Our Lake Titicaca Kayak Adventure
Imagine gently paddling the highest navigable lake in the world, backed by the spectacular outline of the Andes. Crystal clear waters, majestic snow capped mountains, quaint lakeside villages, and more importantly, not a single tourist in sight.
Feel the fresh breeze blowing in your face as you paddle through waters which shimmer a brilliant blue. Explore secluded islands and peninsulas with awe-inspiring views. Discover the undiscovered Bolivia while escaping tourism and escaping the world.
When tourists travel to Lake Titicaca, most hit Copacabana and Isla del Sol. Breathtaking views, panoramic treks, transported in beautiful traditional reed boats; sounds like the perfect way to experience Bolivia. But Copacabana is now too overcrowded, and Isla del Sol similarly so. Totora reed boats are a fascinating form of transportation, but lacks the adventure of experiencing the lake on your own by being rowed.
Our solution? Find a tour operator who would take us off the beaten path, away from mass tourism, and supply us with kayaks for a real Bolivian adventure. Our solution was Banjo Tours.
Our Lake Titicaca Kayak adventure with Banjo Tours had everything we could have possibly hoped to experience in a day – a combination of beautiful sights, culture, history and adventure, with the added bonus of visiting quaint lakeside villages and interacting with locals along the way.
On our drive towards the lake, we stopped at a morning market, and stood to the side as “campesinas (peasant woman) in bowler hats and sandals made from recycled truck tires” bartered with each other over the price of fruit, veg, and fish. We drove through tumbledown towns with crumbling cathedrals, and watched as men led their donkey’s across scenic shores. Women stomped across harvests of freeze-dried potatoes, and bundles of totora reed stood out to dry which would later be used in the creation of Bolivia’s famous totora reed boats.
It was a true glimpse into a traditional lifestyle without gimmicks or show. An authentic Bolivian adventure before we had even reached the water. (Click on individual photos for a full sized view of each).
Once we did reach the water the race was on! Each equipped with a brand new inflatable kayak imported directly from the US, Mike and I paddled furiously to see who would first step foot on a secluded island in the near distance. Though our competitive nature was quickly forgotten as we hiked to the top and looked out over the spectacular lake.
The views were awe inspiring to say the least, and with a vantage point with panoramic views for as far as the eye could see, there was still not a single tourist in sight.
A fantastic adventure, thankfully we managed to complete the day without tipping our kayaks, for those who fall into the lake are not saved. A sacred site, locals believe that those who fall in Titicaca are a sacrifice to Pachamama, the earth God!
Highly recommend Banjo Tours for an off the beaten path adventure in Bolivia; staff are 100% Bolivian which meant we really benefited from their local knowledge and secrets, and their impeccable service, fluent English and great sense of humor made for a really fantastic day tour.
It did also help that they were there prepared with a mouthwatering selection of fruits, snacks, chips and chocolate after we pulled into shore at the end of the day!