If you want to have a true experience staying in on island in lake Titikaka, that's Taquile. It's a small island with amazing people, free of cars, donkeys, horses and motors. All it has to offer is a scenic nature, 360 views over the lake of other Peruvian islands and some snow peaked shores of Bolivia, white sandy beach if you want to dip in the waters of titikaka, beautiful long walks on windy hills, passing through pre-inka ruins, along the way free roaming sheeps and cultivated fields of kinoa, corn, potatoes and corn (the only means of food possible to grow at these heights), amazing sunsets and sunrises. Local people wearing their colorful clothes will shyly walk away without greeting you but that's just because they are shy and they are taught to be afraid from differently looking people. The island is very calm and not touristy yet. On a stay of one or two nights you might find two or three couples/ friends or families staying overnight but in different houses so even if you walk the whole day you might not meet anyone. Travel agencies offer day trips to the island for a lunch stop of two hours so in mid day you will find groups of tourists walking around the plaza or full restaurants open to cater for lunch for these groups only. Standard lunch menu is 15s with kinoa soup, trout with fries, salad and rice and herbal tea and you may take it in any of the restaurants if you don't have any food arrangement with your hosting family.
Getting to the island is very easy, there is one official company from Puno port which provides collectivo services for 25s return ticket valid 15 days. It's the first office to your left side when you arrive at the port with sign board Taquile- the name is Soqta Suyo -Taquile. On the way to the island it has one stop at Uros- a floating island which is extra 5s entrance (it's your choice if you want to visit and get off the boat or wait for the rest for about 30-40mins). The journey takes about 3,5-4hours , boat departs at 7:45am (schedule subject to change) and arrives around midday. The same time all tour companies arrive to the island as well. The colectivo departs every day at 2:20pm, pick up from different port (just reconfirm with the captain which one) and you need to show up without prior reservation with the same ticket you bought.
Tourism is strictly controlled by the island elders to maintain the island's culture.
Boats from Isla Amantani stop for a few hours at the island. There are also direct boats from Puno, usually part of a tour that stops at the floating islands on the way, which arrives at 11:30am and departs by 2pm. Travel time by boat from Puno is 2 hours and 30 minutes each way.
If doing the two day tour, the total cost should be 86 soles: Boat-30, three island entrances-16 (0 for Uros, 8 in Amantani, 8 in Taquile), housing with three meals in Amantani 45. Do not let the tour operator tell you that there will be four islands.
A fee of 8 soles is charged when you enter the island.
Tours can be arranged through any travel agent in Puno for around $10 US, or easily acquired at the dock in Puno before 7:30am. From the dock, a boat leaves at 6:00am and one at 7:45am. They cost 25s, first go to Uros and then to Taquile. Return time in Puno is 5:30pm. The boats are typically nice, with reclining seats.
The only mode of transportation on the island is on foot via steep walkways.
Locals sell textiles and other souvenirs at booths typical of this area. Bargaining is frowned upon.
On the plaza there is a community restaurant. Profit is used to help the community. There are also several other restaurants. For tour groups, the elders mandate which restaurant the group will eat at. The food is simple, typically fish from the lake, although omelets are usually available for vegetarians. Food is expensive on the island, 15 - 20 soles for a set menu that would cost 8 soles on the mainland- would include a kinoa soup, trout with fries, salad and rice and herbal tea and you may take it in any of the restaurants if you don't have any food arrangement with your hosting family. As well as the choice of food is very limited on the island. So if you stay overnight or more, you can bring your own food or even bring some present like fruits, rice, sugar etc. for the family you will stay with.
There are about 70 families who have basic accommodation. The elders will decide which families will accommodate guests. It is more expensive to stay on this island than on Amantani.
There are plenty of families offering basic accommodation. Arriving to the island and you will find families outside of the elders control whom are offering housings, this is good option for an more authentic less touristic experience. Prices range from 15-25 soles a night
Be sure to catch the boat back to the mainland or plan on staying there overnight. Boats leave from the opposite side of the island as the dropoff point. It is possible to join a collectivo boat returning to the mainland so you dont have to pre book a ticket with an agency in Puno.