The drive from Puno to Titilaka takes you light years away from the tourist hustle and bustle of the city and plunges you into the daily life of local rural Quechua and Aymara communities. Women sit in colourful skirts minding livestock and stacking hay into triangular bundles. The earth here is parched and seems to fade right into the deep blue of Lake Titicaca.
The luxury Titilaka boutique hotel is located a one hour drive from Puno right on the tip of the Platería peninsula. You arrive at the back of the building and see a looming modern structure that doesn’t seem to blend into the local landscape. However, step inside and Titilaka, Puno’s best hotel will start revealing her secrets…
Designed for the discerning traveller, Titilaka boasts just 18 rooms allowing a more intimate stay that is most definitely a ‘travel experience’ in itself and not just a hotel to spend the night.
Rooms are luxurious with everything you would expect in a hotel of this calibre but are also nicely in tune with the natural environment. White walls, stone tiles, wooden floors and colourful local weavings decorate the rooms where the real focus is always on the spectacular views from the large windows and that feeling of bringing the outside in.
Every room has a stunning view divided into sunset and sunrise rooms. Sunrise rooms get sun from early morning until mid-afternoon while sunset rooms get sun later in the afternoon. The best rooms are the corner rooms where you get a stunning sunrise and sunset view and sun for the whole day. Definitely worth the upgrade!
One of the standout features of a stay at Titilaka are their curated excursions, designed to give you an authentic feel for the region. Excursions range from short two hour trips to full day adventures. We headed out to raft through the reeds just after our arrival for a nice gentle introduction to our stay. The colours were incredible as we paddled our way right through the totora reeds the lake is famous for spotting some of the local birdlife with the help of our guide.
We also loved the cycling half-day excursion. Now, this is a luxury hotel and all experiences are extremely organised but we did feel like we were cheating slightly when a minibus dropped us to our starting point and offered to load my bike back onto the mini-bus at every steep hill and drive me to the top. At an altitude of 3,812 metres above sea level, to my shame I didn’t say no… We then cycled through the Platería peninsula enjoying stunning views of the lake and surrounding landscapes and finished the excursion with a gourmet picnic on a beach. Locals were working next to us while we sat and ate at a dressed table and did feel a little uncomfortable being served chilled wine and a gourmet picnic while they looked on.
The day long Taquile experience is not to be missed. You can avoid the crowds at the main touristic section of the Uros floating Islands by visiting Titilaka’s private island on their comfortable speed boat. You then head to Taquile for a rustic but gourmet lunch on the stunning Taquile Island where you learn about their famous weaving techniques.
Once you return to base at the Lodge it’s all about relaxation. Tea-time is served from 4 – 6pm followed by sundowner drinks to watch the sunset with a bonfire if the wind isn’t too strong. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the lounge area or enjoy some wine and cheese served from 7pm every evening before you sit down to your evening meal.
The food served in the restaurant represents the gastronomic tradition of the region. The trout and avocado tartar and the quinoa and fava bean Andean chowder along with the quinoa risotto with porcini mushrooms were our favourites. There was enough variety on the menu to try different dishes at each meal and we liked that many of the dishes were light and healthy which can sometimes be difficult to find when travelling.
One of the only all-inclusive options in the Puno region, you won’t have to think about money at any point during your stay. This was remarkably refreshing and added a certain laid-back vibe to the experience. All meals, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and excursions are included in the price of your stay.
Without a doubt Titilaka is one of our all-time favourite hotels in Peru to date. It offers a great variety of authentic activities and gastronomic experiences. Fabulous, friendly yet discrete service and excursions that showcase some of the most interesting cultural things to see and do in the region coupled with the laid-back luxury of the lodge make for a memorable experience.
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- Set your alarm to wake before sunrise and head downstairs to see the sun emerging from Lake Titicaca. Wrap up warm as it’s very cold at this time of day. Take a seat on the deck and enjoy a coffee as you enjoy what will become one of your favourite Peruvian travel memories. Absolutely stunning on a clear day…
- If it’s not too windy, ask the staff to light a fire in the stove down at the Boat House. Enjoy wine and nibbles with a spectacular view of the lake. A great spot for a romantic anniversary or honeymoon celebration.
- Try and stay for a minimum of two nights. We loved Titilaka so much that we extended our stay a third night and we think you will feel the same.