Peru Family Vacation: Sillustani and the Floating Islands of Uros
Days 1-2: Arequipa (click here)
Days 3-4: Colca Canyon (click here)
Day 5: Continue heading southeast to Lake Titicaca, stopping at the tombs of Sillustani. Again, we hired a private vehicle (with driver) to accommodate our fickle family schedule. The ruins were uncrowded, with more wild guinea pigs than people. It’s on the way to LT, so is definitely worth a stop but after about an hour of looking around you’ll be ready to continue on your way. Spend the night: Puno. I wish I could say otherwise since we didn’t particularly like either Puno or our hotel but there aren’t many options.
Day 6: Prepare yourself for a cheesy, touristy overload. The floating islands of Uros (located in the middle of Lake Titicaca) are cool. If you’re in the area you should visit them. But they’re also horribly commercialized and the residents will spend the entire time trying to get you to spend money stuff you neither need nor want. The boat ride is about 30 minutes and vessels leave frequently from downtown Puno.
Sillustani: According to our guide, upon death the VIP was naturally mummified and 20 of his closest servants and concubines were killed, in order to keep him company in the afterlife. The mummies were placed in the towers and offered gifts and sacrifices, with the understanding that the VIP would keep things calm on earth. I’m making light of this – mostly because I asked our guide how the concubines felt about sacrificing themselves upon the death of their benefactor and our guide swore up and down that the gals gladly followed him into the afterlife.
Incidentally, that is a wild guinea pig, which is called cuy, and is a local delicacy. We tried the fried version and it was pretty tasty. The bird is the andean version of our Northern Flicker.
Floating Islands of Uros
Sillustani Tombs – Pre-Incan burial towers. There is little onsite in the way of information (in english or spanish) so a guide is a nice perk (although not necessary).
Floating Islands of Uros – Ask at your hotel for boat rates; they shouldn’t be too expensive given the short trip and frequency of departures.
Somewhere in Puno. I’m not going to recommend our hotel since we didn’t care for it.
Marc Harrison at CAT Travel. www.cat-travel.com. email@example.com
Up Next: Part 4. Cusco
Part 1. Arequipa
Part 2. Colca Canyon
Part 4. Cusco
Part 5. Machu Picchu
Part 6. The Sacred Valley