and clean.
- Electricity is not guaranteed. Some homes have solar power.
- Meals are home cooked.
- Activities vary from island to island. Options may include; cultural festivities, song and dance, Andean weaving demonstrations, hikes to pre-Inca ruins, boat tours, etc.
- Island life is rural. There are no big grocery stores, banks, or internet cafes.
- Communication with your host family is a true cross-cultural experience. Island residents usually don’t speak English. In addition to their native Quechua or Aymara language, many speak Spanish.
Souvenirs and keepsakes are for purchase on each island.
Homestay accommodations are very basic and amenities vary from island-to-island and home-to-home. Each guest has their own room with a bed and mattress. Clean sheets, pillows, and plenty of warm blankets are provided. Restroom facilities are usually outside. If there’s electricity, it is often generated by a solar panel.
Home cooked meals are prepared by your homestay family. A typical breakfast includes bread, fruit, coffee or tea, and eggs. Lunch and dinner options are generally trout (fried, grilled, steamed) or chicken based. Quinoa, potatoes, and rice are national staples no matter where you go in Peru. Vegetarian food can be prepared with advanced notice.
Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake, expanding some 3,200 square miles (8,300 square kilometers) over the high-altitude Altiplano region at 12,500 ft (3,810 m) above sea level. The enormous lake forms a natural border between Peru and Bolivia.
On the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, the inhabited islands of Amantani, Taquile, and Uros are accessible by boat from Puno.
Distance from Puno, Peru;
- to Uros Islands, 14 km/ 9 mi (About a 30-minute speedboat ride)
- to Taquile Island, 45 km/ 28 mi
- to Amantani Island, 38 km / 26 mi
Lake Titicaca Climate
The Lake Titicaca resides over a semi-arid high plain. Daytime temperatures throughout the year average between 60-65ºF (15-18ºC). Nights are very chilly. Snowfall is very unlikely.
Dry Season Vs. Rainy Season
- Dry Season is from April to November. Weather conditions are usually sunny and pleasant. In June and July, nighttime temperatures hover above freezing.
- Rainy Season is from December to March. On days with rainfall, clouds usually build through the morning to bring afternoon showers and thundershowers. January and February see the heaviest rainfall.
How To Thank Your Host Family
Many travelers want to show their appreciation for the hospitality they receive during their homestay experience by bringing a small gift. Instead of cash handouts, guides recommend bringing food staples (rice, pasta, sugar, cooking oil, or powdered milk) or fresh fruit. School and art supplies are great for children.
- Sun protection (glasses, sunscreen, hat)
- Comfortable and sturdy footwear
- Warm clothing for chilly night temperatures and windy conditions on the lake
- Swimsuit, if you want to take a dip in the lake’s icy waters
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Motion sickness remedy for boat ride
- Rainy season: Travel side umbrella, waterproof clothes, or poncho
- High Altitude: Lake Titicaca is located at a breathtaking 12,500 ft (3,800 m) above sea level. Many travelers ask: Will I get altitude sickness? The truth is that each person responds differently to high elevations and it has little to do with fitness. Eat light meals on the first day and avoiding strenuous physical activities for the first 24-48 hours as you acclimatize. Minor altitude sickness symptoms include headache, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite. Serious reactions to altitude are rare and hard to predict.
- Sunburn: The sun’s rays are exceptionally strong out on Lake Titicaca; resulting from the high altitude and light reflection off the lake’s surface. Protect yourself by wearing sun block, a wide brim hat, and glasses. Longsleeve shirts and pants are advised.
- Motion Sickness: Water conditions can be choppy out on Lake Titicaca. If you get motion sickness, it’s a good idea to bring a remedy for boat ride to the islands.
How do I get to the island homestay?
Transport from Puno to the islands of Lake Titicaca is by speed boat.
Can I charge my phone and camera batteries?
A growing number of island homestays in Lake Titicaca use solar power, which guests can use to charge their electronics. Some homestays have no electricity. Ask your travel advisor for more information about the specific amenities offered at the house of your host family.
Will I be able to connect to Wi-Fi during my homestay visit?
No, there is no wireless internet at homestays.
Can I go swimming in Lake Titicaca?
Sure, but it’s cold! The icy water temperature of Lake Titicaca ranges between 50 and 57ºF (10 and 14º C).
Do I need to bring my own bed sheets or sleeping bag?
No, it’s not necessary to bring your own bedding for the Lake Titicaca homestay our team organizes for you. A bed with a pillow, mattress, and clean sheets are provided by your host family. There are blankets to use for extra warmth at night.