Day 1. Uros Floating Islands & Titilaka Resort. On the way from the airport to the Resort, tour the famous Floating Islands of the Uros people. The residents here use reeds to construct floating platforms on Lake Titicaca and then build their homes on these miniature “islands.” Be sure to let them take you out on one of their ceremonial reed boats, too. By now, you’re feeling the 12,500+ feet of altitude. It’s time to call it a day and head for the Titilaka Resort, an enchanting lodge built on a peninsula extending into the Lake. From the corner suites, it feels like you’re falling into the Lake’s vastness. (Take oxygen upon arrival).
Day 2. Tiahuanaco Ruins, Bolivia. On a full-day trip, visit the pre-Incan ruins across the border in Bolivia. Be sure to obtain your Bolivian visas in the United States. Even so, the border crossing is chaotic. Merchants and smugglers crowd both sides of the little bridge. The Tiahuanaco ruins are worth the trouble, though. They are among the oldest in the Americas. Don’t miss the sunken courtyard of faces, where stone faces resembling all of the peoples of the world are carved into the walls. How did South Americans know what Europeans, Asians, and Africans looked like 2,000 years ago? Beware: the road to and from Bolivia is among the world’s most dangerous. The Gailles came across two minibuses that had crashed head-on. Dozens of mangled bodies were stacked and haphazardly covered on the side of the road. Don’t be afraid to tell your driver to slow down.
Day 3. Taquile Island, Peru. This is a half-day trip. The boat picks you up directly from the hotel and takes you on a short cruise to this island in the middle of Lake Titicaca. Visit a family of weavers, buy some of their clothing, and then hike to the island’s summit for a 360-degree view of the Lake. This may be the most beautiful scenery on the Lake.
Day 4. Sillustani Ruins, Peru. On the way back to the airport, hike through the Incan ruins at Sillustani. This is a collection of striking burial towers that are viewed over the course of a one-hour hike. There are plenty of llamas here, too.
Hotel: Titilaca Resort
Photo Tip: Uros boat
Photo Tip: Taquile Island weavers
Photo Tip: Mysterious Faces in Tiahuanaco