Uros Islands (Peru)
Uros Islans are so named because of the first inhabitants of these floting islands, now extinct.
They are inhabited by Aymara people. Originally, these islands were created by the Uros, in the XIII century to escape from the Incas, their ribal tribe.
These artificial islands, constituting a veritable floating village, they are built with totora, and are tied to stakes, to prevent them from drifting. The area of islands varies from a dozen several hundred square meters. Each week a new layer of reeds is added to replace the one that sank.
Every ten years the people move and build a new island. The Uros are descendant of the oldest cultures in America.
Today, the Aymara people continue to live like their ancestors, preserving their customs and especially their own system of community life.
These floating islands of Uros are located in the Bay of Titicaca Lake, just 15 km from the city of Puno. There are other islands also in Bolivia.
It is believed that the Uros were the first ethnic group to have inhabited the Andean region. They were simple fishermen and bird hunters and they prefer to isolate themselves from the more advanced civilizations. Their willingness isolationist may be the reason to decide live in mobile floating homes on the lake.
When the Spanish found the Urosw at the end of XVI century, they were still living on simple boats of reeds that they used as a house. In the 60’s they began to build the Uros floating islands whole rush to install their own homes. Today the rush is always a very important material for the Uros.
They use it for food, for the construction of their islands, their homes and their boats, to feed the animals and to make fire for cook.
The last real Uros died in 1959 and the occupants of the islands have been for a long time the Aymaras people, who cling to the land bordering the Titicaca Lake. The Aymaras will grow the quinoa, a plant cultivated for its seeds, rich in protein and raise the llamas.
The visit to these islands is a classic but is extraordinary. In my programs I suggest you to stay in one of these islands, ‘private’, non-tourist, for a unique journey through time.