Though you are next to guaranteed to loose the game, as the locals are equipped with dealing with running around like maniacs at altitude, there is an opportunity to organise a "friendly" game of soccor on the islands cement football pitch. Test your foot skills and lung strength in the most unusual place to play soccer in the world. Afterwards you will be puffing!
Celebrate the stunning vistas of sunset in a place that is built to worship Mother Earth. In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting. The locals still perform rituals at this site which have been done for thousands of years. The point marks one separation point of festivities during Fiesta de la Santa Tierra. During the festival the population split in two -- half at the Temple of Pachamama and the other half at the Temple of Pachatata (on Amantani's other peak), symbolizing the islanders' ancient dualistic belief system. A representative of each group will race to a point between the two. According to tradition, a victory for Pacha Mama means a bountiful harvist for the coming season. Fiesta de la Santa Tierra occurs the third Thursday in January annually. This is the only day the temples are open. The rest of the year it is closed to the public. You can however take a walk to the top and circle Pacha Mama 3 times for a wish and get a glimpse of the sun going down across the waters of Lake Titicaca and celebrate Mother Earth all around you!
Quechua-speaking residents live on Amantani Island, frequenting Puno on the mainland every so often to visit relatives and friends. The island itself is beautiful, with greenery blanketing the land and residents’ adobe structures blending in with the earth. A hiking trail on one part of the island leads to a shrine at the top of the hill from which the vast deep blue expanse of the lake and the snowy peaks of Bolivia can be spotted. At night, the island -- isolated from light pollution on the mainland and high enough in elevation to skirt air pollution -- is the perfect place to stargaze. The milky way’s cloudy expanse spills across the clear night sky, and planets, galaxies, and stars shimmer in the cold darkness.
Our homestay hosts treated us to a traditional dance party at the local meeting hall, dressing us up in the multi-layer traditional ceremonial skirts and suits of the region. A local band playing pan flutes, guitars, and drums supplied the music, while local women encouraged tourists to get up and dance in the local tradition (although one dance did strangely resemble a conga line). A cement soccer field by the meeting hall was the site of several pick-up soccer games in which European and American tourists challenged some of the locals to their favorite game.
There are two mountains on the Island of Amantani - and even though you're already at 4000 metres above sea level (12,000 feet), a hike up to one of the summits is a must-do. At the top of each summit is a temple (one for the sun, one for the moon) and watching the sunset, or sunrise from the top of the summit is definitely worth the hike
So, you've arrived at Lake Titicaca and the change in elevation hasn't worn you out yet? The South American love of futbol (soccer to North Americans) continues here, and you'll be welcome to participate in a game of futbol or two with the locals.
As a side note - playing will really get you acclimitized to the altitude - just don't over do it.
Amantani island has two hills, Pachamama (mother earth) and Pachatata (father earth). We climbed up Pachamama.
Due to the altitude (+4000m), climbing it is no small feat, and probably is best to go at a slow pace. Along the way were people selling clothes/crafts, water and chocolate bars (for the extra energy I guess).
This is the reason we climbed up Pachamama, to see the sunset from the top.
If you also come up for this reason, give yourself plenty of time to get to the top (as I said above, due to altitude the going is not easy). Also, a flashlight would not be a bad idea for the walk down in the pitch dark.
Walk to the top of the Amantani Island and view the sunset over Lake Titicaca. It's a great view sitting amongst the ruins and breathing the fresh air (or trying to gulp it in because of the altitude).
Leave yourself enough time to get to the top as it will take you longer because of the altitude. Frequent stops will help. Also, make sure you sip some coca tea before heading up and when you come back down. It will help out.
Bring a flashlight or penlight for the walk down.
On Amantanil, if you wake up at 4.00 AM and climb up a hill to the east, you will attend a wonderful sunrise that no agency offers...
Sur Amantanil, si vous vous levez a 4.00 du mat' et que vous montez sur une colline en vous dirigeant vers l'est, vous assisterez a un superbe lever de soleil, pas compris dans les tours des agences...
Get up early and see the sunrise. How often do you get to see the sun poke up from the highest lake in the world?
Wear something warm.