UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lake Titicaca

The island of Taquile is located in the middle of the world-famous Lake Titicaca at an altitude of over 3,800 meters. It is one of the popular stops for travellers visiting the lake in Peru. The place is known for its high-quality handwoven textiles and clothing. Knitting is exclusively performed by males. Taquile is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can visit the island on a tour. These are the sights of the island of Taquile that you will visit.

The island was once a prison of the Spaniards when they arrived here in the 16th century. Nowadays it is a place where life seems to stand still. The residents, known as Taquileños, do not shake hands, but exchange some freshly picked coca leaves with each other as a sign of friendship. It is unique to see.

Knitting Men and Traditional Clothing

A man knitting on Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca. ©Corno van den Berg

When you walk around the island, you see men in colourful traditional clothing knitting. Yes, knitting. All the time. Knitting is exclusively performed by men. Women mainly weave, which they also show during a demonstration. The quality of the handicraft is so good that UNESCO has declared it a unique cultural asset in the world.

You see men knitting everywhere. Even when they walk, for example. Among other things, they make the hats they wear on their heads here. These beanies have a function. The chullos indicate whether a man is married or single. Red and white means single, while red/pink means married. In addition, they can express their feeling with the way they wear it.

A Tourist Stop

You can only visit Taquile on a tour. Which makes the visit rather touristy. Especially if you arrive with a large group. You can buy souvenirs everywhere. You can bypass the groups. Rent a boat and visit the island yourself with a guide. This is of course more expensive, but the experience is much more personal. And more intense, I noticed.

Combine Your Tour with a Visit to the Urus

Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia with the Uros and other landmarks.

The Uros are among the most special people in the world. They lived on reed beds in Lake Titicaca for hundreds of years. Centuries ago they were chased away from their land by the Incas. They managed to survive on Lake Titicaca, in houses that float on the reeds. At an altitude of almost 4,000 meters.

They pile up the reed until it floats. And you can build on it. Over the years, it has become a tourist stop. The women like to get their pictures taken in colourful traditional clothes. Walk around to see how the Uros houses built their home on the reeds. You can also browse through the many souvenirs. A unique experience is sailing around the island with one of the famous reed boats for a small fee.  Bring cash if you want to buy something.

Explore the Island on Foot

The unique entrance of Taquile island. ©Corno van den Berg

There are no cars or hotels on the island. You can explore Taquile on foot. You will meet locals, knitting during their walk or chatting. It is a lovely walk, partly along the coast with a view of the immense lake. You will also see historical arches with stone heads. 

Music echoes over the landscaped terraces of corn and wheat. In the village, the local schoolchildren give a performance of a traditional dance to the local residents. You can immediately see that they all have the famous South American rhythm. This is how ancient dances remain an important part of the cultural heritage.

Have Lunch at a Small Restaurant

Many tourists would like to see the Uros on this day trip, but visiting Taquile is just as special. Make sure you have enough time on the island during your trip. It is worth the experience.

I can recommend having lunch at a local restaurant. The region is famous for its trout. Though this fish does not occur naturally here. It has been specially released for fishing. And to be honest, it tastes amazing.  


It is not possible to stay the night at Taquile. You can only visit the island on a tour from Puno. In Puno, you find a great variety of hotels, hostels and bed & breakfasts. Puno offers also many restaurants.

Find the best accommodations in Puno 

My recommendation is Vanalux Titicaca Lodge

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