Posts Tagged ‘Lake Titicaca’

The InBox: Amantani Island, Peru


Sustainable Travel, Off the Beaten Track, Lake Titicaca, Peru
Dear Randall,
I hope you don’t mind my contacting you. I saw your blog post about staying on Amantani Island and I wanted to ask your advice. I had been planning to go to the island and stay with Richard Cari at Kantuta Lodge. However, having read your post I am wondering if I should be staying elsewhere in order to be a bit fairer and in the interest of sustainable tourism – such as going to stay with the islanders who don’t usually see a lot of tourists.

I felt a bit nervous not booking something in advance and am also not sure how easy it would be to organise something like this (I will only have one night and we arrive in Puno the evening before we hope to go to the island). Do you know any responsible tour agencies who give back to the islanders and could help me find somewhere to stay? Or would you recommend just turning up and hoping to find a boat / somewhere to stay on the island?

Many thanks for any help you can give.
Kind regards,
Lucy H.

Hi Lucy,

Family Mamani, Occopampa, Amantani

Thanks for your email, and for your concern about sustainable tourism on Amantani on Lake Titicaca. Here are a few suggestions.
Richard Cari and family are good friends of mine, and we do hire his launch/boat to get our clients to the island, and although we might stay one night at his lodge, the lodge has evolved into something bigger than I want my participants to experience, (semester students excluded, plus Richard will help facilitate these longer programs). So we may bypass the lodge in favor of the other families who are wanting to have guests visit them. However, depending upon your comfort zone, and interest, you would enjoy Richard’s family and small lodge in any event. But more about staying with other families:

There’s no real problem with taking one of the boats run by the community of Amantani which you can pick up (more…)

A Coloring Book, Then a Smile


By D.R.Richards

Coloring for the first time, Amantani Island, Peru

The simple act of giving a child a coloring book on the high mountain island of Amantani on Lake Titicaca, where we have been taking small groups for years, bridges our cultures. It also helps reach out by giving a little something back. By no means is it as big as building a school, or other major project that other more established organisations are doing in Peru. As mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a  smile,” and in this case a coloring book, then a smile.

We at Mountain Spirit Institute believe that to truly connect with others in our world, when we travel its good to reach out in anyway you can. Reaching out  might be that smile, the  coloring book,  or listening well to the people you’re visiting rather than building them what you think they need, a good lesson from Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea. Of course listening well implies you need a good interpreter or hopefully have studies the local lanquage, and I don’t mean Spanish.  Next time you travel, load up on some coloring books and colored pencils. Leave the chocolates at the city, and take some paper and pencils instead. The local kids will love it, and you’ll smile too.

Learning Zampoña on Lake Titicaca


Guillermo Seminario, leader of Chimu Inka band in Cusco, and co- facilitator for Mountain Spirit Insitute’s cultural immersion program in Peru teaches a few participants on the Peru’09 program how to play zampoña. They three had been learning from Guillermo for a few days before this footage was taken. They did well. I hope they are still playing!

Guillermo and Chimu Inka Host MSI Group: July 12th’09

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

MSI is excited to be working further with Guillermo Seminario and Chimu Inka this summer. For anyone interested in joining us, a small group, (limited to 6-7) will be going to Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca with Guillermo and Chimu Inka as our hosts.   MSI has been running programs to Peru since 1998, (R Richards had been mountain guiding before that in Peru), and we are excited to be working with who we consider our dear family members Guillermo, Wachi and and Mario.  

Amantani Island, Summit View

Amantani Island, Summit View

We will visit with locals, do a small service project, stay in the Sacred Valley, venture to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. There will be a base for a few days in Ollantaytambo where we will head to Willoc to study weaving in action. This area is known for it’s traditional weaves with mainly vegetable dyes.  Of course, Guillermo and his band members will provide a strong musical influence, not only by performing, but sharing with us their history and love of traditional Andean folklore music.

There is still space available, airline prices are at an all time low to Lima and Cusco, so we hope you’ll consider joining us. For more information see MSI’s website at or contact Randy Richards at 603-763-2668 or by email at .