Peru: Uros Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca
Time to explore the Lake Titicaca with its famous man-made floating islands, where the indigenous Uru or Uros people live. The islands are made of the abundant totoro reeds, which are piled 3m/9ft high to float (and require monthly addition of new reeds since the old reeds rot and the islands slowly sink). 1-5 families live on each island mostly off tourism and fishing, everything else has to be brought in from the shore. The islands are not far from shore, but about 2000 people still continue living here and harvesting and building stuff out of reeds every day. On a typical visit, you land on an island, see some demonstration on reed weaving and construction and then cruise in a reed boat to a couple other islands as the colorful local women wave at you. Oh, and the reeds are edible which I made sure I tried.