PERU TRAVEL PLANNER
Puno Travel Information
Located in southeastern of Peru, the capital has the same name, Puno, is in the
highlands between 3.812 and 5.500 meters above sea level. It is one of the
highest cities in
Peru and the fifth in the world. Currently has an area of 1566.64 ha, which
represents 0.24% of the territory of the province of Puno. This department has
the world's highest
lake, Lake Titicaca; it contains the Uros, Taquile, Suasi and Amantani islands,
whose inhabitants have preserved ancient customs and traditions. It has
geographical units such
as the Andes and consists of the highlands, hills and mountains. It Borders on
the east with Bolivia, on the southwest with Tacna, Moquegua and Arequipa
departments, to the
west with Cuzco and to the north with Madre de Dios.
Through the years Puno has evolved gradually from village to city, this
process has been slow and demanded many activities and important events
that placed the city in what is today an important center of
administrative activities, economic flows and services.
10,000 years B.C. nomadic hunters and gatherers roamed the plateau
in looking for food.It was found tombs and caves with human remains,
ceramics and textiles belonging to human groups of Pucara and Tiahuanaco
culture. Pucara was the oldest urban center in the area, with monumental
architecture and valuable sculpture and ceramics. There ended the whole
previous stage of domestication of plants and high Andean animals and
then the civilization of Tiahuanaco was developed. From that time began
the construction of large buildings in the form of elongated truncated
pyramids, which became characteristic of Pucara. When Tiahuanaco
dissolved between the XII and XIII centuries, several kingdoms were
formed independently such as the Kollas, centered on Atuncolla and
Sillustani; Lupacas with Juli and Chucuito center, with settlements like
Cochacacha; and Pacajes around the Desaguadero.
Puno begins to appear as a town since 1575, assuming economic
functions, trade relations, settlement of miners, migration, making Puno
an important point. In the XVII century assumed a new role, being a
crossing point between Arequipa, Cusco, La Paz and Potosi.
In 1567, it was discovered the silver mines of Laikakota, and began to
organize a population of miners and in which space is configured San
Luis de Alba, 5km from the city of Puno, which became the most important
settlement before 1668 . Puno was founded that year by the viceroy Pedro
Antonio Fernández de Castro in the space that now houses the historic
In 1734 the bay of Lake Titicaca starts to take importance when was
originated a craft port in what is today the city dock, so Puno grows
towards the south and north sides. When the new Viceroyalty of Río de la
Plata in 1776 was created, segregated from the Viceroyalty of Peru, the
territory of became part of it, from 1784 until 1796, when Puno returned
to Peru after twenty years.
On the outskirts of Puno were developing activities such as
agriculture and cattle farming in smaller numbers. In 1835 starts the
export of wool to England being one of the most important activities for
several years. On 29 August 1856 it was established the University of
San Carlos de Puno with the faculties of theology, jurisprudence,
medicine, philosophy and literature and science. In 1871 the Yapura and
Yavari boats arrive in Puno and begin the build of the port of Puno,
urban activities take a turn toward the lake supported by the
construction of the railway which starts operating in 1874, these two
urban facilities makes Puno be consolidated to the east of the city in
the coming years. In 1875, Puno was a growing towards the south of the
city and the lake. In 1900, urban growth was setting over the bay of
In 1940, the commercial and artisanal activities in Puno were
reaffirmed, becoming an urban center. In 1943 there was a great drought,
the largest in history, which affected the migration to the city during
the next few years.
In the decade of 60, already have works and major projects like the
Municipal Theatre, Coliseum closed, paved avenues. In the 80's there is
significant migration from rural to urban product of socio-political
violence. In the 90's, migration pressure decreases, but the city
continues to grow horizontally, developments sits on the outskirts of
the city. Tourism begins to grow intensively, appears in the city a high
tendency for hotels construction. From 2000 it was continuing the paving
of streets, balconies are built in the hills surrounding the city, bay
project is started, also called eco-tourism pier
The city of Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and the
weather is cold and semi-dry. The rainy season begins in October and
ends in April. The average annual maximum temperature is 14 º C (58 º F)
and the lowest is 3 ° C (37 º F).
Getting to Puno
By Bus: From the city of Lima, the overland journey takes 18
hours with a stopover in the city of Arequipa: 1324 km / 823 miles. From
Cusco to Puno about 10 hours, 384 km / 239 miles, also you can go by
By air: Juliaca is one hour from Puno, there is the Inca Manco Capac
Airport which receives flights from the cities of Lima, Cusco and Arequipa.
Flight from Lima to Juliaca lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes, with a stopover in
Arequipa and from Arequipa 25 minutes. Lan Peru has three daily flights from
Lima to Puno, the three routes are made with a stopover in Cusco.
Main Touristic Attractions
The main square is one of its principal attractions, it has suffered many
changes, and it has a monument of Arica’s hero, Francisco Bolognesi. Also around
it and outskirts are many places to visit.
* Cathedral of Puno
* San Juan Church
* Balcony of Conde de Lemos
* Lake Titicaca
* Uros and Taquile islands
* Amantani Island
* Sillustani Island
* Lake Titicaca Ruins
Puno is the third city that receives the greatest flow of foreign tourists after
Cusco and Lima. Puno has many natural attractions such as Lake Titicaca which is
the highest navigable lake in the world, located at an altitude of 3810 meters.
The lake collects a total of 36 islands, being the largest the ones which are in
Peruvian territory: Uros, islands made by Totora, Taquile, the second largest
island in the lake and Amantani, north of the island of Taquile, is the largest
island on the Peruvian side of the lake. About archaeological attractions you
can visit Sillustani, located 34 km from the city of Puno.
Sillustani Chullpas half day tour
* Sun Island
PUNO TIPS – USEFUL INFORMATION
- The best option is booking a car or taxi from the airport to Puno in advance,
as the airport in Juliaca is approximately 1 hour from Puno. You can ask your
hotel or agency for a transfer.
- Schedule your tour to Lake Titicaca in the early morning because the boats do
not travel through the Lake after 16:00 and for security it would be better if
you book your tour with a day in advance.
- Bring sweaters, sunglasses, gloves, hats, and sunbluck.
- Take care of nature and monuments you visit. Always carries a bag to put the
garbage, do not bring artifacts that may alter the environment.
- It is recommended to stay at least 1 or 2 days to acclimatize.
- Avoid heavy meals and drink plenty of water, coca tea, muna tea.
- Try not to drink coca tea by night because it has similar effect to caffeine.
Security and Safety
- Avoid hiring services from people who are walking around air and land
- When you are traveling by bus, keep your valuables belongings with you, use a
- If you want to change money go to banks or exchange offices.
For international call: 00 + Peru Code (51) + City Code (Puno: 51) + Phone
Number (6 digits)
For national call: 0 + City Code (Puno: 51) + Phone Number (6 digits)
It is not difficult to make currency exchanges; there are many banks with
international networks and also exchange houses.
Culture and Entertainment
Fiesta de la Candelaria. The greatest feast day of Peru, celebrated each
year of February in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria, patron of Puno. The
celebration of the Virgin is associated with the celebration to the Pachamama or
Mother Earth. The festival takes place during the first two weeks of February,
dancers and musicians from all the department give joy to the streets of Puno.
This show could be considered as a unique manifestation of the cultural wealth
of the South American Andes. On September 2nd, 2003, the Feast of the Virgen de
la Candelaria in Puno was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation; it
represents an expression of traditional manifestations of culture of communities
located in the southern highlands of Peru, and contributes to regional and
Carnival, late February to early March. Participants play with water
balloons and dance traditional dances. Musicians and dancers walk through the
streets in colorful costumes.
Puno Week, takes place on the first week of November. It celebrates Manco Capac
legend, founder of the Inca Empire, with a procession starting from the shores
of Lake Titicaca to the village. There are also dances and music, including the
celebrations of the "Day of the Dead."
Immaculate Conception, Celebrated on December 9 in the town of Lampa. It
is a ritual full of authentic folk dances of the plateau. Lampa is 1 hour from
Miniatures Festival. Celebrated the first week of May of each year. May 3
is the opening day, which is displayed miniatures of everything, from houses,
cars, to cases of beer and more. The ritual is to acquire all these models and
to bless them with the image of the Virgenb de la Gruta.
Puno was declared the capital of Peruvian folklore,
on November 7th, 1985, because it has more than 350 dances. The folklore
of Puno is one of the richest because of its dances, songs, costumes and
masks that represents characters from centenarian’s legends. Some of the
main dances of Puno are Pandila Puneña (Punena Gang), which represents
the former Puneno inhabitants (Quechua – Aymara), this dance shows how
to love to the "Cholita Punena”, Sikuris is a ceremonial dance of origin
of the Inca era. Llameritos, was practiced by the inhabitants of the
place since ancient times.
Its cooking has simple procedures, varied and full of flavor, products such as,
chuno (dehydrated potato), quinoa, corn and meat, are the bases of Puno’s
cooking. The most representative dishes are Cancacho, Pesque de quinua, Chairo
Puno has a large number of restaurants which offers different types of food.
Here you can check the list that we have of the principal restaurants where you
can enjoy Peruvian and International food.
Jiron Lima is a free street with many restaurants and pubs. This street is the
center of nightlife and is visited by many tourists and locals who go looking
for distraction. Peñas with live music create a pleasant atmosphere.