Andean Explorations 15 – Tequile island

This post is part of my Peru travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

The Inca moral community code says, “ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla” (Quechua: do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy.) Taquileños (तकीलेन्योस), inhabitants of the Tequilé (तकीले) islands, run their society based on community collectivism founded on this code.


Tequile island is about an hour’s boat ride away from Amantani, which we left after having breakfast in the morning. The long and winding walk took us from one end of the island to the other via the topmost part of the island and the village center. The views were too good to describe.


Taquileños are famous for handwoven textiles. Everyone we saw on this island were spinning and weaving something. The Spanish banned the locals from wearing traditional costumes, so the islanders had to adopt European styled clothes which they still wear. Their dresses are brightly colored and show a handsome mix of Quechuan and Spanish styles. Unmarried men (bachelors) wear colored hats, but once they are ‘taken’, they wear white ones (clear indicator of married life!). There is something similar practise with the women.


Altitude sickness kept hitting some people in my group. The local people carry Coca leaves (hope you remember them from my post on Puno) in their hats or little purses tied to their colorful belts.


A long walk through blissful surroundings was followed by a long boat ride back to Puno. I made some great friends on this trip and it was wonderful to go on this little guided excursion.

This post is part of my Peru travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery