Traveling one day south from Cusco, Peru, offers a fascinating insight into South American history: the island of Uros on Lake Titicaca, near Puno, Peru. Machu Picchu, one of the most celebrated locations in the continent, is several hundred kilometers north.
Uros Island, constructed by the ancient indigenous Uru people, floats and is constructed entirely of reeds. Hundreds of years ago, the islands were built for villagers to live on if the community were under attack.
The island is gorgeous to visit during sunset in a tour boat arranged at one of the restaurants on Plaza de Armas in Puno. Puno is also a starting point for a Bolivia tour route and the tourist town of Copacabana on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. However, a complex and costly visa needs to be secured while in Puno before crossing the border into Bolivia. The documents can take several days to get and include vaccines. Backpackers who cross the Bolivian border at Lake Titicaca without a visa and do not return to Peru within 24 hours are considered illegal aliens and are unable to visit Peru, Bolivia, Chile, etc. The Yunguyo border town is one of the most underdeveloped in border crossing points in South America.