a VirtualTourist member
I am really looking forward to the idea of staying overnight with a local family tour on Amantani island.
I have read that many have done it through a travel agency/operator. However, I suspect that the family sees far less money if the stay is arranged that way.
I came across the following E-mail of the local community: email@example.com
Unfortunately, the E-mail account does not exist anymore.
Can anybody help me on how to contact the local Amantani community and making sure most of the money is really benefiting them?
Stays on Amantani island with a family are managed by the community cooperative. The families involved are rotated. The costs of the stays are generally included in the very economic tours that include boat, guide, most food and the family stay. I am sure that if you took the local transport boat to the island, upon arrival you would be directed to the next family in line for visitors. There would be no need to book ahead of arrival. I am not sure what the cost would be, but based on the tour prices it could not be much. (In fact, the local boat cost even after serious discounting still seemed to be about 2/3rds the cost of the overnight tours when purchased at the Puno dock.) Unless you are going during June, July or August (the busy tourist months) finding a place to stay will be easy, but the packaged "tours" are really very convenient and a very good value for the money and they do not isolate you from the experience.
I really do not think that doing this on your own to try to cut out the tour workers/agents will get significantly more money from your point of view to the family (probably less than a dollar or two). Since the visit is personal you can make up any difference by bringing some food or other gifts that you can give directly to the family. Have a great visit, Bob
You can book at the dock for the boat and stay. We did this and personally I would not recomend it.
The price was the same as with an agency, I got the impression that the boat captain was getting a cut anyway plus he seemed to place us with all his extended family!!!
People on the boat got a very mixed bag of families, some were not very nice and hardly mixed with their visitors. I felt like I was treated like a convenient cash cow, no more.
If you go with a tour, at least you will get the evening 'traditional' fiesta (which may or may not be to your taste) and maybe better consistency in the attitude of the hosts selected by the agency.
I left feeling that I had wasted my night on Amantani and would recommend staying on Taquile instead. It's less far and you'll get to see the island for longer.