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Sillustani instead of Taquile?

by swdke Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Trying to plan an itinerary for a Peru vacation. We are interested in visiting Lake Titicaca, the reed floating islands. One tour operator suggest in his itinerary a visit to Taquile. But, when I shared this information with a friend who'd been to this area, he says NO to Taquile, and to visit Sillustani instead. Now I am confused, particularily becasue I don't now enough about either place to know what I should see, or not see. Would appreciate best way to visit Lake Titicaca, and varous sights to see and do, in a day. Thank you.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by toonsarah Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    We stayed in Puno on the lake shore and did an all day boat trip on the lake (easily arranged there). We went first to the Floating Islands, also known as Uros, and then to Taquille. Both are worth seeing and completely different. The Uros experience felt a bit commercialised but there's no other way to see them than on a tour. When we got to Taquille we were simply left to explore on our own and told to be back at the boat at a certain time. There's good walking there, with lovely views of the lake. There's a co-operative in the town where you can buy locally made crafts at reasonable prices and know that the money goes straight to the maker without a middle-man. And we had a lovely simple lunch of fried lake trout in a cafe in the main square. Bear in mind that you meed to be fairly fit as it's a steep climb (at altitude) up from the jetty to the town.

    We didn't go to Sillustani however so I can't advise about that, but I'm sure others will. If you want to read more about our tour you can do so in my Lago Titicaca tips here: Lago Titicaca Things to Do Tips by toonsarah

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  • melosh's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by melosh Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I think Sillustani would be a different type of experience, but I have not visited so I can not make a comparison.

    I stayed overnight in Amantadine island on a trip that included a visit to the Uros islands and Taquille.

    I think this was much better than just a day trip or an overnight trip to Taquile and the Uros islands.

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  • GrumpyDiver's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by GrumpyDiver Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    All of these activities are based out of Puno, which is on the shore of Lake Titicaca. I've got some short videos from our trip there that should give yo a bit of an overview of what you will see.

    One thing to remember is that Lake Titicaca is "at altitude" and you might have some altitude sickness symptoms; in our case, shortness of breath was as bad as it got, but we had spent a week at Machu Picchu and Cusco before travelling there and started the acclimatization process.

    Pretty well anything going onto places on the lake will take you to the Uros floating islands. "Uros Floating Islands - Lake Titicaca - Peru" - Lago Titicaca Video by GrumpyDiver

    We did a homestay on Amatani Island

    "Amantani Island Homestay - Lake Titicaca - Peru" - Lago Titicaca Video by GrumpyDiver

    The boat trip did a short stop on Taquile Island as well.

    The Chucuito Fertility temple is just outside of Puno;

    "Chucuito Fertility Temple" - Puno Video by GrumpyDiver

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by Mikebb Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I am researching a tour coy called Friendly Planet which does tours to Peru and other parts of South America. Maybe worth checking out on Google.

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  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by JessieLang Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Sillustani and Taquile don't have to be either/or. I did an all day boat trip on Lake Titicaca, and they included a visit to Taquile as well as the reed islands. The only thing is that Taquile is steep, and it is high altitude. There is a restaurant on top that was about a 25-minute walk straight up. (I couldn't do that, so I wandered around on the docks until they came back.)

    Sillustani isn't that far away, and part of a day is enough. Just walk a trail to see the pre-Inca funeral towers called chullpas and then return. Most of these towers were built by the Colla people in the 15th Century.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Hey Mike, You do know that Friendly Planet is located in Pennsylvania U.S. As such they have different sets of rules, and you should not have to go that far for a better product/service. Read their Terms. You are responsible for booking all flights to and from the departure of the tour, and you are responsible for all legal paperwork (visas, etc.) for all countries visited. They are a middleman only as all services are subcontracted, and they make it clear, that if any vendor does not meet their responsibility, - Friendly Planet is not responsible.

    Better you should look at your own Peregrene Adventures in Melbourne. It makes your departure port in Australia, and Peregrene will handle all visa requirements. I know of them well, and they are highly thought of by some VT members from OZ.

    The point is, Australia has some good operators, and for this type of trip, it is far more convenient to have a local departure/arrival port.

    Personally, if I was considering such a trip, I would handle the flights, and book the tour with a local in-country operator. However, having led many such tours, if you prefer the tour from home back to home, that is fine too. Using a local operator is better for you than FP.

    Just a thought....d:o)

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Further, let's say departure port is MEL, Peregrine, or any such Australian operator will likely buy seats in bulk from regional airlines, so should have the best possible prices on the PER/MEL/PER legs of your flights.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by Mikebb Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    I will be in USA on extended holiday,investigating visiting South America from LA which would make it a very cheap add on. Friendly Planet have excellent 10 to 15 day tours with possible bolt ons.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by Odinnthor Online Now Jan 2, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Ok. Did not have that information. Just trying to look out for ya. Have fun.

    (Sorry, did not mean to hijack the thread.......d:o)

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    Re: Sillustani instead of Taquile?

    by al2401 Online Now Jan 5, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Hi, I have recently returned from Sth America and stayed 2 nights, 1 day in Puno. I did a day trp that included a morning boat to the Uros floating islands and then a trip to Sillustani. Both sites are interesting and vastly different. I have just finished my Puno travel pages if you want to visit them for more info.

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