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Isla Amantaní

Just a few kilometers northwest of Isla Taquile is Isla Amantaní. Like its neighbor, Isla Amantaní is a Quechua community that yet follows the ayllu economic system, to guarantee equitable distribution of wealth. Its traditions, though, are much more influenced by their Aymara ancestry. Amantaní is much less visited, thus offering a more authentic experience. The island is divided into eight suyo (communities). The Plaza de Armas is in Pueblo suyo, on the west side.

Visitors may make day hikes and explore the island by way of Inca paths wind under graceful stone archways and over ancient agricultural terraces. Be aware, however, that night's curtain falls quickly over the island, and the paths should not be attempted in the dark.

Two hills tower over the island, and each crest is graced with a temple. The taller hill is dedicated to Pachatata (Father Earth), while the shorter hill is dedicated to Pachamama (Mother Earth). As sacred sites, no one is permitted to enter either temple, except on the annual feast day, the third Thursday of January. On this special day, men gather at the Pachatata temple and women at the Pachamama one. A race between representatives and according to tradition, a victory by Pachamama means a bountiful harvest.

Other important feasts are Carnaval (February / March), Semana Santa (March / April) and Amantaní’s anniversary (April 9). Traditi9onal dances are part of all celebrations.

Lodging at family’s homes is available ($11 per person, including three meals). Tourists are assigned a family upon arrival. The Segundino Cari family runs Hospedaje Kantuta, charging $20 per person for lodging and three meals (Vía Pachatata s/n, Zona Pueblo Central. Tel: 789-290, Cel: 951-636-172, E-mail: amantani_@hotmail.com). Other hostels are Albergue Samana Wasi (Occopampa s/n, Comunidad Occosuyo. Tel: 950-801-920), Alojamiento Pachamama (Comunidad Occosuyo), Corazón del Lago (Comunidad Occopampa) and Koñiwasi (Comunidad Occosuyo).

Near the Plaza de Armas are shops with phones, a health post and the artisan cooperative shop, Asociación Alma de Mujer. More information about Amantaní is available at: www.punored.com/titicaca/amantani

Isla Amantaní is 38 nautical kilometers (23 mi) from Puno’s port (3.5 hr by boat)., and just a few off the coast of Península Capachica Tours can be arranged through most Puno tour agencies, or independently. Cooperativa de Amantaní (Tel: 369-714. E-mail: info@titicacaamantani.com, URL: www.titicacaamantani.com) leaves Puno’s port daily at 8:20 a.m., making a one-hour stop on Islas Uros and overnighting on Amantaní. The following morning it departs, stopping at Isla Taquile for one hour, and arriving at Puno at 3 p.m. Total cost is $11.50 round trip. Boats may also be taken from Santa María, near Llachón.

An entry fee is charged for Isla Amantaní: foreigners $2, nationals $1, children under 13 years old free.









21 Jun 2012

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