Hi would be grateful if anyone who's done this can advise what it's like & answer any/all of the following questions -
* It sounds like a fun thing to do - Is it very cold (in May) & can you hire a sleeping bag if don't have one?
* We arrive at Juliaca in the morning (on 6am flight from Lima) & have just 2 nights before we need to catch the coach to Cusco, so would like to go straight out to the islands, the day we arrive. Is it realistic to fit all this in - getting to Puno, then on a boat out to the islands?
* Most of the organised tours seem to leave early in the morning - has anyone caught a boat independently then caught up with a group (rather than doing the whole thing independently)?
* Is there a hotel you'd recommend in Puno (mid-range) where we could stay on the 2nd night before getting the bus to Cusco.
Thanks to anyone who can help with any of the above!
Check your arrival time in Juliaca. Add one hour for transfer to Puno. You have may to decide whether you will go to Amantani for your overnight or to Taquili. I was told that in June there are lots of boats going but in March there was only one tour boat to Amantani and it left about 9:30. I bought my ticket right at the dock. There is a little booth. The only community boat to Amantani when I was there left about 30 minutes before the tour boat. The places where you stay will give you enough blankets. It is often suggested that you take some fresh fruit or something else as a little gift for your hosts.
It is worth the rush to try to make the trip. When you get on the bus-van to go to Puno ask to be dropped off at the dock as soon as possible. Tell the driver you want to go to Amantani or Taquili immediately. If you do not speak Spanish someone will be able to help. The local boat will not include a visit to the Uros islands. I think that the worst that can happen is that you arrive at the dock and find that their are no more boats for overnight trips. If that is the case, it is only a short bicycle taxi ride to the center of town for a hotel. You could go the next day and travel to Cusco at night or you could skip the overnight an just visit a few of the Uros islands or maybe Taquili and Uros by day. Good luck. bob
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