The city of Puno, capital of the Department of the same name, is located in the south-east of Peru, in the borders of the Titicaca Lake, the highest navigable lake of the world and source of life to the surrounding towns.
Puno, considered a legend town, offers to its visitor magnificent pre-Hispanic funerary monuments, colonial churches and rustic natural landscapes covered with “ichu” that provide a spectacular vision of the life of the Peruvian plateau.
By these places the Aymara, Quechua, Uro, Pacaje and Puquina cultures were developed, towns that after the Spanish conquest, merged with elements of the West, originating a rich mestization that at present is manifested in its varied cultural expressions, artistic and folkloric.
The weather is cold and dry, typically altoandino. The average annual temperature is 9 ° C, but is expected to drop to 0 ° C during the winter. The rainy season runs from November through March. Because of its altitude, 3827 m, altitude sickness is a contingency to take into account in this destination.
Located to the east of Puno 3810 m. above sea level, the highest navigable lake of the world has a maximum length of 194km and an average width of 65 km. It is habitat of birds, like the parihuanas (bird that gave origin to the national flag), fish and totora, an aquatic plant that reaches 3 ms height. Totora is used by the Uros as a construction material of houses and rafts, also as children food because it is a very good source of iodine. From the port of the city of Puno start the excursions to the islands of the Uros, Taquile and Amantaní.
Island of Los Uros
Los Uros is a town that lives on approximately 40 floating islands made of totora, occupying large part of the National Reserve of the Titicaca. The Uros gather around the maximum religious authority of each family: the grandfathers. They do the hunting, and fishing. Their great ability to weave totora is used in the manufacture of rafts, houses and crafts.
It is a calm island of the Titicaca Lake, located about 35 km to the east of Puno by boat. In Taquile there are neither highways nor electricity, but there are abundant hills and archaeological remainders. The most important attractions are the landscape, dominated by terraces in which potatoes, maize, quinua and bean are cultivated; ceremonial centers where rites are performed so that the harvest and the fishing are abundant; and the hospitality of its people.
It is inhabited by nine communities that are dedicated to the cultivation of particular products as distinctly Andean potatoes, corn and okra. They emphasize their crafts, textiles and beautiful carved in stone, and two ceremonial centers located in the highest part of the island, from where it is possible to see the lake in its entirety. Villagers provide accommodation and the opportunity to share their experiences.
Ruins of Sillustani
At 34 km to the north of the city of Puno, to borders of the beautiful lagoon of Umayo, we found the enigmatic chullpas built by the collas, some of which over 12 m. height. Destined to bury the most important people of this town, the Chullpa of the Lizard and the Intiwatana stand out.
Corridor of the Aymaras
This route borders the south of the Titicaca Lake, crossing a series of towns of great tradition and archaeological sites. This corridor is characterized by the profusion of churches and to serve as a natural route between the Inca capital (Cuzco) and the Alto Peru (Bolivia) since the times of the viceroyalty.
It begins in Chucuito, a town located 18 km to the south-east of Puno, where we find the Inca Uyo, site that was used to invoke fertility, known also as the Temple of the Falos. Following the route one visits the towns of Acora y Lave, considered the second commercial center of department; passing Juli, the most important Jesuit religious center; and finally Pomata, town located at108 km of Puno, in which the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary worked in pink granite stands out.