Puno Things to Do

  • Traditional music, dance, and clothes
    Traditional music, dance, and clothes
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    Jiron Independencia
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Most Recent Things to Do in Puno

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    Lake Titicaca: Taquile Island, the history...

    by ValbyDK Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    Steep staircase, and beautiful view of Titicaca
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    Taquile Island is located nearly 35 kilometre or 3 hours sailing from Puno, and is 1 kilometre wide and 6-7 kilometre long. It is inhabited by around 350 families consisting of 3,000 people, and the small community is following some old traditions. The three main rules are: Don’t steal, don’t lie, and don’t be lazy! And it seems to work, there are no theft and no divorces on the island…

    The island is especially known for their beautiful textiles with unique designs – and it is the men who knits the products. Knitting skills are actually quite important for a Taquile-man. If he wants to merry a woman he must prove his sincerity by knitting a waterproof hat for her! He has three attempts to do so and if he don’t succeed he will never have another chance to marry her… All residents wear a knitted hat (‘chullos') in a colour that indicate their social status. A black hat = part of the island council, a red hat = married, and a red/white hat = unmarried...

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    Lake Titicaca: Floating Islands

    by ValbyDK Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    Floating Islands, and the Uro Indians
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    The Uro people have been living on floating islands for centuries, and there are still around 40-50 islands located in Lake Titicaca. The main sources of income for the Uros have always been fishing and hunting, but now it seems that tourism has taken over... and a visit to one of the islands is quite touristy, but still very interesting...

    We were greeted by the Indians, and they gave us a guided tour of their floating island, showed us the family houses, told us about their lifestyle, and demonstrated how the islands are made of ‘totora’, which is a papyrus-like plant. We also went on an interesting sailing trip around the islands in a raft made of ‘totora’. The Uro Indians are great raft builders and it is said that they inspired (and helped) Thor Heyredahl to built his ‘Kon-Tiki’ raft... You can buy souvenirs and crafts from the Uros, but it was not like we were feeling obliged to buy something. Some kids were begging for money or candy, bring pencils, pens, crayons, and paper instead…

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    Lake Titicaca

    by ValbyDK Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    Lake Titicaca
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    Lake Titicaca sits 3,812 meter above sea level, making it the highest lake in the world where shipping is possible, and by volume of water it is also the largest lake in South America. The lake is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia and is split between the two countries. The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department.

    We booked a day trip through ‘Panorama Peru’ on Lake Titicaca (to the ‘Floating Islands’ and ‘Taquile Island’), and had a fantastic day! The tour boat was great with comfortable seats at the lower deck and a nice sundeck on the top. The lake is so big that it looks like the sea, and on windy days there can be high waves! But we were lucky, the weather was perfect - high sun and no wind at all. Remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat on a sunny day… and maybe a jacket in the morning/late afternoon…

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    Condor Hill / Mirador de Kuntur Wasi

    by natiss68 Written Nov 25, 2012

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    We just came back from traveling around Peru. I never wrote anything like this before. But now I feel I have to warn everybody who is looking "things to do in Puno - Peru". My boyfriend and I were attacked by 3 local guys with gun and knifes on "Condor Hill". We were robed (phones, cameras, money, watch) at about 3pm!!! My boyfriend was stabbed with knife few times in his legs ( he got stitches later in Cuzco clinic) Our vacation was ruined... Please, be very very careful! Those people are pro! And that view was not worth our lost.

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    Condor Hill / Mirador de Kuntur Wasi

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Me at Condor Hill
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    The Condor Hill (or Mirador de Kuntur Wasi) is a great viewpoint with stunning views of Puno and Lake Titicaca. It is located at the top of a very steep staircase with more than 600 steps! A hard climb in thin air, but the staircase has a few plateaus with benches on the way to the top. This is a good opportunity for a pause and to catch the breath before continuing the steep climb. At the top, you are rewarded for the climb... 4,017 meters above sea level, and an amazing view... There is also a large condor monument, which has a wingspan of 11 meters, and a small shop selling sodas, water, and chips. I’m glad I don’t have to bring supplies up the stairs…

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    Parque de Huajsapata / Inca Manco Capac

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Inca Manco Capac
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    Parque de Huajsapata is a natural lookout spot with nice views of Puno and Lake Titicaca - but not as great as from the Condor Hill... In the centre of the park is a statue of the first Inca, Manco Capac. It stands on a white concrete pedestal and is about 10 meters high in total. A legend says that inside the monument is a portal connected to the ‘Qorikancha' temple in Cusco...

    Parque de Huajsapata is located a few blocks west of Plaza de Armas, and the statue of Inca Manco Capac is visible from the main square. However, don't visit the park alone - several robberies have been reported...

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    Arco Deustua

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Arco Deustua
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    Arco Deustua is a monument honoring Peruvians, who died in the Independence War with Spain in 1824. It is located at Jiron Independencia, just north of Parque Pino. The area around Arco Deustua is a little isolated and there is not much to see, only the monument and a view of the city of Puno...

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    Museo Carlos Dreyer

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Museo Carlos Dreyer
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    Carlos Dreyer Spohr was a German painter and collector, who lived in Puno for more than 30 years and was very interested in the various Indian cultures in the area. He created his own collection of ancient Indian and colonial artefacts, and it is now exhibited in what may have been Dreyer's own home(?) at Plaza de Armas in the centre of Puno...

    Museo Carlos Dreyer is a small, but interesting museum. It has exhibitions of pre-Hispanic art, stone sculptures, religious art, colonial items, and the exhibition about the Chullpas de Sillustani (my favourite) with mummies and many gold objects from the ancient tombs on display. Also the huge paintings of famous Indian events are impressive, some of the colourful oil paintings are actually painted by Carlos Dreyer himself...

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    San Juan Bautista Church

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    San Juan Bautista Church

    The San Juan Bautista Church is located at Parque Pino in the centre of Puno. It began as a simple chapel about 200 years ago, but was rebuilt as a formal church in 1876, and is now the sanctuary of the ‘Virgin of the Candleholder’, Puno’s spiritual guardian and patron...

    I have read that there are many pictures and statues of the ‘Virgin of the Candleholder’ inside the church, but I never saw with my own eyes... The first time I wanted to visit, the entrance was blocked by some colourful dancers and a TV-crew shooting their performance... The second time a mass was going on, and I only had a quick look of the interior from the entrance...

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    Parque Pino

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Parque Pino

    Parque Pino is a small square in the centre of Puno. It is named after Dr. Manuel Pino, an old war hero, and a statue of the doctor is erected in the middle of the square.

    Around the square are the church of San Juan Bautista and the National College of San Carlos.

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    Conde de Lemos Balcony

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    The Balcony

    Opposite Museo Carlos Dreyer (at Plaza de Armas) is an old colonial building from the 17th century. It was the home of Viceroy Conde de Lemos (the founder of the city of Puno), but today the building serves as the cultural department of the National Institute of Culture of Puno...

    The carved wooden balcony, well hidden behind some electric power lines, is quite famous - and the highlight of the old yellow building...

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    Chullpas de Sillustani

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Chullpas the Sillustani
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    Chullpas de Sillustan is located about 35 kilometre north of Puno, a 45 minutes ride by car. It is an old burial ground for important spiritual and political people from the K'olla culture, and later also used by the Incas. Around the area are numerous burial towers ('chullpas'), some up to 12 meters high. The towers are hollow inside and in the cavity, mummified corpses were placed in fetal position to prepare for a rebirth. Unfortunately many of the circular stone towers are in a bad condition, some of them due to grave robbers, who once ravaged the area...

    The funeral towers are built on a hilltop with breathtaking views over Lake Umayo, a very impressive scenery. However, the wind from the lake was quite cold, so bring warm clothes when you are visiting 'Chullpas de Sillustani'.

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    Puno Cathedral

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Puno Cathedral
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    The Catedral Basílica San Carlos Borromeo (or Puno Cathedral) is a baroque cathedral located at Plaza de Armas in the centre of Puno. It was built in 1757 and has a beautiful facade with many details. Unfortunately, a big fire in 1930 destroyed much of the historical artwork in the cathedral and it is definitely more impressive on the outside than the inside... The big altar is the highlight IMO, but nothing compared to the cathedrals in Lima or Cusco...

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    Plaza de Armas and Jiron Lima

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 7, 2012

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    Plaza de Armas
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    Plaza de Armas is a good place to start sightseeing in Puno. It is the city's main square, and is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, the town library, an art gallery, and the 18th century stone cathedral. In the centre of the square are trees, bushes, and flowers – and a monument of an unknown war hero.

    The pedestrian main street, Jiron Lima, begins at Plaza de Armas and continues forward until the Arco Duestua monument. It is a street filled with tour operators, street vendors, shops, restaurants, bars, and a few hotels and guest houses...

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    Lake Titicaca: Taquile Island, our visit...

    by ValbyDK Updated Aug 6, 2012

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    Traditional music, dance, and clothes

    We arrived at a small harbour, and were met by a member of the island council. They distributes all visits so that everyone have their share of tourism revenues. We followed a small path up the hilly island, it was quite steep, but with great views of Lake Titicaca. We didn’t have to take care of the traffic because there are no cars or other vehicles on the island... At a community house, we had a tasty lunch (soup and fried trout). Some elderly residents started playing music and dancing for us, and we were invited to join the dance. You can buy souvenirs and crafts, but we didn’t feel obligated to buy anything. On the way back to our boat we visited the main town (a small square, a few shops, the town hall, and a church) and had to climb down a difficult staircase with 544 uneven steps! Taguile Island was a great experience, we only visited on a day trip, but it is also possible to stay overnight. Please respect the community and way of life when visiting! The local residents may seem a little shy, don't speak to them unless they contact you first...

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Puno Things to Do

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