Floating in the vastness of Lake Titicaca, three hours sailing from Puno, you can find Taquile, a small island inhabited by an ancient Quechua community that has kept intact its traditional customs and forms of social organization -former to the Incas- where common life and collective decision making are priority. From here it can be appreciated the expanse of the Titicaca and, in the distance, the snowy Cordillera Real in Bolivia, certainly a spectacular view.
One of the main attractions of Taquile is that its people are owners of a weaving tradition that dates back to the ancient Colla, Pucara and Inca civilizations. Even today, they use old techniques to produce their tissues, considered among the finest in the world. UNESCO even named them “Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
And for a community that stands out for its beautiful looms, its inhabitants could not be left behind; taquileños have a peculiar way of dressing, men wear black pants, white shirt and a short jacket, that depending on its color and shape defines the role of each person in the community. Likewise, the way they use the chullo separates married man from singles, and those in search of a partner. Women, on the other hand wear red blouses and multicolored skirts that they cover with a black one. And to protect their faces from the strong sun, they use a hat typical of the place.
Taquileños are also known for the innovative tourism model implemented by the community since the seventies, offering tourists to stay at their homes and share their daily life activities, such as sheep and guinea pig breeding, fishing on Lake Titicaca, and potato crops.
There are two seasons in Taquile, a rainy and a dry one. Nonetheless in both seasons the days are warm and the nights are cold, so it is advisable to go prepared. The experience is unforgettable.