Worth a Trip: Luquina Chico
This tiny community, 53km east of Puno on the Chucuito Peninsula, is stunning. If you want to relax in a rural community, Luquina Chico also boasts the best standard of homestay accommodations of any community around the lake. The community is making economic strides thanks to tourism.
Sweeping views of Puno, Juliaca and all the islands of the lake can be taken in from both the headland’s heights or the fertile flats by the lake. In the wet season, a lagoon forms that attracts migrating wetland birds.
Chullpitas (miniature burial towers) are scattered all around this part of the peninsula. They are said to house the bodies of gentiles, little people who lived here in ancient times, before the sun was born and sent them underground.
Ask around town about renting kayaks. Edgar Adventures in Puno can also get you here on a mountain bike; a somewhat grueling but extremely scenic three-hour ride along the peninsula.
Homestays offer full board (S80). The participating 35 families are part of a collective Turismo Vivencial Comunitario Luquina Chico (www.fb.me/luquinachicotiticaca) represented by Jimmy (email@example.com), who speaks basic English; if you don't speak Spanish, tour agencies in Puno can help organise stays.
To get here catch a combi (minibus) labeled ‘Luquina Chico’ (S4.50, 2 hours), which run every hour or so in the morning from the corner of Jr 1ro Mayo and Banchero Rossi in Puno, just south of the Terminal Terrestre; or take the ferry to or from Isla Taquile and ask the driver to drop you off.