The whole Capachica's peninsula is a district of Puno's Province, located North-East of the Department´s capital city.
At this peninsula there exist thirteen communities, the ones located in the lake have more tourist interest, like Llachon, Ccotos, Escallani and Capano communities are the most relevant...
The predominant topography over the riverside has a light slope, allowing the formation of varied and beautiful whitish sand beaches, protected by rocky formations that work as buttresses against the winds. Its thin white sand beaches astonish the visitors and tourists.
The rest of the peninsula shows an irregular topography, plains, small valleys and ravines, big height hills like Allan Pucara and Auki Carus from where the tourist would have an impressive sight on the Lake Titicaca, the islands of Taquile and Amantani, and Ccotos's archipelago...
Due to the thermoregulator effect of the Lake Titicaca and to the geographical disposition, the Peninsula is protected from winds and a micro climate that allows variety of products but also the natural development of several nativeand imported hoist and shrubs such as: Kollis, Kantutas, Pines, Brooms, Eucalyptuses, Cypresses, Rose-bushes, Apple trees, Q'eñuas, Small peaches, Dahlias, great variety of Cactus and the Tumbos which branches, leaves, flowers and fruits climb over the ceilings of the houses. Many of these plants not only are considered to be ornamental, but they also belong to the list of natural cures daily used by villagers.
In this small natural paradise, where the man action joins to nature´s harmony, many animals have found a privileged life environment, for some species such as foxes, skunks, wild guinea pigs and specially birds that pair here, like eagles, ducks and pariguanas (flamingos)...
Capachica's peninsula probably was populated since long time ago, possibly before cultures Pukara and Tiawanacu stablished there, as it would be verified by " old housings made on unpolished cyclop stone, with flat stone roofs ". Also remains of several chullpas (or funeral tombs), located in Llachon's community, some with engraved figures of puma , these constructions might belong to cultures Pukara and Tiawanacu.
Capachica was founded and named "San Salvador de Capachica " by the Spanish colonists. The name "San Salvador" was given by a group of grateful Spanish to this saint , when they were sailing on a rudimentary ship through the lake, sank and after many prayers finally could save their lives, due to that adventure they decided to build the church consecrated to San Salvador de Capachica. A 1740 bell remains on the church tower.
It seems that during the Viceroyalty times, it was an important place, a regular spanish population lived in this region, as it was an important mining center... ruins of old mines remain in the Hills of Allan Pucara, Toctoro Capilla, Pata de Capano, as witnesses of the history of those times.
After those times Capachica lost importance...
Nowadays the Peninsula becomes important once again due to the growth of tourism that´s been increasing, tourist visit the communities and the beautiful beaches...
Ccotos's Community stands out beacuse of the beauty of its natural landscapes, its pretty white sand beaches and its islands archipelago, near to the great Amantani island.
Hilata's Community, has the beautiful beaches of Chifrón, over there every year a beauty contest takes place.
The Community of Escallani, with colourful natural landscapes, also has beaches and a high knob viewing-point.
In Chillora's community, we can find the spectacular Caliria beach, surrounded by capricious forms hills.
Siale's Community also stands out for its pretty beaches.
Llachon's Community, also located over the lake shores, it is a privileged place, few years ago the community decided to work on the tourism industry, offering to national and foreign visitors the possibility of living the community lifestyle experience and their daily work life. The villagers have arranged one private room for their guests with certain facilities and visitors also are able to try local Andean inspired dishes... An experience that goes beyond the regular city life ... and a charming experience too.
All of these communities have also a refined and original fabric craftwork.
The traditional costumes are one of the region´s must see, because they keep their charm across centuries, giving a color touch to the daily life of the peninsula.
All year long, holidays, carnivals, weddings and more festivities bring life to the communities giving them a splash of coloured ancient traditions...
The most relevant holidays are:
From January 01 to January 06, new years eve and the three wise men´s day, crowds go to towns main squares and dance around fires (capus), disguised as elders (caramachos) with masks with long noses and whips imitating old Spanish colonists.
On January 20
Saint Sebastian festivities at Escallani's community, a very colourful dance party: the Machu Aychas, warriors dance, where giant flutes called Pinquillos are played.
On February´s first thursday
In Llachon's community, a ritual ceremony on Auki Carus hill is celebrated to honor Mother Earth. A "payment" to Pacha Mama.
On May 02
District´s anniversary. Folklore music groups participate at Capachica town playing typical dances and bullfighters costume contest.
On May 15
In Llachon's community, San Isidro Labrador festivities take place. on the Calvary "Qosqe", the farmers recreate the saint´s activities by using small ploughs and young calves.
On June 13
In Llachon's community, Saint Antonio de Padova is celebrated, with a big procession around towns main square, and bullfights.
From August 05 to August 07
Saint Salvador is celebrated with processions and the people of Capachica dance to honor their Saint. Traditional dances and bullfighter costume contests too.
© Christian Nonis