This has been one of our most popular Titicaca programs since many years, because it combines activities and off-the-beaten-path destinations in a practical route that starts at a hotel in the city of Puno and ends at a hotel in the city of Cusco. Everything is included from start to finish (there are some options), which makes it super easy for those traveling southern Peru.
Highlights of this programme include:
On the second day, you will travel by tourist bus from Juliaca to Cusco; not so off-the-beaten-path anymore but by far the wisest way to travel to Cusco and enjoy some highlights along the way.
If you have more time and want to get to know Lake Titicaca better, you might want to have a look at our three-day version of this programme. This tour includes all the activities mentioned here above plus a visit to the uninhabited Tikonata island and a fishing activity on a local sailboat. In case you have even less time than two days, consider going on one of our Day Tours at Lake Titicaca.
There are a few options available on this tour, which you can select during the booking process:
Between 08:30 and 09:00, your local guide will pick you up from your hotel in Puno. You start the day with a trip of 1 hour and 20 minutes to the port of San Pedro in the community of Llachón, located on the Capachica peninsula. There, you will take a boat to the floating Uros Titino islands (approximately 30 minutes).
You will be welcomed by a family that lives on the island and you will get an explanation of their daily life and how they created their island. It is also possible to take a ride on a traditional reed boat. Walking on the island feels a bit like a waterbed, but it’s safe, of course!
Then you will return to the community of Llachón to enjoy a typical local lunch. After lunch, you will be driven to the community of Chifrón (about 20 minutes) where you will stay at Walther’s house* Inti Wasi (which means solar house). The lodge is very beautiful with views over Chifrón’s sandy beach and Lake Titicaca: and in the background you can even see the Cordillera Real of Bolivia.
*If there’s no space at Walther’s, you will stay with another family offering similar comfort and views of the Titicaca Lake.
The rooms are simple, but they are equipped with the necessary amenities and clean (there is even hot water). You will meet Walther, Mariela and their children, and also have time to walk around the lodge. After dinner with the host family, you will have a good night’s sleeping in Walther’s home.
In the morning you will be driven to Juliaca to take the bus to Cuzco. This tourist bus includes a bilingual guide, wifi, tea and snacks on board. It leaves from Puno at 07:00 am (passing through Juliaca about an hour later) and arrives in Cusco around 5:00 pm. Along the way, several attractions will be visited. First, the museum in Pucará, a town famous for the bulls that you can see on the rooftops of Peruvian houses. After Pucará, the journey gradually takes you further north until you arrive at the pass La Raya, the highest point between Cusco and Puno, laying at 4.335 meters.
Around noon, you will enjoy a buffet lunch (included). After that, you will visit the temple of Wiracocha, in the village of Raqchi. This is an impressive structure, where the Day of the Sun is celebrated annually on June 16th. The current population still uses the aqueducts and irrigation channels that the Incas left there.
In Andahuaylillas, the last stop, it seems that time has come to a halt. The houses around the square are surrounded by big trees, and the little streets give form to a picturesque image. But the most beautiful building to be found here is undoubtedly the church, which is also called the Sistine Chapel of South America. It was built in 1580 and displays some very beautiful wall paintings inside. Please note that you may not take pictures inside, so just try enjoying the moment instead!
Once you have arrived in Cusco (at around 5.00 pm), you will be picked up from your bus station and brought to your hotel find the city. (Be aware that the hotel night following this tour is not included in the package).
In case you’d like a hotel tip from us: the Niños Hotel (2 stars) is our favorite place in town. It is a very attractive non-profit hotel that supports projects helping (street) children. The rooms are beautiful and very comfortable. It also has a cozy restaurant if you prefer not to go out to eat.
Most people just take a day tour on Lake Titicaca. And 90% of those that take an overnight tour, will stay at the Amantaní island. At RESPONS, we hope to motivate people to explore the lesser visited areas of Lake Titicaca, leaving their much desired dollars and euros with organised locals that don’t get the masses and offer higher quality services.
This tour is only one of many options and is organised partially by a community-based partner agency that we’ve been working with since 2014. They are non-profit, 100% community-based and very focused on sustainability. Your tour uses the services of a variety of locals, all representing a family that will earn an income from your visit: several drivers, several boat owners, people on Uros Titino and Tikonata and of course your hostfamily: they all get their share and learn the value of maintaining their environment for sustainable development.
At the same time, you as a visitor will get insights into a traditional way of life, learn about weaving techniques, and visit museums. Cultural exchange is abundant here.
This tour is physically not very demanding, as it is clearly not a hiking tour. 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.
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.
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
During the day activities, you will be only with your own personal guide. In Walther’s home, you might not be the only guests staying there. It is more of a small family-run accommodation rather than a homestay. In any case, you will never be too many people there, as rooms are quite limited.
Conerning the bus to Puno, you will share with other people, as it is a tourist bus, as indicated in the itinerary.
Yes, as you will head directly to Cusco after visiting the lake, you will have to take your luggage with you. The guides and drivers will help you out with it during the entire visit. Taking the luggage has never been a problem for any of our travelers.
As these islands are the least visited in the area, the locals may insist that you buy souvenirs; keep in mind that this is their main source of income and that the money from the sale goes directly to them. So, if you have the opportunity, try to buy at least something small; and if not, politely decline their proposal.
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!
The non-profit association of ASTURS is a community-based tourism organisation which shares many of RESPONS values: it strives to enable sustainable development in their region through responsible tourism. We have become friends with Walther, Mariela, Clara and the other members of the Asturs family in 2014 and since then we’ve sent hundreds of travelers to explore the lesser known areas around Lake Titicaca and enjoy authentic experiences with its inhabitants.
Whenever RESPONS organises a workshop about sustainable tourism, we can always count on Asturs’ numerous assistance so we know that they represent our values very well. You will see and feel that when you travel with us and Asturs to Lake Titicaca!
The tour was very well-organized! All the pick-ups and transfers worked very smoothly.
The visit on the floating islands was very interesting. During the boat trip, our guide told us a lot about the titicaca lake. We also enjoyed the second boat trip with the locals on their reed boat. We only felt a bit uncomfortable when they pushed us to buy some souvenirs and ended up buying two items that we didn’t really want to buy. At least the money went directly to the locals.
Lunch was delicious and the view of the lake amazing! Also the homestay at Walthers house was great, beautiful house and views!
Day 2 was only the transfer to Cusco, which made the trip feel a bit short. Next time, we’d rather book the 3 day version of the tour!