Isla Amantaní (Pachamama, Pachatata)

July 13-14, 2022


Lake Titicaca, Perú

Isla Amantaní is one of the two popular islands on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca and is a major tourism attraction. Tour companies from Puno run trips to this island and the most preferred way is to spend 1 night on the island home-staying in one of the local families. There are two peaks on this island with Pachamama being the high point but Pachatata being the easier and more popular one. Lily and I learnt about this tour from our hotel in Puno and instantly decided to join. The main attraction was the cultural experience and the scenery but being a peak-bagger I must also attain the two peaks. Most people from the tour only ended up doing the easier peak.

Exploring Isla Amantaní with ascents of Pachamama and Pachatata

We were picked up from the hotel at around 8 am and by 9 am we were all inside the boat. The first destination was one of the Uros islands. There’s no hiking on those small islands as the islands themselves were rather man-made and floating on the lake’s surface. The ride was about an hour and the scenery was great. The locals showed us how the Uros islands were built and we even took a ride in one of their small boats.

Morning view at Puno. We got onto the second boat
The boat left Puno and we were in for a long ride
We passed through a narrow channel in the lake
View towards the shoreline from the channel
Lily and I climbed onto the roof for more views
There were kayakers on the lake
Cerro Atojja was one I contended to ascend but opted for a bigger one
Lily soaking in the views
Arriving at Islas Uros
The locals on Uros islands took us for a smaller ride
This is the small Uros island that we visited
Lily and I on that smaller boat

About an hour later were back onto the main boat and off we went towards Amantaní island, which was at least another hour away. Once there we were introduced to the local family that we would spend the night with. The family was very friendly but did not speak English so I got to practice my Spanish for quite a bit. Thankfully the other two guys (from Israel) spoke both English and Spanish. We all got out of the families, gathered at around 4 pm and hiked up towards the saddle between the two peaks. The plan was to only hike the lower Pachatata but that’s not acceptable for me. Instead, Lily, myself and our new friend Sophia went ahead to tag Pachamama which was about 20 minutes longer.

The masses getting off the main boat onto Isla Amantaní
Lily showing the family we would stay at
We had a couple hours to kill before the hike
Finally it’s time to start hiking…
Plodding up towards our meeting point
Plodding onwards with increasingly expansive views of Lake Titicaca
Upwards and onward towards the broad Pachamama/Pachatata saddle
Lily plodding above the saddle towards Pachamama
Sophia and Lily ascending Pachamama
Looking back at Pachatata
The 6000 m peaks in Bolivia showed up on the horizon
View from the summit of Pachamama. In the foreground is a peninsula
Lily opted to walk around that summit thing for three rounds

After making the summit of the island’s high point we made a quick descent back to Pachamama/Pachatata saddle and dashed up the lower touristy peak. We joined the majority of the group up on the summit and waited for sunset. The views were gorgeous. We then descended with the group all the way down past our family to have dinner together. That evening Lily and I showed up in their disco dancing party, which was fun but not as great as I thought it’d be. By 10 pm I was tired so we went back and slept. The room was not fancy, but still better than the tent.

Sophia and Lily now descending Pachamama
Isla Taquile would be our next day’s objective
Plodding up Pachatata at a fast pace to beat the sunset
The evening horizon in Bolivia direction
Me on the summit of Pachatata
The gorgeous sunset from the summit of Pachatata
Lily descending Pachatata
The dusk horizon
For some reasons the horizon was lit up brightly for a period after the sun came down
Down to the dinner place.

The next morning we had another local breakfast and then all gathered at the lake shore at around 7:30 am. Once everyone showed up we got into the boat and off we went towards the next destination, Isla Taquile.

Descending to the shoreline in the following morning
Me exploring the lake’s shore while waiting for the boat