A short boat trip from Puno took us to the unique Uros islands. These floating islands (there are around 50 in total) are built using layers of buoyant reeds that are regularly replenished throughout each island's 20-year life span. The Uros people first moved on to Lake Titicaca hundreds of years ago to get away from Incan and other aggressors and have been living on the reed islands ever since. Although Uros culture certainly has been impacted by tourism, they still have many unique customs, such as electing a president for each island. The highlights of our visit were walking on the uneven surface (which took some getting used to), seeing a demonstration on how they build the islands, and riding a reed boat between islands.
Just past the border was the small lakeside town of Copacabana, which inspired the naming of the much more famous (and we expect more picturesque) beach in Brazil. In Copacabana we wandered through the streets, visited the main cathedral and enjoyed some delicious local trout served with lake views from a street shack (which at $3 was the first of many memorable Bolivian cheap eats).