Lake Titicaca & Puno
Welcome to the folklore capital of Peru!
The abundance of artistic and cultural expression through festivals, dance, and celebrations all contribute to Puno rightly earning this title. With festivals nearly every month, the dancing and music in the streets gives this lakeside town a traditional Andean life and vibrancy.
Situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca in the high terrain of the Andes, Puno serves as a stopping point for indigenous cultures leaving their mountainside communities to seek a life in the city. It is a virtual melting pot of Andean handicrafts and skills passed down through the generations.
With less than two miles of flat land between water and foothills, the growth of the city expands higher and higher on steep side streets. To climb any one of these streets allows for a great view of the Floating Islands of the Uros. These islands, man-made of floating reeds, support the life of the Uros people who were forced to build them to escape persecution when the Inca Empire expanded to Lake Titicaca.
Puno’s variety of people, natives, modern Peruvians and tourists, parallel its mix of scenery and activities on the water, the islands, the agricultural planes and the snow-capped mountains. Come bask in this variety on the shores of Lake Titicaca and enjoy everything that Puno has to offer.
LAKE TITICACA TOURS
Spend a day or two touring the islands on Lake Titicaca. The three major island destinations for Lake Titicaca tours are the Uros Islands, Taquile Island, and Amantani Island. The Uros islands were created by the Uros culture to escape the conquest of the Incas as they expanded their empire into the region. On the hilly Taquile Island, the inhabitants maintain their ancestral traditions, colorful dress, and artisanal crafts. The local inhabitants of Amantanti Island share their homes and traditions with visitors who want a homestay experience.
CASA DEL CORREGIDOR
Built in the 17th century and one of Puno’s oldest residences, the Casa del Corregidor contains an art gallery, book shop, cafe and a cultural center and offers workshops and exhibitions.
YAVARI AND YAPURA
The oldest steamships on Lake Titicaca were built in 1862 in Birmingham, England. They were shipped around Cape Horn to the eastern coast and then hauled by train over the Andes to Puno. The project took six years!
PUMA AND CONDOR STATUES
Walk up the narrow, steep streets and enjoy the view of the area while resting at the large statues.
On the shores of Lake Umayo, stand tombs as high as 39 feet tall. These tombs house the bodies of the elite pre-Incan Aymara people, as well as other semi-nomadic groups. Complete families were entombed together in the structures. It wasn’t the intention to mummify the bodies, but due to the dry environment of the tombs, bodies survived for centuries. In the 19th century, the tombs began to be referred to as “Uta Amaya”, or houses of the soul.