Taquile Island is the largest island on Lake Titicaca (located 35 kilometers north of Puno in Bolivia, it preserves intact the traditions, customs and laws of the Inca period.
The Taquile Island is located on Lake Titicaca, like the Island of Amantani, this belongs to the district of the same name in the department of Puno.
The main town is at 3,950 meters above sea level and the highest point of the island reaches 4,050 meters above sea level.
Taquile Island Facts
Here we mention some Taquile Island Facts that you must know before visiting the island:
- It is a stone island, located in the heart of Lake Titicaca, in the high plateau of the Peruvian Andes, characterized by terraces, eucalyptus trees, Taquileños, where the wool was prepared, from the sheep, being a joy for the Taquileños.
- Taquile Island has an approximate extension of 5.72 km2 and the altitude between the port and the town varies from 3 810 meters above sea level to 3 950 meters above sea level. The maximum temperature is 23 ° C (66 ° F) and the minimum is 7 ° C (37 ° F).
- In Taquile Island there are platforms and ceremonial centers. The vestiges that can still be observed date from pre-Inca times. Its inhabitants are experts in the practice of traditional textiles, which is considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
- There are approximately 2,500 inhabitants living on Taquile Island. They only share nine surnames, among the most common are the Huatta and Machaca, because the members of the families that live in the place are a couple.
- The Taquile Island is known for its textile crafts, which are made daily by men and women of all ages. Their products are used by all members of the community. Their fine textiles have symmetrical, symbolic decorations, with strong colors, which reflect their Andean way of life, customs and beliefs. The people of Taquile are friendly and preserve their traditions.
Throughout the island you can find agricultural terraces, in Quechua they are called chacra. Many families own 6-9 areas of land throughout the island. The crops are part of a rotation system and will subsequently follow the system, so that the land is not worn down and rests. The rotary cropping system is also reflected in the Munay Taquile logo.
The Taquile Island has a population of approximately 2,200 inhabitants. The main village is at 3,950 meters above sea level and the highest point on the island reaches 4,050 meters.
Visitors come to this place precisely because they do not find roads, cars, bicycles, dogs, or noise. The services are provided by the community members themselves.
Despite the tourist activity, the way of life of the inhabitants and their ancestral way of dressing have not changed one bit. This Quechua-speaking people still preserve their rituals and typical clothes.
Hospitality of its inhabitants
In addition to its impressive surroundings, what makes the island of Taquile a special place is the hospitality of its inhabitants. Those who decide to visit it and spend a night there can stay in a family’s house, enjoying its warm atmosphere, for a very low price.
Taquile Island Textiles
The tradition of weaving on the island of Taquile dates back to the ancient Inca, Pukara and Colla civilizations, thus keeping certain elements of the pre-Hispanic Andean cultures alive. It was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.
The Taquile Island Textiles are made by hand or on pre-Hispanic pedal looms. The most characteristic garments are the chullo, a knitted hat with ear flaps, and the calendar-belt, a wide belt that represents the annual cycles associated with ritual and agricultural activities. The calendar belt has attracted the interest of many researchers, as it represents elements of the community’s oral tradition and history.
Although Taquile Island Textiles art design has introduced new contemporary symbols and imagery, traditional style and techniques are still maintained.
Taquile has a specialized school to learn local crafts, which contributes to the viability and continuity of the tradition.
This type of organization, based on an ancestral culture, has influenced the fact that in Taquile Island there are no tourist services such as hotels. That is why some of the island’s inhabitants host visitors in their homes, which costs about 10 soles (about 2.5 euros).
Arrival to the island
You have to take a boat in Puno, which takes 3 hours to reach the rudimentary Taquileño port, from where you have to climb more than 500 steps to reach the town. There is the option of taking a full day tour to Taquile Islands or traveling in the boats that the islanders handle.
The trip can be made through Peru or Bolivia, since Titicaca is on the border between both countries.
How to get to Taquile Island?
To get there, visitors have to board in the bay of Puno, where they must take the boats that leave between 07:00 and 09:00 hours and when they arrive they have to take the corresponding forecasts for the height at which this wonderful place is located. which has as its background Lake Titicaca.
Boat hours and prices:
Yes, you are already on the boat from Puno, take as a reference that the departure time to Taquile Island is between 8:00 am and 8:30 am.
In the case that you choose a boat to get to Taquile Island, the price is S /. 20.00 round trip, this ticket expires within 15 days, so you can even buy in advance.
Where to buy souvenirs from Taquile Island?
In the event that you want to buy textiles made by the inhabitants themselves to have a souvenir of the trip made to this spectacular place in our country, you can go to the Artisan Center of the same community.
For the price, do not worry since these are cheap and fair for the production of great garments.
Where can you eat?
I tell you that in Taquile, there is a Community Dining Room, where you can buy your food, the interesting thing about this place is that, the income is directed to the well-being and improvement of service on the Island of Taquile in addition to the well-being in the lifestyle of all its inhabitants. Therefore, we recommend you eat in the Community Dining Room.