Aracari’s Founder Marisol Mosquera recently visited the traditional village of Luquina Chico by Lake Titicaca. A small and rarely-visited rural population living on the tip of the Chucuito peninsula, Luquina Chico sits around one and a half hour’s boat ride from the town of Puno. Luquina Chico community based tourism initiative allows for an authentic insight into the lives of indigenous Aymara-speaking Peruvians, who continue thousands of years of tradition.
Luquina Chico Visits & Homestays
While staying at Luquina Chico, Marisol found that Aracari guests who travel here will have the unique opportunity to experience the lives of Andean people whose way of life has not yet been drastically affected by tourism to the region, such as has been the case on the nearby islands of Uros and Taquile. After visiting Uros en route to Luquina, a stark difference can undoubtedly be noticed as Luquina Chico is far-less toruisty than Uros and Taquile.
Visits to Luqina Chico over the past few years have been strictly regulated and managed as a part of a well run community tourism project. All of the economic benefits from receiving guests in Luquina Chico go directly towards alleviating poverty in the region and to supporting the community financially, helping people to raise their standard of living and making basic necessities affordable. The locals have made great effort to receive travellers in a responsible fashion that is of benefit to their community and Aracari is keen to promote visits here as part of our responsible travel initiatives.
A warm welcome to the village
Arriving at the village by boat, Marisol was greeted by friendly and smiling members of the community, dressed in gorgeous and bright, colourful clothing. Men from the village converged to play musical instruments, a sign of how welcome people from Luquina Chico to receiving visitors from far afield. The ambience she found to be most relaxing, with small, terraced farms, adobe buildings, a natural beach and barren, windswept shrubbery defining the landscape, perfect for peaceful and undisturbed reflection while gazing out on to the expansive lake.
Learning from the locals
As a part of the community based tourism initiative here, travellers can spend time with the locals, gaining an insight into such daily activities like farming, fishing, sailing, cookery, child rearing and energy consumption. The latter of these could be said to be very ecological, given that food is refrigerated using an improvised water cooling system and is cooked above basic wood burning stoves, making this an appropriate option for those interested in sustainable tourism.
As the sun sets over Titicaca in its usual spectacular fashion and darkness falls, the festivities begin. These are to the tune of the local style of Andean music which despite sombre notes remains lively and kicks off some traditional dancing which guests are more than welcome to try their hand at. To see just how much they would size up with an Andean identity, visitors also are given the wonderful and privileged opportunity to try on the local dress.
Accommodation at Luquina Chico
The accommodation at Luqina Chico is most amiable; thirteen families receive visitors here with clean, comfortable beds with thick, warm blankets and pillows as well as a clean private bathroom with a shower and hot water. There is, of course, a commanding view of the lake as well.
What Marisol liked the most about this accommodation is that, although it is naturally has basic amenities, great care has gone into the decoration and arrangement of the room, which includes such thoughtful touches as a bedside lamp, textile art of intricate patterns and vibrant colours, splashes of colour through wall hangings and decorations, all of their own unique design. This is a testimony to how hard the people of Luquina Chico have worked and trained to receive guests here as a part of their community based tourism project.
After a recommended one night stay, the morning is graced with more of the activities mentioned above. The villagers then wave goodbye as travellers embark on the boat journey back to Puno or continue with their Lake Titicaca tours.
Visiting Luquina Chico and Lake Titicaca with Aracari
Aracari arranges visits to Luquina Chico and Lake Titicaca as part of private, tailormade trips to Peru. Contact us for more information on Luquina Chico, other community-run tourism initiatives in Peru, and to plan a trip.