Lake Titicaca.

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curlyguy18
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Lake Titicaca.

Postby curlyguy18 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:06 pm

I posted this very same question on the travel forum but apparently not very many people check the travel forum out so I thought I would try here. I'm planning a trip to Puno/Lake Titicaca and I was just wondering if the weather would be all right in the early days of March. Any suggestions on what to do/see from anyone who's been there before?


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Postby americorps » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:22 pm

Curly,

I went with my partner about 3 months ago and found it to be one of the nicest trips I have ever had.

We were there about a week. We took a 2 day boat trip for about 200 Soles that was perfect. We spent the first morning visiting the floating islands, then ended up in Amantani where we walked up the mountain and saw a still active Incan holy site, danced at a party by the locals and stayed with a local family who fed us. All included in the price. We were asked to bring sugar or rice as a gift for our family.

We then went to Taquille where we spent the next day and came home after eating trout on the island. The cultures of language of the 3 areas are very different and it was fascinating and beautiful.

The next day we took a bus for 10 Soles to the Bolivian border, but did not cross. We then took combis back to Puno stopping at each little town and exploring. We saw some of the most amazing gothic cathedrals in some itsy bitsy towns. Junin and Pumata were my favorites.

We had lunch of Tallarines Verdes with a little bit of steak, the local potato based soup..i forget its name..., enselada palta and massamora and chicha morada for.

Drumroll please....

2 soles..and one of the best lunches I have ever eaten.

Also took some side trips to see ruins around the area and spent a little time in Juliaca shopping for crap.

Had no problems with the weather...it was warm to mild in the day, but VERY cold at night. Sunny all the time, but I am not sure about the weather now.

A couple exciting things...our boats rudder broke on the way back and the captain kept running back and forth keeping the engine going and steering with an old wooden oar, but we made it back ok. And the day after we left, the monsters from the Sutep strike burned down the airport..yikes.

Prices were cheap, except meals were a little high in Puno. Hostals can be found for 30-40 Soles a night with hot water..you can spend a lot more, or maybe save a little if you want to forgo hot water.

The boat trips are easy to come by, just ask a few operators as they are all pretty much the same..just look for the cheaper price or the smaller group.

Same for the bus to Bolivia, there are dozens and easy to find in Puno.

As much as I liked the lake, the trips through the small towns were really a hidden treasure and added greatly to the joy of my trip.

I will ask arond about the weather.
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:57 pm

So, it is not always bitterly cold up there? I had this picture in my mind that it would be great to go, but always cold due to the altitude. I can handle cold at night - that's when you bundle up under warm blankets.

Riding in a boat on a lake with arctic blasts is another thing.
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Postby americorps » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:40 pm

Yes, I heard story after story how cold it was, and i went in the middle of winter, but to be honest, it was nicer MUCH NICER there than it was in Lima. We had a portable heater in our hotel room, and just bundles and cuddled on the islands, but the days were sunny and bright and mild and with 6 days, I wore a coat one day, a sweater 2 days and just a shirt the other 3 days. I do not know if we were just lucky, or what. I think the stories about the cold are because of the air that flow off the lake at night is crazy cold, but the days were just fine.

The boat ride was jacket weather, but not cold. I stayed inside the boat, but about half put on sweaters and enjoyed the sun.

Oh, and the cars up and down the little cities all head lots and lots of live goats with their feet bound tossed on top of the combis.
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Postby rgamarra » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:28 pm

Question:

Do U.S. Citizens need a visa to visit Bolivia now? Or is that still rumor?
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Postby rgamarra » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:02 pm

Okay, Here's what I found if you wish to border hop from Peru to Bolivia:
http://www.bolivia-usa.org/

As of Dec. 1st, 2007 U.S. Citizens must have a visa to enter Bolivia. The fee is $100 USD and you must have hotel reservations or a letter of invitation from a Bolivian friend.

The visa is valid for 5 years, but you may only use the Visa 3 times per year for a total of 90 days per year.


Does this sound ridiculous to anyone else? No wonder why that country is so divided.

I'll wait the 2 years to get my Peruvian Citizenship rather than fork out $100 for a visa to visit Bolivia.
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Postby curlyguy18 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:59 pm

Americorps,

I realy REALLy appreciate the info!!! I am definetely planning to take a trip down there now. I'll try to include all those places you went to in my itinerary. Hot water in the shower is a must for me :wink: Now, I was thinking about flying to Juliaca but the prices I found online were outrageous. I heard that taking a bus all the way down there from Lima takes like 24 hours. Yikes!!

Hopefully the weather will be okay. I hear it's nice in June and July. I may even go into Bolivia and I don't think I need a visa since I'm a Peruvian.....DO I?? I would never pay 100 bucks to go into Bolivia :evil:
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Postby rgamarra » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:32 pm

No Visa for Peruvians, which means everyone in my family BUT me can visit Bolivia without forking out the dough for the visa. :roll:

If you want to fly then maybe fly somewhere like Arequipa, which is a short flight from Lima and then take a bus to Juliaca from there. I passed through Juliaca when I went to Cuzco from Arequipa with my husband. It felt like we were going UP forever...followed by the feeling of going DOWN forever. :lol:

Or if Cuzco is cheaper, fly there and take a bus to Juliaca. We took Cruz del Sur.
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Postby americorps » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:43 pm

I will have to do some checking. I think if US Citizens take a day border trip to Bolivia and they do not have to have a visa as long as they promise not to go more than so many kilometers from the border and not to stay more than a certain time.
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Postby curlyguy18 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:28 pm

rgamarra wrote:No Visa for Peruvians, which means everyone in my family BUT me can visit Bolivia without forking out the dough for the visa. :roll:

If you want to fly then maybe fly somewhere like Arequipa, which is a short flight from Lima and then take a bus to Juliaca from there. I passed through Juliaca when I went to Cuzco from Arequipa with my husband. It felt like we were going UP forever...followed by the feeling of going DOWN forever. :lol:

Or if Cuzco is cheaper, fly there and take a bus to Juliaca. We took Cruz del Sur.


That sounds like a good idea. I don't think I wanna ride the bus ALL the way down there from Lima. Oh believe me, I know how it feels to go up and then down forever!!! :wink: Does anyone know of any more sights out there?
Remy

Postby Remy » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:55 pm

cajun jamie wrote:So, it is not always bitterly cold up there? I had this picture in my mind that it would be great to go, but always cold due to the altitude. I can handle cold at night - that's when you bundle up under warm blankets.

Riding in a boat on a lake with arctic blasts is another thing.


Cold is something relative. It was cold in Puno, but with a bit of sun it was pleasant for me; moreover, if you're hiking or on tour, then you're walking yourself warm anyway. At night, a good hotel with a good blanket does it all. They only funny thing was that in my hotel, in Chiquito, the beds weren't my size, so my feet were sticking out!
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Postby cajun jamie » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:22 pm

Remy wrote:
cajun jamie wrote:So, it is not always bitterly cold up there? I had this picture in my mind that it would be great to go, but always cold due to the altitude. I can handle cold at night - that's when you bundle up under warm blankets.

Riding in a boat on a lake with arctic blasts is another thing.


Cold is something relative. It was cold in Puno, but with a bit of sun it was pleasant for me; moreover, if you're hiking or on tour, then you're walking yourself warm anyway. At night, a good hotel with a good blanket does it all. They only funny thing was that in my hotel, in Chiquito, the beds weren't my size, so my feet were sticking out!


Good point on cold being relative. I think for some reason I imagined this a place to enjoy the lake and be out and about like on a nice Spring day. Because of the altitude, I had this belief that it would be like 0 celcius or much less all the time - and it would be like trying to enjoy a lake, bundled up in your warmest winter clothes.
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Postby Suzanne » Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:32 pm

I too am hoping to get up to Lake Titicaca when family come from Europe in May.

I would love to visit the Yavari boat project; the Yavari is a boat moored in Puno that was built in England in 1862 and piece by piece was brought over the Andes to Puno in 1870 (the journey took 6 years) It has been under restoration for 20 years and visitors are welcome onboard - website for info ww.yavari.org

I would second Americorps's recommendation of Taquile Island. I spent an idyllic couple of nights there - back in 1991 - and we had most of the island and beaches to ourselves, also spending time with the locals. The male islanders do all the knitting and their woollen hats differ according to whether they are married or single.
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Postby curlyguy18 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:41 pm

I did some reaserch on what the weather would be like in March and it's supposed to be the rainy season. Apparently the rainy season in the mountain region starts in November and it lasts through March. Now that I remember, I went to Areuqipa in the month of February, which is in the mountains a couple of years back and it was rainy. I guess I'll have to go to Lake Titicaca when it's winter here in Lima. I hear that's the best time to travel to the Lake. We'll see. I really appreciate y'alls suggestions!!!!!

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