The city of Puno is included to the department Puno and to the province Puno
Presentation of the destination
Puno is located at a height of 3,860 meters near the edge of Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian Altiplano. This was home to the great civilization of the Tiwanaku, they were the advanced civilization of the Aymara people. The Incas conquered this region in the 15th century and the Spaniards invaded this beautiful city in the 16th century. Puno is a combination of all these different cultures. A bustling town with mototaxis and triciclos in narrow streets, Puno is often refereed to as Peru's capital folklõrica, a festive town with colorful parades of religious themes. The climate is cold, because of it's altitude. The sun is hot during the day in July and August and it is common to get sunburns at this altitude. The rainy season is between October to April with a maximum of 14C and a minimum of 3C. The currency used is the Peruvian Soles.
Points of interests / things to see
Puno is on the edge of the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. This amazing lake is at a height of 3,820 meters and is part of the history, culture and heritage of this region. This lake has been inhabited by different civilizations over centuries and it continues to support a unique way of life, even in today's world. The locals of this area harvest reed from the lake, it is a charming sight to see boats brimming with reeds making their way back to the land to transport them to the hillside farms. The Uros Floating islands of Lake Titicaca is the main attraction of this lake. A beautiful trip to see the manmade creations that are built with totora reeds, these are harvested from the shallow areas of Lake Titicaca. The waters around this scenic lake are clear and you will find sandy shorelines along the lake. There are about 45 floating islands that are anchored in the Bay of Puno. Each island supports different number of people, they have lived like this for centuries, but today, the Uros people survive on tourism for their livelihood. These picturesque island have the native inhabitants wearing colorful traditional dresses and they sell innovative handicrafts that are created with the reed that is in abundance around them.
The Peruvian hills overlook the ancient tombs of Sillustani with the scenic view of the Lake Umayo in the background. These tombs are the ancient burial grounds of the Hatum Colla people that were built above the gound. They were the inhabitants of this land before the Incas invaded their territory. Breathtaking large towers rise majestically into the skies at over 200 feet. These towers were used to bury the family members of the nobles of their tribe. The Incas, after they invaded the Colla people in the 15th century, continued to use these grounds to bury their elders, but they made intricate decorations on the walls of the tombs. Walk around and admire the panoramic views of the lake with these ancient structures that have stood the test of time. There are many tombs in the complex that are well preserved and have carvings that reflect the rich culture of these people. Some of the tombs were raided by grave robbers and other appear to be unfinished. On the way back from this site, stop at a local farm house and discover the life of the locals today. Learn about the animals they rear like the alpaca, guinea pig and Llama. There will be markets along the way that sell alpaca sweaters at reasonable rates, a lovely souvenir.
The island of Amantani is about 4.5 hours away from Puno by boat. A beautiful island that is remote from Puno, so it is not as crowded as the other islands along the way. It is recommended to spend a night on this picturesque island that does not have any electricity or gas, to understand the rustic life that the inhabitants of this island face each day. This island is home to about 800 families and they are farmers and fishermen, who still practice the ancient system of the trade. Being a remote island, they offer entertainment for the tourists, who visit and spend the night on their island. Visitors to this beautiful and unspoilt island will enjoy the hikes and the trekking opportunities here. Notice the plants and the birds that are unique to this area. Each visitor is hosted by a local family in their house and will share their meals with them, though they don't speak English and only Quechua, the language of the Incas, it is an enlightening experience. Explore the markets on this island and browse through the beautiful handicraft that is typical of this area. The Shamans are popular fortune tellers, who will read your future from the Coco leaves during your meals. An enjoyable trip
The Isla Taquile is an island that has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. It is about four hours from the city of Puno. An ancient island that has managed to maintain it's culture and heritage without being influenced by tourism as it is further away than islands like Las Islas Flotantes. This scenic island is beautiful and visitors will enjoy the clear blue skies that are reflected in the still waters of this lake. Take a hike around the island and marvel at the Inca stone terracing and ancient monuments and ruins that are scattered around this area. A small island, it is easy to walk around and maybe stay the night with a local family, but be warned, there is no electricity on this island! The Isla Suasi is on the north shore of Lake Titicaca, a quiet island that has one hotel. This island is not inhabited and is a fairly new settlement from the late 1990, when the first hotel was built for tourists. A beautiful building that reflects the local art and architecture, it runs on solar power and is made of thatch and the locally available stone. Walk around this island and notice the garden that has an abundance of native herbs and vegetables.
Puno is a mixture of the culture and traditions of the Aymara and the Quechua people. The inhabitants of this city are of Andean origin and it is common to see them wearing their traditional clothing walking around the city. Take a hike around this city that is at an altitude of 3,820 meters. It is advisable to acclimatize yourself for a day before embarking on a hike at this altitude. The city is beautiful with it's local markets and small restaurants that have smoke coming out of it's chimney. The hills outside Puno offer the best views of the picturesque Lake Titicaca and the scenic village, but the surroundings are dangerous as there are frequent robberies in the area. Walk to Calle Lima and take a hike in the surrounding hills, it is safe and the views are spectacular. There are a few restaurants serving traditional local cuisine like the Peruvian delicacy, guinea pig. An interesting trip is the area of Chuciuto, this is about 19 km away from Puno. Hike to the top of the mountain in that area and you will see clearing that is frequented by the locals for their superstitions beliefs. They bring flowers, liquor bottles and place them near a makeshift fireplace to appease the gods.
The Museum Carlos Dreyer is a small curious museum that was created by a German painter and collector who lived at Puno. Walk around and admire the exhibits of Puno's history. There are displays of pre-hispanic art, colonial art, religious art, and stone sculptures. The Chullpas de Sillustani is outstanding and it has mummies with some gold burial artifacts from the ancient tombs. There are many artworks adorning the wall that are said to be the work of Dreyer. Address: Conde de Lemos 289 Entry fee Opening hours: 9:30am-7:00pm Monday-Saturday
The Cathedral de Puno is located on the western flank of the Plaza de Armas in Puno. This ancient cathedral can be dated back to 1757. The facade of this ancient cathedral is well sculpted in the Baroque style of architecture, but when you enter, you will be surprised at it's spartan interior. The walls are bare and the only decoration is the elaborate silver plated altar. The Pope Paul VI paid a visit to this ancient cathedral in 1964 and following his visit, you can see a Vatican flag that is hung to the right of the silver plated altar. Opening hours: 8:00am-noon & 3:00pm-6:00pm
This museum is different and eccentric with displays that cover a myriad of different topics covering medicine, culture and history of this region. There are interesting facts about the coca plant and the many therapeutic uses. The outlay is ordinary, but they have old photographs and many antique Coca-Cola advertisements, interspersed in the display! There is no co-relation between Coca and the Coca Cola, but this adds to the quirkiness of this museum. There is a beautiful display of the traditional dresses and you will be able to see similar models in the street parades during the festivals. Address: Deza 301 Telephone: +51 51 36 5087 Entry fee Opening hours: 9:00 am-1:00pm & 3:00pm-8:00pm
This industrial city is less than one hour away from Puna. Though there are not many tourist attractions, it is the main stopover for the airport, bus and train station. This city has developed rapidly because of the cement factory. There are many restaurants and hotels that serve authentic local cuisine and the local markets on Sunday and the Plaza Bolognesi are places to get good bargains on the local textiles and handicrafts. A friendly city, but the locals do not like to be photographed as they believe that their souls get sucked out slowly with each picture taken of them! They may humor you if you pay them some money though!
Vacation rentals in Puno (Puno)
How to get there ?
The airport closest to Puno is at Juliaca that is 50 km away from the city center. From the airport there are regular minibuses into Puno. Train: The train comes in from Cuzco and is run by the Peru Rail and the Orient Express, a spectacular trip on one of the world's scenic journeys. The tickets are expensive. From Cuzco, you can take another train into Puno. Bus: There are daily buses between Cuzco, Juliaca and Puno. The journey takes about 5 to 8 hours and it depends on the number of stops along the way. The Inka Express is a special tourist bus that begins at Puno and makes stops along the way at the tourist attractions. Take care of your luggage on the bus as theft is common in this transport. Getting around the city Walking is an excellent way to see the sights inside the city, but due to the altitude it will be slow and difficult. There are many taxis that will take you around, but do bargain and fix the rate before you get into one. Triciclos and mototaxis are the preferred transport choice inside the city.
Hotels in Puno (Puno)