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Islas Flotantes de los uros, Lago Titicaca, Peru

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When travelling between Bolivia and Peru along the shores of Lake Titicaca, I stopped in the city of Puno. Nearby are the Uros floating islands. I traveled by boat to the islands to check it all out.  The Uru people moved out to the middle of the lake on reed islands many centuries ago for defensive purposes.  These days the islands are much closer to the shore and the Uru people hunt, fish, sell reeds on the mainland and welcome tourists everyday.  A typical tour will stop by one of the islands where you see how they are constructed, how they live, a bit of singing and dancing, a ride in a traditional reed boat and you get the chance to purchase craft items, possibly made by the the Uros, but more likely bought in the markets on the mainland and flogged to tourists for higher prices.  

I've heard that the number of islands (currently ~120) has risen significantly in recent decades because the tourist trade is quite lucrative.  Needless to say, it is still a fairly basic existence and the islands require a lot of maintenance to keep them floating.  The lower layers are constantly rotting, so new layers of reeds need to be added frequently.  Some families have solar panels to run small electric appliances and most islanders have boats with outboard motors; the reed boats are mostly for the tourists to ride on.
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