Amantani Island of Lake Titicaca

About 25 miles (40km) from Puno city in southern Peru is the island of Amantani. It is the largest island on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and home to 41 islands. Amantani is also known as the “Island of the Kantuta” for the national flower of Peru and Bolivia, the cantua, which grows abundantly on the island. The circular island of about 3.58 square miles (9.28 sq. km) in size sits an elevation of 13,330 feet (4,063 m) above sea level and has two mountain peaks named “Pachatata” (Father Earth) and “Pachamama” (Mother Earth). At the summit of both peaks are ancient Inca and Tiwanaku ruins. As machines are not allowed on Amantani, the Quechua-speaking Aymara people that live on the island work by hand on the terraced hillsides that are planted with wheat, quinoa, potatoes and other vegetation.