If you thought floating islands are an anomaly, imagine if an entire community built islands made of straw for hundreds of years and even thrived in the face of various kinds of threats! The Uru people, also know as the Uros, built the floating islands within the bay of Lake Titicaca and continue to do so even in the fact e of modernity.
These islands are built using bundles of dried Totora reeds, which are also used to build boats. There are several islands which the Uros have built, and the largest islands can accommodate almost 10 families. The smallest of these islands can accommodate two to three families easily.
As the bottoms of the islands rot quickly, the islanders add new reeds to the top constantly. This keeps the islands afloat for decades on. Interestingly, these islands are anchored to the bottom of the lake with the help of ropes that are strung around sticks which are driven into the bottom the lake. The islands last about 30 years, and the reeds are considered holy. In fact, the islanders use the reeds to keep themselves healthy by consuming parts of it.
When you visit Uros’ islands, you will be transported to the ancient way of life, even before the Spanish arrived in Peru. Our Uros Tour lasts just 3 hours and can be started from one of the hotels in Puno. The guided tour also consists of a cultural interpretation and appreciation of the sustainable form of Uros’ lifestyle. We make sure that you visit at least two Uros islands before the tour ends.
Sustainability is one of the hallmarks of indigenous communities and there is much to learn from them in times like this. While we all cannot live on islands like the Uros do, there is much to learn from them with regard to leading a sustainable lifestyle, a major part of which is to recycle everything that we use. Are you ready to feel inspired by the Uros and begin a journey of sustainability yourself?