Hidden in the Andes lies the world’s highest navigable lake—Lake Titicaca—believed to be the birthplace of the Incas with islands that remain protected from outside influence, something very evident on Taquile Island. As a territory that’s only recently begun to welcome visitors to its shores within the past 40 years, the Taquile Island community continues to live life in the traditional way and is definitely worth getting a glimpse of.
Each week, members of the Taquile community will make a trip to the port city of Puno on the mainland to get supplies they don’t have on the island like toilet paper and certain fruits and vegetables. To get anywhere on the lake, a boat is essential and Taquileño cuisine also depends on catching fresh trout from these boats.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
After visiting Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you’ll probably be used to the image of women knitting beautiful Andean textiles. That is not that case on Taquile Island. Here, the men perform all the knitting and textile-making while the women weave, making the gender roles of men and women unlike those elsewhere in Peru. In Taquile’s Plaza de Armas, you’ll find a store selling the man-knitted goods that the island has become famous for.
Instead of wearing a wedding ring, the people on Taquile Island dress according to their marital status. Married men wear red chullos, or knitted hats, with elaborate designs, while single men wear red and white hats. A Taquile man’s famous skill for knitting is put to the test when he decides to get married and must knit a hat that holds water to present to his potential father-in-law. If any water seeps out of the hat, the man’s marriage will not be arranged.
Catholic and Andean theology
As in Cusco and other places in the Andes, Catholicism and the Andean religion live side-by-side. Don’t be surprised when you find a Catholic church blessed with coca leaves with statues of bulls inside, which are Andean symbols for good luck.
Modern items like shampoo and body soap have only recently been introduced to the island, but the older generations still prefer their traditional products. Taquile’s men still make soaps and shampoos using herbs found on the island, and they actually work really well.
Road to the Plaza de Armas
There aren’t many roads on Taquile Island, but the one you will find takes you directly to the central Plaza de Armas. People get around the island by foot, and at around 3,950 meters (12,959 feet) above sea level, it’s not an easy stroll.
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