Amantani is an island on Lake Titicaca, on the Peruvian side. If you like the idea of visiting Peru then this would be a great location to add to your list of must visits, I’ve been trying to persuade the boss here at Outdoor Revival HQ to send a couple of us down there for a visit, I’m not getting the answer I want though!
Amantani is a circular island with an elevation of 13331 feet (4063 meters). Considering that the surface elevation of the lake itself is 12,507 feet (3,812 meters), Amantani is the highest island in the world. It isn’t a huge island, its size is only 3,580 square meters (9,28 km2), and there are around 5,000 inhabitants, divided into about 800 families, all of which speak Quechua.
The island has two mountain peaks. One is “Pachamama” which means “Mother Earth” in Quechua, and the other one is “Pachatata” which means “Father Earth.” Both of the peaks have ancient Inca ruins on their tops.
The hillsides spreading down the peaks are terraced. The villagers of Amantani are farming mostly potatoes, quinoa, and wheat on those terraces and work the land by hand. Besides the mentioned plants, there are also other vegetables and a lot of herbs.
The island is simply magical. There are two temples at the top of the peaks which are always closed except on the 20th of January when it is the annual feast day. At this time, the island’s inhabitants are divided into two groups and they go to pay their respects in the temple that their group belongs to. According to people’s traditional beliefs, Pachamama portends a bountiful harvest in the following year.
Most of the inhabitants live in houses made of adobe and spend their days farming their land and taking care of their households.
Most of the houses don’t have water pipes, and the people get their water from local pumps. There aren’t any street lights and the electricity in the houses is limited.
But the view of the sky is so breathtaking that you have a feeling like floating among the stars. Oh! And there are no cars on the island and the air is clean!
The villagers of Amantani are also famous for their textiles and ceramics. There isn’t a massive tourist trade on the Isle, especially it’s western side which doesn’t see many visitors, but the people sell their products up at the ruins or down by the harbors.
There are no hotels, no restaurants, no French bread, or Italian coffee. But you can stay with some of the families on Amantani, and they will prepare all the meals.
In an informal deal between the villagers, those who offer accommodation to the tourists are supposed to have a separate room for them and if they do have tourists staying with them, they are not allowed to sell their products outside their houses.
All the sights on the island are beautiful, but the view from the top of the peaks at any time of the day or the night are simply out of this world.
As most of the villagers are asleep by nine o’clock in the evening, all you can hear is the lake and the wind. Without any electricity, the only light is the moon or the stars.
Without any cars there is nothing to pollute your air, so every breath you take is brought by the wind from Lake Titicaca.
This is truly one of the worlds treasures.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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