It is located on the Andean plateau, the city of Puno is dominated by the presence of Lake Titicaca, sacred place of the Incas and populated by natural and artificial islands of Peru. Puno has prehispanic archaeological sites of circular constructions called from their origin chullpas, which attract tourism every year. Its churches are characterized by a marked colonial architecture. It is a town proud of its Quechua and Aymara past of folkloric tradition that overflows every year in dances and rites during the Virgen de la Candelaria Festival.
Puno is a legend, multicolored party, populated by natural and artificial islands. Puno is full of wonderful things that the visitor can experience and feel, our senses are open to this fascinating Andean world, Puno has a special flavor, some say it is the immense Lake Titicaca, which is the first thing you see when entering the The city, considered the largest lake in Peru, said waters were the source of countless legends, which come to life every time they are told.
Access roads – Puno
The Puno region due to its very rugged geography (it is located in the Andes mountain range), which is accentuated in the area comprised by the Collao plateau, has a poor network of paved roads that communicate the villages, the road network. It is only dense in the provinces located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, however despite these difficulties, the Puno region is well connected to the neighboring regions with which it has a very fluid traffic of people and goods.
The region has the South Panamerican route and the south interoceanic highways, the most densely traveled segment is the Juliaca – Puno highway, which daily receives hundreds of public and private transport cars. The region has an airport found in the city of Juliaca, this one located especially by the plain geography of the area and the infrastructure it offers.
Gastronomy – Puno
As in the rest of the Peruvian territory, the gastronomy in Puno is delicious and maintains a historical legacy. Recipes that passed from generation to generation and that today are the favorites of the palates of tourists who come to this department of the Peruvian highlands. Then, the typical dishes most representative of Puno.
Quinoa fish: The fish is a dish of the Puno gastronomy where the essential ingredient is quinoa. In the localities of the Puno region this stew is prepared during the breakfast and it is accompanied by fresh milk and cheese. It is very delicious and easy to digest, says the people who consume it continuously. To cook it, according to Punenian housewives, ingredients such as quinoa, salt, butter, water, cheese and fresh milk are required.
Chairo: It is a succulent and nutritious Puno soup, one of the most requested by the locals after each working day, due to the high content of nutrients. It is a meaty stew prepared with lamb meat, chalona (dried lamb meat), vegetables (carrots, celery, beans, garlic, onions), potatoes, black chuño, salt and oregano leaves.
Pesque of quinoa: It is a very nutritious dish. It is based on quinoa, cooked in cold water without salt. Vegetables are added. Put all the ingredients in a pot of water with salt, the head and backbone of the fish or shellfish to be cooked. Strain the broth and add the vegetables, potatoes, quinoa and fish.
Fried trout: It is a fish that is acquired from Lake Titicaca in Puno, it contains proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals. Trout is a very nutritious food because its meat has potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. This dish is simple to prepare, usually accompanied with creole salad and fried or boiled potatoes. Fry the trout, accompany it with potatoes, corn and “chuño” parboiled or it can also be with fries and rice, usually Creole salad is added as in many Peruvian meals.
Alpaca meat : It is a delicious and nutritious dish from Puno. First the meat is cooked until the water is consumed, then with the same brown fat. It is served with chuño, potato and roasted serrano corn (serrana court). Sometimes it is served with criollo sauce. Alpaca meat is recognized as one of the most nutritious foods in Peru, because it has 22% protein, 56 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat and a fat content of 3%, which is why it is considered a light product par excellence .
Puno parboiled: Also known as sajta, it is a dish that is made with chicken or chicken meat, potatoes, peas, enough onion and carrot, all mixed with yellow ground panca chili with peanuts, cheese, cookies and huacatay. It is served with tomato and chopped parsley. The classic sajta uses as a base the belly of the beef, white chuño, yellow potatoes, peas, carrots and ground peanuts. It is an ideal gastronomic dish to recover energy
Climate of Puno:
The ideal month to visit the Puno region is in the month of February and this is not only due to the weather, but also because this month the festival of the Virgen of the Candelaria is celebrated, full of color and happiness, leaving the height and the cold side. The festival takes place every year on February 2 and there are many traditional dances, both in the city of Puno itself and in nearby towns, where its more than 300 types of dances are displayed, justifying the title of Folkloric Capital of Peru and America.
Throughout the year the climate in Puno is semi-dry and quite cold due to the height and geographical location. Its altitude oscillates between 3,827 m.a.s.l and up to 6,000 m.a.s.l. in certain places. The average annual temperature is around 8 ° C, reached in winter season, a maximum of 15 ° C and a minimum of 1 ° C.
Tourist Attractions – Puno:
CITY OF PUNO:
The Cathedral (magnificent construction of mestizo baroque style, seventeenth century, with a leafy facade of carved stone, where Christian and indigenous motifs are mixed); Balcony of the Count of Lemos (house where the founder of the city lodged in its arrival to Puno in 1668): the Carlos Dreyer museum (street Conde de Lemos 289); and the Museum of Popular Art (Jr. Deza 257). In addition, to the east of the city, the Huajsapata hill, which is a viewpoint that allows to appreciate the lake and the city; Pino Park, modern and commercial center, and the craft markets of Cahuide Street and Laykakota Avenue.
Lake Titicaca and the floating islands: undoubtedly the great lake that unites Peru and Bolivia is the main tourist attraction of the department of Puno. The splendid landscape and the fascinating life of its inhabitants merit a visit to the Taquile and Amantan islands. The Chullpas of Sillustani, imposing and desolate landscape at four thousand meters high. Around the lagoon you can see pre-Inca circular towers that served as tombs to the characters of the Aymara nobility. Juliaca is the most important city of the department and the house of llamas and alpacas. On Monday there are important craft fairs. Chucuito, 19 kilometers from the city of Puno, has a beautiful church. Our Lady of Asunción, and a small Inca temple dedicated to fertility. The port of Juli from where you can embark to move to Bolivia, was an important missionary for the Dominicans and Jesuits. Excellent churches are preserved with a marked mestizo Baroque style.
TITICACA: A GREAT LAKE
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. It is located at 3,809 m.a.s.l, with an approximate surface area of 8,560 square kilometers, a length of 194 kilometers and an average width of 65 kilometers. Its waters harbor an extraordinary fauna: ducks, fish such as suche, carachi and trout. In its flora stands out totora (that serves as food to man and cattle, as well as to build houses, rafts and typical boats such as totora horses). Lake Titicaca, which links Peru with Bolivia, has 41 islands. The most important within the Peruvian territory are Taquile and Amantan. These are floating islands inhabited almost entirely by Aymaras mixed with the last descendants of the Uros. The villagers practice fishing with rudimentary nets and live in shacks built with totora.
How do I get to the city of Puno?
There are three ways to get to Puno, the first is via train with the company Andean Explorer, a trip that lasts 10 hours in which you will enjoy the beauty of the landscapes of the Andes. The other way is by direct bus from the city of Cusco in an average of 9 hours; Finally, a great way to get to Puno is with the “Sun Route Tour”, a trip that lasts a whole day (10 hours) from Cusco and important tourist destinations are known throughout the journey.
How long are the tours on Lake Titicaca?
It is according to your choice, you can do the 1 day tour, where you will visit 2 islands: Los Uros and Taquile, or if you want the 2 day and 1 night tour with overnight in the island of Amantaní. By staying to sleep in Amantani you will have the chance to live with people and learn a little more about their dances, their music and their customs in general.
Is it tiring or difficult to do the tours of Titicaca?
No, as it will be transported on a motorized yacht or boat by Lake Titicaca, completely safely; visiting the islands will not be tiring or difficult, in Los Uros you can take a boat ride to see the floating islands as a whole. In Taquile there is a bit of walking because you go up to know some archaeological sites you have and in Amantani the fatigue could be for having danced and enjoyed the popular party, it is not so tired or difficult, but it is comforting.
Can I travel as a family with children or minors?
Of course, there is no problem, moreover, this is one of the ideal trips in which you can enjoy with your family, it is so relaxing and fun that the children will also be distracted and it will not be boring for them. Outside of it, in the islands, they will meet children who have their same ages and when they get to know each other and they will learn another kind of culture and it will be a lot of learning.