Latin America

Lake Titicaca into the Heights

written by | Posted on July 1st, 2009

The all-inclusive cost pp dbl starts at $552 and includes transfers from the train station/airport, accommodations, all meals and beverages, and daily excursions. Bookings for two consecutive nights receive a third night free.

Ladatco’s 16-day Peru Plus program ends its Peru itinerary with a ride aboard the Andean Express train from Cusco to Puno for a 3-night stay at the deluxe Titilaka lodge, before crossing the lake by hydrofoil to the five-star Inca Utama on the Bolivian shores. The total routing includes Lima, Cusco & Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Reserva Amazonica, with a final night’s stay in La Paz. The cost pp dbl is $9,300, including roundtrip air from Miami, all local air and ground transport, top accommodations, most meals, and private car sightseeing with guides.

Another all-inclusive choice on Lake Titicaca is the Casa Andina Private Collection Suasi Island, the only private island (106 acres that are home to four different South American camelids, a member of the camel and llama family) on the massive lake. The solar-powered eco-lodge, designed with native materials (stone, adobe and thatched roofs) and surrounded by terraced gardens, features panoramic lake views from each of its 24 well-appointed rooms. Additionally, the lodge has the cozy 2-bedroom Andean Cottage at the water’s edge that comes complete with private beach and private butler service. Public guest features include a library, bar and game room, cultural hut-Andean interpretation center, Andean spa with sauna and massage service, and Internet access, as well as phone service from the front desk. The dining room, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner that are included in the stay package, shares the same panoramic views as the rest of the hotel.

On the island, guests spot rare vicunas, hike to Itapilluni Hill at sunset, paddle a canoe around the island, go on nature walks, or visit the earthy spa for massages and steam saunas with eucalyptus leaves. Sailing trips or canoe rides take guests out on the lake in search of sea birds, while a boat trip leads to visits with the Cambria community and a climb to the summit of Mount Mulluni.

Another property of this hotel group is the Casa Andina Private Collection Puno, perched at the water’s edge and a 5-minute taxi ride from the city center. The majority of the hotel’s 46 rooms boast unparalleled lake views. The hotel’s gourmet restaurant is enclosed by a glass wall framing the lake and gardens, and a large sunny terrace invites guests to contemplate the endless expanse of Lake Titicaca. The hotel has its own private train station stop, for guests coming from or traveling to Cusco, and furthermore, a private pier for boating excursions to the islands and from which its own boat takes off for the 3-hour ride (via the Uros Islands) to its ecolodge on Suasi Island.

For cost reasons, it is smart to plan client departures on the hotel’s regularly scheduled boat trip days to Suasi: Wednesday and Sunday year-round, with a Saturday departure added May through November. The recommended return from a stay at the Suasi lodge is overland back to Puno or directly to the airport in Juliaca: schedule a client visit to Lampa along the way.

While different length packages are available, a 2-night package, all-inclusive (transfers, accommodations, meals, excursions), costs $649 pp dbl at Casa Andina Private Collection Suasi Island; the cost per room with a lake view, dbl or sgl at Casa Andina Private Collection Puno is $197 with breakfast.