Santiago de Okola is a small fishing and farming community on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Members of our community are Aymara originarios with strong ties to the lake and the land were we live and farm. The imposing rock outcropping known as The Sleeping Dragon is our backdrop and provides excellent hiking trails and spectacular views from its crest. It is also a sacred spritual site, if you visit us you will understand why is it so and will continue to be so long into the future.
In 2008 we formed ASITURSO, a community-led and managed association dedicated to the development of sustainable resource use and management, principally through an agro-tourism project that seeks to help conserve traditional crops, crop varieties and associated cultural practices, reverse the flow of our youth from the village to urban areas and to increase incomes of community members and their families.
Today, ASITURSO has 24 members and 12 of us receive visitors in our homes. We have a very nice community museum and can take you on walks around the village, on an ascent of the Sleeping Dragon, for a swim or a boat ride and much more. When you stay with us, you help us preserver our traditional ways of life, so thank you in advance!
The Sleeping Dragon
The Sleeping Dragon rests its head on the edge of Lake Titicaca, with Santiago de Okola nestled below.
Doña Regina's Weaving Workshop
This image is from the weaving workshop offered by Doña Regina. Regina will show you how she weaves and you are welcome to give it a try!
Doña Natalia's Adobe Cottage
This photo shows the kids of home guests stay in during their homestays in Santiago de Okola. Simple, rustic, traditional architecture, the real thing.
Don Vicente Shares his Knowledge
During the community tour, you will be able to learn about traditional farming practices and the challenges presented by migration, climate change and other changes.
Traditional Apthapi Lunch
Many visitors to Santiago de Okola are able to enjoy a traditional "apthapi" lunch with community members. Each plate hold a different Andean delicacy!
Santiago de Okola's beaches are relatively clean, you may enjoy taking a walk along them or even going in for a bath! Ask the locals for recommendations on the cleanest (and warmest) spots for a dip.
Don Juan Cayo and Family
Don Juan Cayo is one of ASITURSO's founding members. Visitors stay with families such as Don Juan's and learn about daily life for him and his family.
Don Santiago's Guestroom
Each family that participates in the agro-tourism project offers distinct lodgings. This photo shows Don Santiago's cosy bedroom with an amazing view of the Sleeping Dragon.
Doña Lucia's Sheep
Many residents of Santiago de Okola manage small flocks of sheep, mixed with the occasional pig and one or two cows. Visitors are able to learn about animal care and use in a traditional village.
Don Tomas and Martha
Don Tomas is a founding member and the current president of ASITURSO. Martha is a technical advisor who has helped the community with the development of their project.
Challapata Peninsula is about an 45 minutes north of Santiago de Okola and its native Totora reed beds make for fantastic birding and photography.
Colorful Andean maize from Santiago de Okola's fields. The maize from Titicaca is the highest grown in the world! Each stalk produces one small cob in a variety of colors.
This valley is scene just before arriving (or shortly after departing) Santiago de Okola. The patchwork of fields, each a different color, make for a very pretty landscape!