Villagers in Llachón, a charming village on a peninsula near Puno  and Juliaca , may not wear traditional clothing anymore, but staying with families is every bit as interesting, and less touristy, than visiting Islas Amantaní and Taquile .
Valentín Quispe (tel. 051/982-1392, llachon [at] yahoo [dot] com), who lives outside of town near a cemetery, runs a rustic lodge with fabulous views over the lake for US$12 pp, room and board. The little cabins, with whitewashed walls and thatched roofs, are at the top of a hill and seem like stone huts in the sky. Nearby, an adobe arch supports nothing and leads nowhere—but it beautifully frames a piece of the lake itself. At night a billion stars come out, including the Southern Cross, pointing the way to Isla Amantaní.
Valentín also arranges homestays with other Llachón families, and his lodge serves as the point of departure for kayak trips to the islands. The kayaks can also be rented from Valentín for the day for a reasonable price, and there are the ruins of a pre-Inca temple at the top of a nearby hill.
Llachón can be reached by private boat from Puno  in the Mercado Bellavista or by bus from Juliaca ’s Talara Street. Buses leave here every half hour for the village of Capachica (1.5 hours, US$1.50), from which the half-hour taxi ride to Llachón should be US$7–8. There is a nice beach at Llachón with free camping and a French-owned campground at one end that can rent tents or provide meals. Anglers are glad to take travelers to nearby Islas Taquile and Amantaní, only 11 kilometers away from here, by sailboat for US$6 or private motorboat for US$36.