Uros is a set composed of eighty seven man-made floating islands on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca in the city of Puno. The island’s residents are the Uru People and they survive entirely from tourism by welcoming visitors and showing them their lives as well as from everything the lake provides.
The islands are made entirely out of totora reeds found on the bed of the lake, giving you a waterbed-like feeling under your feet as you step on them. Their houses, furniture and boats are also made of reeds. Visiting Uros Islands is a great insight into an organic and simple lifestyle. Each island belongs to a family and holds about 5 – 10 small houses.
Children go to a school located in of the main islands and if they decide to pursue higher education, they head to the city of Puno to do so.
Wedding ceremonies are held, but for the wedding to take place, the groom must first travel around all the eighty seven islands on a boat (which they refer to as “the Mercedes Benz”) before being able to get married. For the wedding, four islands will be put together to be able to fit everyone in.
A great part of the Uru diet consists of fish and poultry and their meals are cooked with fire placed on piles of stones. In here, you can taste some of the best ceviche in Peru and possibly Latin America as well as other meals.
The islands and islets are anchored with ropes to the bottom of the lake to keep them in place and due to the reeds rotting away quickly, the inhabitants of Uros need to find new ones and place them on top every one or two months to keep the islands from sinking. Each island has a lifespan of about thirty to forty years.
If you’d like to spend a night there surrounded by nothing but water and feeling awe-struck at the amount of stars that can be seen from this point (sometimes you might even get lucky and spot the Milky Way from here), then all you have to do is ask one of the residents if you can stay there (they have some small houses available for visitors). This will usually cost you as low as 35 soles (around $12 USD).
In Puno, head towards the lake and find the booth that says "Uros Islands". The round ticket will cost you 30 soles, including the entry fee to the islands.