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Chimu Floating Islands

See a unique way of living
See a unique way of living
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  • 4 HoursStarts between 08:30 and 09:00 am
  • Starting PointYour hotel in Puno
  • Group Size2 - 6 (for bigger groups, please contact us)
  • All year round
  • BookingsAt least 48h in advance
  • Sustainability Score: 44

This cultural immersion experience at Lake Titicaca is completely led by local residents. It allows us to listen to local stories, understand the totorales (reed like plants) ecosystem, ride in reed kayaks, taste the local food, and discover the handicrafts made from totora. All of this is made possible thanks to the dedication and ancestral knowledge of the Chimu people.


At 8.30 am, we will depart from Puno (pick up at your hotel) to go and meet the Chimu people. You will be given information about the origin of the islands and the organization of a local enterprise. The people will demonstrate to us how a totora island is built. You will also be able to participate in a workshop of totorales handicrafts. 

After that, you can either choose to go on a Kayak ride or to enjoy your free time taking pictures. We will then take you on a large reed raft and talk to you about the ecosystem of the totorales, the different endemic fish and bird species of the lake, and the importance of the Titicaca frog. 

After that, we will return back to Puno, where we will arrive around 1 pm and drop you off at your hotel. Optionally, you can decide to have lunch on the beach as well. 

Photo credits: Giulianna Camarena Montenegro / PNUD Perú / Qhapaq Ñan

This tour takes only about 4 to 5 hours, so it gives you a brief insight into the life on Lake Titicaca. If you want to get to know this place and its people better, consider going on one of our Multi-Day-Tours at Lake Titicaca

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

The floating islands of Chimu are a group of three new totora reed islands, located in a clear sector of Lake Titicaca. The Chimu hosts are heirs to a way of life that has adapted to live wisely and harmoniously in Lake Titicaca. The Chimu Islands Association of Community Tourism Entrepreneurs is working in tourism for the first time. It practices principles of conservation of endemic species, offers quality services and complies with biosecurity protocols. The local people have acquired lots of knowledge working with the Association and are ready to welcome you and pass it on to you, as you discover their home.

Read here how the Sustainability Score was elaborated


Price Includes

  • Transportation from the city of Puno to the community of Chimu (round trip).
  • Local guide in Spanish and official guide in a foreign language
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Locally made teas

Price Excludes

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the tour itself

Is this tour physically demanding?

This tour is physically not very demanding. However, please note that lake Titicaca lays at 3.800 meters (12.500 feet) above sea level, which means that one might experience altitude sickness. To prevent that, make sure you stay hydrated and you shouldn´t have any problems (up to three litres per day; soup, water and (coca) tea are always good). We also highly recommend wearing a hat or cap, as the sun can be very strong at such altitudes. Should you not feel good despite your precautions, talk to your guide or host family and they will be happy to help out.

Do the local families speak English?

No, they don’t. So far, however, most of our travelers do not opt for an optional translator, since apart from the additional cost that might change the experience. Our host families are very used to having guests that don’t speak Spanish and their Spanish is easy to understand for those who speak other Latin languages. 

Of course, learning Spanish beforehand is always a good idea! Use an app like Duolingo to learn the basics before leaving and enhance your experience whilst traveling. 

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

On Lake Titicaca it gets very hot during the day and as soon as the sun sets, temperatures drop quite a lot. So be prepared for the sun (hat, suncream, drink lots of water), but also pack some warm clothes for the night. 

How do cancellations work?

In case you would have to cancel the reservation, we, unfortunately, need to charge you costs which we can not get back. We ask you for your understanding. These are the conditions:

– By canceling your trip 30 days or more before arrival: RESPONS charges 0% of the total amount (excluding flight(s)). If flight(s) have been booked through us, we can proceed with the cancellation according to the conditions of the Airline or postpone them free of charge in most cases within the limits of the airline’s conditions. Additional charges may apply when you have to change the date. This is out of our control. The same applies to other tickets that were bought in advance (like Machu Picchu or Inca Trail).
– By canceling your trip 29-16 days before arrival: RESPONS charges 15% of the total amount, excl. flights;
– By canceling 15-5 days before arrival: RESPONS charges 30% of the total amount, excl. flights;
– By canceling 4-3 days before arrival: RESPONS charges 50% of the total amount, excl. flights;
– By canceling within 48 hours before arrival in Peru, we need to charge you 90% of the total amount, excl. flights.

Certain costs such as tickets for the Inca Trail might not be covered under the above arrangement because these are non-refundable. We will inform you honestly about these exceptions.

What if unforeseen events affect my trip?

In case of force majeure or unexpected events before or during the trip (accidents, strikes, climatological circumstances, earthquakes or other natural phenomena, safety conditions, political factors, denial of entry permits or visas, legal affairs of the traveler, health matters, etc.), RESPONS may modify, replace or cancel itineraries, dates, flights, hotels, optional services, which is accepted by the passenger with purchasing the services.

RESPONS will try its best to have your trip continue as planned. We will refund you within our possibilities and policies of providers involved in the organization of your trip. In case those circumstances lead to additional costs, those have to be covered by you or your travel insurance. We will do our best to keep additional costs to a minimum.

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Your Travel Designer
Eliana Pauca is our partner in developing sustainable experiences in Puno | Responsible Travel Peru

Eliana Pauca

I was born in Arequipa. I have been in tourism since I was 15 years old and I have worked as a tour guide in French, English, German and Spanish. I studied Historical-Archaeological Sciences at the Santa Maria Catholic University of Arequipa and later I did a Master’s Degree in Public Policy for International Development at Duke University in North Carolina, USA.

I have lived and worked in the city of Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca for 16 years. I currently live in Barcelona and continue working to develop sustainable tourism in Peru. Every year I return to my country with the aim of developing and supporting unique, sustainable and environmentally conscious tourist experiences. My special interest is the identification of economic opportunities for rural communities. My purpose is to use tourism as a tool for social, cultural and economic development in Peru and to promote the dissemination of our culture and ancestral knowledge for the benefit of the visitor and the local people.

I am committed to sustainable and responsible tourism because, well done, the tourism industry is a powerful development tool. With responsible tourism we manage to make the visitor enjoy a transformative experience and the local population to reinforce their self-esteem and value their cultural identity while receiving economic income that allows them to improve the education and health of their children.