We visited the Chullpas de Sillustani on a guided tour, and on the way back to Puno, we stopped at a local farm for a short visit. We were welcomed by the farmer's wife and daughter, and they showed us around their small farm. We saw the llamas, cows, guinea pigs, and learnt about the different kinds of crops they are growing. The wife served a boiled potato with homemade cheese for us – it tasted absolutely fantastic! The visit ended with a demonstration of how llama wool is processed and woven into various textiles. Very interesting. It was free to visit the farm, but a tip was appreciated - or you can buy some of their homemade textiles...
Inca Uyu Park is a walled enclosure filled with old Indian phallus sculptures. It might have been a part of a Temple of Fertility, but the origin of the park and the sculptures is actually not known for sure. Another theory is that it was part of a larger complex and was used for ceremonial rituals of political and religious nature. Inca Uyu Park was once visited by many women, who wanted to become pregnant, and were sitting on top of the sculptures for hours in hopes of increasing their fertility... Now not overrun with tourists and me and my friend were the only ones visiting the park located in Chucuito, about 20 kilometres from Puno...
When visiting, you should also take a closer look at Chucuito, a small town with a sleepy town atmosphere!
Acora has a big Sunday market, and the local people may travel 3-4 hours to reach it. The Uros people are here selling fish, and there are trucks from the Amazon loaded with fruit.
This isn't a souvenir market--it is for people in the region to buy or barter for the things they use. It is large and colorful, and gives a picture of daily life.
Acora is about 20 mi. (35 km) from Puno, on the other side of Chucuito.
These very interesting pre-Inca funeral towers are called chullpas. Most of these towers were built by the Colla (Aymara) in the 15th Century, for the burial of their important people. The chullpas are round, made with large stones, and are larger at the top than the bottom. One of the towers was white, and it was for women.
A long path loops back and forth from the parking lot to the top of the hill, going past the various towers. It is not a difficult walk.
There are some Inca ruins here also. The Intiwatana (Capture the Sun) was a solar calendar. There are 3 stair steps into it, representing the snake, puma and condor. Compasses don’t work within the circle due to magnetic rock.
Sillustani is located beside Umayo Lake, 30 km (18.7 miles) N of Puno. Take the highway toward Juliaca, and then turn onto a secondary road going west.
There are street food vendors in the tiny streets that surround bustling Lima Street in the heart of Puno, and if you're unafraid and up for adventure, I recommend that you try food sold in this set-up. I actually did and it was a wonderful treat that I enjoyed very much! The only people buying from these vendors were the locals and laborer types. It gave me much pleasure to eat in this set-up as this sure is the most authentic you can ever get.
Outskirts of Puno are the ruins at Sillustani. This plade is filled with mysterious cylindrical tombs all with an opening that faces the sun. Some of these tombs are massive. These ruins pre-date the Incas in this region.
When I saw this beautiful building I thought it might be a museum or official building, but it happened to be a school, as I saw the boys going out after classes. They were all wearing some kinf od uniform that reminded me a military place, but maybe it was just the ordinary uniform for shool boys...
In every little street in Puno you could discover charming houses, patios, gates, balconies... you just had to be aware and look around, enter the private houses, sneak around... I love that!
a bit up from Puno in direction to Cusco/Arequipa you can find the very old archaeological site of Pukara in very nice landscape