The trip to these islands begins with a two-hour drive along the Lake Titicaca ’s south shores, visiting the towns of Juli  and Pomata , before passing through Yunguyo to the port of Punta Hermosa . Visitors than hop aboard a sailboat for a two-hour ride to Anapia’s beach, where the father of each family leads each visitor to their new home. That afternoon families and guests go hiking on nearby Isla Yuspique, which has a large herd of vicuñas, and have a beach picnic to try huatia, which are potatoes cooked in a natural oven with pieces of hot soil.
The trips are not staged or overly planned, which seems like a good thing, so the activities vary: There is usually an evening meeting of neighbors, with conversation and music, or a chance to herd animals, fish, or help build a house. Depending on the time of the year, visitors also help plant or harvest crops.
All Ways Travel (Tacna 234, tel. 051/35-5552, allwaystravel [at] titicacaperu [dot] com, www.titicacaperu.com ), managed by a father-and-daughter team in Puno , runs a socially responsible homestay program on Islas Anapia and Yuspique, in southern Lake Titicaca . All Ways Travel is introducing a new brand of sustainable tourism that gives back to, and helps preserve, the communities they work with. As a mark of its success, All Ways Travel recently won an award from the Ford Foundation for the Best Community-Based Project in Peru.
Since the project began in 1997, All Ways participants have helped to build a library and a puppet theater and to paint the local school. For a group of four, costs are US$65 pp for one night and US$75 pp for two nights (the latter is recommended). This trip also works well for travelers either coming from or continuing on to Bolivia and can be combined with a visit to Tiwanaku or the Islas del Sol y de la Luna.
For budget travelers, Eliana at All Ways is also glad to explain how to do this trip independently, for about US$43 for two days, using public transportation and boats, which only run on Thursdays and Sundays.
Edgar Adventures (Lima 328, tel. 051/35-3444, www.edgaradventures.com ) also leads trips to the islands.