Man-made Islands of the Uros

Attractions & Activities In Lake Titicaca


Perhaps the most fascinating of all of Lake Titicaca’s islands are the floating, man-made structures known as the Uros Islands. Constructed by hand and entirely from totora reeds and mud, the first of these floating islands was made at least 500 years ago. At the beginning, they were built for defensive reasons to prevent attacks from other tribes who wanted to enslave the Uros people. The floating islands could be moved quickly and thus help the Uros people evade capture.

Nowadays, there are about 42 floating islands on the lake with approximately 500 Uros people living on them. Though the Uros lost their original language (they now speak Aymara), they have retained many of their original customs and ways of living. Totora reed is a vitaly important and incredibly useful material for the Uros. Not only is it the construction material for the ‘land’ that they live on, but the reeds also have many other functions. They are a source of income, nourishment (thanks to their iodine content) and medicine (they function as pain killers), while their flowers are even brewed in tea. In addition to their resourceful use of totora reeds, the Uros also hunt birds and fish, and have cattle grazing on their islands.

If you want to meet the Uros people and learn about their unique ways of living, Kuoda can make it happen as part of your customized tour of Bolivia.

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