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Islas Anapia and Yuspique

Islas Anapia and Yuspique, along with the isles of Ccaño, Caana and Patahuata, form an archipelago in Laguna de Wiñaymarca, also called Lago Titicaca Menor in the southernmost part of the great lake. These islands are home to over 200 families that devote themselves to agriculture, livestock raising and fishing. The archipelago’s closeness to Bolivia provides fantastic views of that country’s snow-capped Cordillera Real mountain range.

Isla Anapia provides plenty of opportunities for travelers to learn from the islanders about traditional farming, fishing, gastronomy and Aymara rites. One of the most popular activities on Isla Anapia is to go sailing in one of the colorful boats of the local fishermen. Other things to do is bicycle and hike around the island.

Isla Yuspique has a large population of wild vicuña that water at the island’s lagoon. You can gain great views of the lagoon, the farming terraces, Lago Titicaca and Bolivia’s mountains from a pre-Inca mirador that was used for astronomical observations. Near this hill are Pukina culture chullpas (tombs). The boat between the islands costs about $12 round trip.

Upon arriving on Isla Anapia, visitors are assigned lodging with a local family ($7 per person, plus $3.50 per meal). Several Puno agencies offer tours with homestays to Islas Anapia and Yuspique. All Ways Travel is one, and supports school, clinic, library and other projects on the main island. Edgar Adventures does two-day tours to Anapia and Yuspique islands (minimum two persons, $214 per person; cheaper with more participants).

The islands may also be visited on one’s own. Take a bus from Puno to Yungayo (2 hr, $5), and then another to Punta Hermosa (30 min, $2). Public boats depart from that port town to Isla Anapia twice weekly (Thursday, Sunday 2 p.m., 1.75 hr, $4). A private boat for two passengers costs about $27 and can be hired any day of the week.

22 Jun 2012

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