There are many unique things to do in Puno Peru. It was an important place for the Incas, and officially founded in 1668 by a Spanish viceroy. It is known as the folkloric capitol of Peru, hosting several festivals throughout the year. Most visitors to Puno are there to see Lake Titicaca which crosses the Peru-Bolivia border.
What to Do In Puno and Lake Titicaca:
1) Lake Titicaca: One Day
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,500 feet above sea level. Inca myth states that the first Inca, Mano Capac, rose from its waters. The Lake is notable for its floating islands, called Uros, that are artificially made from floating reeds. A one day tour of the lake will also pay brief visits to the natural islands of Taquile and Amantani.
2) Lake Titicaca: Two Days
A two day tour of Lake Titicaca includes a visit to the Uros people, walks through Taquile Island and a night’s stay with a local family on Amantani Island. This island is populated with Quechua speakers and is host to two mountain peaks with ruins on top.
3) The Yavari Viceroy Steam Ship
This ship was taken to Lake Titicaca in 2,766 pieces. Construction began by the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd in London in 1861 and ended in 1870. The ship was restored in the 1990s and now hosts a museum.
Sillustani is a pre-Incan burial ground near Lake Umayo. The tombs were built by the Colla people before Inca conquest. They are built as large, stone towers and were intended to emphasize the connection between life and death.
Puno’s main market has a very large variety of handicrafts, cloths, food and items you would never even think about. Some of the handicrafts come from Bolivia, and most get distributed throughout various parts of Peru. The market is a good place to buy quality items at discounted prices.
Puno has a fusion of Catholic and Andean beliefs which have created an aura of folkloric mystery that should be on any traveler’s itinerary when visiting Peru.