New boutique lodge Amantica, located on Amantaní Island, Lake Titicaca.
“As I cruised towards to the island under the midday sun, cutting through the stillness of the lake, Amantica Lodge slowly came into view. Perched on a quiet edge of Amantaní Island on Lake Titicaca, Amantica is a new stylish, private two-bed villa that I had the pleasure of testing out on a recent inspection trip to Lake Titicaca.
Already acclimatised to the giddying heights of the region (3,810m / 12,500 ft), having spent a relaxing couple of days on glorious Suasi Island, I was picked up earlier by Amantica’s boat to head over for a night of sumptuous relaxation at the luxury lodge, inaugurated in early 2016.
Whilst Amantaní Island is populated by a handful of villages, as I approached the villa immediately showed off its prime lookout position, comfortably secluded on its own nook – yet with traces of village civilization still easily in sight. From the lake, the exterior of the property seemed understated in contrast to the luxurious lair I was about to discover up-close.
A warm welcome and refreshing drink was quickly followed by a brief tour of the property. The lodge consists of two rooms – one double and one twin, joined by a spacious, shared bathroom. Walking in to the Master double bedroom from one of the two decking areas, I was immediately struck by the gorgeous design and the ultimate showstopper: the views. With a layout designed to make the most of these, the property undoubtedly presented an immediate wow-factor.
It was impossible to resist such a sublime view and I immediately went out to the main, private decking area – with a dining area and separate chairs perfectly positioned looking out over the lake. I spent the early part of my afternoon curled up on a bean bag enjoying nothing but the view from the deck, interrupted only by the occasional fisherman passing by below on a chugging boat to check his catch.
Thanks to its second bedroom, Amantica makes for an idyllic retreat that is perfect for romantic getaways or family relaxation. Couples can simply close off the second bedroom. The design, both interior and exterior, is an effortless blend of contemporary European finish with natural, local materials in keeping with the essence of the natural landscape.
Whilst it would have been easy to while away all my time in the villa for my one-night stay (we recommend three days and two nights), after a three course lunch cooked up by the dedicated chef trained at Gustu – Bolivia’s top restaurant, I decided to stretch my legs and climb one of the two peaks of the island, Pachatata and Pachamama, to catch the sunset.
A gentle uphill climb, I could appreciate more landscape scenery from the top beside an old Inca ruin. Only a handful of other tourists were here. On the descent back to the lodge we diverted through a village where rehearsals were in full swing for Candelaria festival. It was an authentic window into contemporary lifestyles on the lake. This walk is one of a few included activities at Amantica – other options include a visit to Uros floating islands, a traditional coca leaf reading led by a Shaman and stargazing.
Back in the comfort of the villa a bath had been run for me. The only serious quibble I had during my stay was that the water really fought to stay hot, despite a heater. I then curled up on my bed leafing through the trendy books on design and travel that decorate the shelves of the two rooms.
The 25m2 master room is complete with a fireplace which I was sure to test at night when the unseasonably warm daytime temperatures dropped. I didn’t even think to use the TV; Amantica is an ideal bolt hole where it is highly recommended to take advantage of the relatively remote location and switch off and disconnect. At the time of my visit Wi-Fi wasn’t yet set up and the reception from my phone provider was patchy at best. Instead I indulged my taste buds with a gourmet dinner that was once again immaculately presented, using local ingredients. All meals and drinks (excluding premium options) are included at Amantica, which can be easily tailored to dietary requirements with notice. A mini bar was due to be installed shortly after my visit.
After a restful night I woke on the day of my birthday to a breakfast treat of an artfully presented fruit salad, cheeses, avocado and breads. Had I had more time, I would have walked down to the beach that sits at the foot of Amantica – though temperatures of the lake make swimming an option only for the hardy!
My time at Amantica quickly flew by and I wish I could have stayed longer. But it was soon time to return to urban reality and my boat arrived for the short transfer back to the mainland. I left Amantica feeling relaxed and rejuvenated – what more could you want from an island retreat in the middle of the sacred lake of the Incas, Titicaca.”
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