Bolivian Heritage 101: The floating islands of the Lake of the Incas

Ivone Juarez reports for Pagina Siete:

The floating islands of the Lake of the Incas

They were built by the community of Copacabana to complement the tourist attraction represented by the blue waters of the sacred lake. Each island has its characteristic to delight the visitor.

The mystical waters of Lake Titicaca that the Incas navigated are the framework for a great initiative that seeks to continue attracting national and international tourism to Copacabana: the floating islands of Pariti, Suriqui and Peñón Blanco, built with totora by the communities that form part of the municipality of Copacabana, which is in the Manco Kapac province of the department of La Paz.

The exotic attractions are fully accessible, they can be reached by boat or by road, in the case of Peñón Blanco. The time it takes to approach these destinations, which offer different adventures to the visitor, does not take more than 20 minutes, starting from the shores of the Lake, in Copacabana.

In Peñón Blanco you can taste a delicious trout, fresh from Lake Titicaca. In Pariti is one of the most important tiwanacotas ceramics museums in the country. To the offer is added an important sample of what were the chullpares, tombs of the ancient Andean inhabitants.

In Suriqui, another of the floating islands, you can share with the community members the experience of building a raft of totora, the ships in which the Incas sailed the blue waters of Titicaca.

It is that the inhabitants of the communities that are on the shores of the lake have completely assumed the administration of these tourist destinations and have managed to be placed in the lists of places that tourists, both national and foreign, want to visit.

“In all three cases, these are experiences of community tourism with destinations that are already positioned because they are viable,” said Miguel Gonzales, head of Product Development at Boltur, the state tourism company.

That is why they were included in the national tourist destinations that Boltur touted throughout the year. In the case of Suriqui, due to its potentialities, Boltur included it in its quinoa route, which passes through Batallas and Puerto Perez.

Other tourism companies have set their sights on these unique destinations that show the cultural richness of the villages settled on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which does end up being a great inspiration for tourism ventures.

To live an adventure in the islands

How to get. The municipality of Copacabana is located 150 kilometers from the city of La Paz. You can arrive in buses that leave every day from the area of the General Cemetery. The trip takes about three and a half hours.

What to bring. Copacabana has an average temperature of 11 degrees Celsius so it is important to wear warm and comfortable clothes, which should be complemented with a cap, sunglasses and a sunblock.

Bolivian Thoughts opinion: Come visit and enjoy!

If you ever been in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and went to Copacabana beach, or listened Barry Manilow singing Copacabana … remember there was this well-to-do Brazilian Lady that went to pray to the Copacabana Virgin, here in Bolivia, and as she was healed, her prayers answered, she named her land in Rio as Copacabana beach, in gratitude to our Virgencita de Copacabana.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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