The approach to Isla Suasi looks like little more than a rocky outcrop until you turn a corner and are faced with a picture perfect view of what looks like a country house on a cliff top. It was love at first sight from the moment our boat pulled up at the private dock after the 4.5 hour journey from Puno.
Isla Suasi is the place to come in the Puno region for peace and tranquillity. It’s a great destination to re-connect with yourself, family and friends and take time to reflect on your adventure in Peru. The views and gardens are absolutely stunning and trust us when we say to book at least a two night stay so you can really enjoy this little piece of paradise!
The 43 hectare property is the only privately owned island on Lake Titikaka. The owner Marta Giraldo is a woman of vision, purchasing the island from her grandfather in 1988 at a time when many naysayers told her the project was doomed to fail.
Luckily, Marta is a woman of tremendous perseverance and courage and stuck with her dream of creating a conservation project on the island. The result is a 24 room hotel which funds and supports her conservation efforts to restore the island’s eco-system to its original state. Each guest pays a $15 entrance fee that goes directly to the project and it’s clear that sustainability and the environment are always considered in this hotel.
The island is very much a family affair with Marta’s son Miguel now managing the hotel. If you spot him or Marta on the island it is well worth sitting down for a chat as they are encyclopaedias of knowledge of the region. This love for the Puno region can be seen in the cultural centre she has patiently built and created over the years on the island. Set aside a few hours to explore the history, geography and culture of Lake Titikaka and you will leave with a whole new appreciation for this wonderful part of the world.
The hotel itself is rustic and simple, in perfect balance with the environment but also warm, and welcoming just like Marta and her son Miguel. The rooms are very comfortable with great beds for one of the best night’s sleep we had on the lake. We preferred the rooms in the old block which have more charm than the newer block. Rooms on the ground floor all have stoves which are lovely when lit in the evenings.
A stay on Suasi is designed to allow you to disconnect from the modern world, relax and enjoy the lake. However, if you want to try something a bit more active Pepe, the Island’s on-site guide can help you out. Head down to the beach, pick a canoe and paddle around the island. Get up close and personal with the island’s cormorant population at their nesting site on the south of the island from February to October. If you want a less active option, book a guided zodiac ride around the island in the afternoon.
Don’t miss the sunset hike led by Pepe where you pass through the different ecosystems of the island and the resident alpaca and vicuna population to a stunning 360˚ viewpoint of Lake Titikaka. Arrive early to build your own ‘apacheta’ or stone offering to mother earth before watching a spectacular sunset merge into a hundred different shades of gold. Don’t leave before darkness falls, as the colours just intensify and get more beautiful… Bring a torch so you can walk back down on your own at dusk.
Isla Suasi is primarily a sustainability project and this is reflected throughout the hotel. Don’t be surprised to find no electric outlets in the rooms (there is a central charging unit in the lobby), no TV and sporadic or absent wifi service. In our opinion, however, this simply adds to Suasi’s charm.
There aren’t many places left where you can stay on a private island with stunning landscapes and an authentic conservation project on the highest lake in the world…
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- Save Suasi for the end of your trip so you can chill out, relax and really soak up the magic of this little piece of paradise.
- Isla Suasi have their own private motor boat which leaves Puno every morning visiting Taquile Island and the floating Uros Islands en route to Suasi. This breaks the 4.5 hour journey and is nice if you are short on time as you get to see (briefly!) two of the most important cultural attractions in the region.
- Our favourite rooms were room 211 which is a triple room and spacious enough for families and the view from rooms 209 and 212.