Lake Titicaca: Taquile

Taquile is an island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca 45 km offshore from the city of Puno. About 2,200 people live on the island, which is 5.5 by 1.6 kilometres in size, with an area of 5.72 km². The highest point of the island is 4,050 metres above sea level and the main village is at 3,950 metres. The community of “Knitting Men”, people of Taquile Island are living the lifestyle they’ve preserved for centuries. When a man wants to marry a woman, he needs to prove his worth by drinking water out of his knitted hat. If the hat is knitted so tightly that the water doesn’t drip, he has successfully proved his abilities.

🙂 Fascinating culture. Traditional way of life. Beautiful views.

🙁 Nothing negative to report.

An arch is placed at the shore of Taquile, acting as the welcoming entrance and exit through which tourists must pass.

Stunning views all round. We went to the Town Centre and hiked to the top of the hill to enjoy the general laid back ambiance.

I gave some children crayons and bought some trinkets.

The men knit and the women weave!

Every man wears chullo on Taquile. It’s an Andean style hat with earflaps, made from vicuña, alpaca, llama or sheep’s wool. It’s common around all Andean towns, but on Taquile it has more meaning to it. First, it’s a simple way to see who’s single or married. Single men can only wear a chullo with red and white color. Full red is only for a married man. Second, Taquile’s chullo has a distinctively long and narrow top that’s almost as long as the length of the hat. The direction of the extended top is the way to express your current state of mind. If the top is laid to the right side, it means he is happy and content. Left side indicates he’s worrying about something and wants to keep the problems away. The most common, especially when they are knitting, is the hat top to the back. This means they are busy. Making a meter-long waistband is another required skill for Taquile men. It contains the history of each family. Married men make the waistband with the wife’s hair.

We thoroughly enjoyed our scenic vista and lunch before heading back to Puno with the sunset…

Our Hotel of choice was the impressive Libertador Lago Titicaca Puno but we decided to head into Puno for a meal and found a fun psychedelic pub for a game of Pigs!

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