Isla Taquile in Lake Titicaca, Peru

Isla Taquile is picturesquely situated in the middle of the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca, the highest body of water in the world. Its inhabitants organise themselves completely autonomously. There are no police and tourism is strictly regulated on this idyllic island.

In Lake Titicaca, South America's second largest lake and the highest body of water in the world, there are several picturesque islands on Peruvian territory in the middle of the deep blue water between Peru and Bolivia.


The island of Taquile, or Intika in Quechua, the language of the Incas, lies in the Peruvian part of Lake Titicaca about 45km from the coastal city of Puno. About 5km long and just under 2km wide, it rises about 200 metres above the surface of Lake Titicaca. However, after this is already at over 3,800 metres, Taquile's highest elevation is at 4,050 metres above sea level.

Visit to Taquile Island

View from the 5km long and almost 2km wide Isla Taquile over the surface of Lake Titicaca in Peru - © Goodluz / Shutterstock
© Goodluz / Shutterstock

On two mountain peaks there are ruins that probably date back to the Tiwanaka culture around 800 AD.

Taquile was one of the last areas of Peru to be conquered by the Spanish. The island, thought to be uninhabited in the breathtaking scenery, was sold to a certain nobleman named Taquile (the exact name has been passed down differently), from where Intika also got its Spanish name.

The inhabitants were forbidden to wear their own clothes, they have kept the Spanish peasant garments of that time until today and embellished them with splendid colours. By the way, you can tell by their colourful skirts whether women are still available, wives wear black skirts.

In the 1930s, Taquile was used as a prison island. In 1937, it was bought back by the Taquileños and has belonged to its rightful owners ever since. The approximately 2,000 inhabitants all speak Quechua, the younger ones also Spanish.

Special features of Isla Taquile

Panoramic view over the terraces of Taquile Island in the Peruvian part of Lake Titicaca, Peru - © ckchiu / Shutterstock
© ckchiu / Shutterstock

In addition to strictly regulated tourism (there are no hotel complexes, the 40,000 or so tourists a year are accommodated in private homes), the locals live from fishing and terraced farming; the fields are mainly used to cultivate potatoes.

No police: There is no police force on Taquile, the Taquileños live according to the ancient Inca commandments "Ama suwa, ama llulla, ama gilla", "Don't steal, don't lie, don't be lazy" and successfully organise themselves.


Curious: on Taquile Island, dogs and cats are prohibited because they are generally considered a delicacy. Those who want to keep them as pets need their own permit.

Famous handicrafts of Taquile Island

On the completely original Isla Taquile in Lake Titicaca, the women weave, knitting is the responsibility of the men, Peru - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

Every year on 25 July, the colourful Fiesta de Santiago takes place in honour of its patron saint, and the Feria artesanal handicraft fair is also held on this date. Visitors can admire the world-renowned handicrafts of the Taquileños, which have even been included in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Especially in weaving, knitting and spinning, the Taquileños are unbeaten in Peru. By the way, the knitted textile products are mainly produced by men, already from the age of 8, spinning and weaving are the responsibility of women.

Tip: Most tourists leave Taquile Island at 2 pm, so if you decide to spend the night with one of the Taquileño families, you will get an interesting insight into life on the island.