The Uros are the first islands you encounter when sailing out onto Lake Titicaca from Puno. They are actually floating islands constructed from tortora, a type of reed that grows abundantly in Lake Titicaca. Not having any land of their own when they first arrived in Peru, the people who live on the islands devised the ingenious float-based system involved in their construction to provide themselves with the territory on which they still live today. There are around ten islands making up the whole archipelago in total.
It's almost mandatory to make a visit to the Uros islands when touring around Lake Titicaca. Personally, however, I don't count this amongst my favourite places. You get the impression they've seen too many tourists here. When you watch the presentation put on by the inhabitants, you feel like you're at a theatre, one where the same play is performed day after day, tourist after tourist.
Furthermore, pressure selling is much in evidence, whether it's to get you to buy local arts and crafts or purchase a trip in a reed boat. For example, they do allow you to take as many photos as you like, but in exchange they ask you to support the local arts and crafts, and the prices are a lot higher than elsewhere in Peru. You definitely get to interact with the local inhabitants, but I sensed a real lack of traditional authenticity here.
Peru is an incredible country, brimming with magical places to explore. Out of all the possibilities, Lake Titicaca is perhaps the most obvious destination to include in your Peruvian itinerary.
The landscape is so beautiful that it is almost not real. Imagine, a huge, deep-blue lake surrounded by white-tipped mountains, green shores and peppered with little yellow islands. There are quite a few things to do on site, more or less for tourists. But here it's all about spending time on themost visited spot on the lake, the Uros isles.
5km from Puno, an artificial multitude of totora islands was supposedly constructed in the 11th Century, in response to the Incan invasion. Today there are no longer any remains of this Indian tradition, but the inhabitants of the surrounding area have quickly caught on to the commercial value of such an atypical place. It was eventually remade into a perfect representation of the lake from history. It is an amazing spectacle and you can imagine the spot to be perfectly photogenic. So why not visit? However, don't content yourself just with this trip on the lake, as it has much more to offer...