Puno is the birthplace of the Tiahuanaco culture, one of the most important pre-Hispanic cultures and the supreme expression of the Aymara people, Puno is considered a city of legends.
According to one, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who received instructions from his father, the Sun God, to found the Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, emerged from Lake Titicaca. The Inca Empire was divided into four regions – or own–one of them being the Collasuyo, which extended over the whole of the Plateau of Collao, including Puno.
When the Spanish arrived in Cusco in the mid–sixteenth century, they heard a great mineral wealth in this region, especially gold and silver. The bloody battles resulting in the seventeenth century for the possession of Mines Laikakota (9 km west of the town of Puno) forced the Viceroy Count of Lemos, to travel to pacify the area, resulting in the founding of the current City Puno, capital of the department, was founded on November 4, 1668, called San Carlos de Puno.
With the passage of time, in its effort to evangelize the indigenous people of the Peruvian highlands, Spanish priests erected beautiful churches, Puno artists who introduced the original style.
The department of Puno is located in the south of Peru. Has a rough topography with most of its cities in the mountain highlands. Bordered on the north by Mother of God, to the south Tacna, on the east and west Bolivia to Cuzco, Arequipa and Moquegua.
It covers an area 32.382 km2 square kilometers.
Population: 93,531 inhabitants in excess.
The capital is Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Capital: 3827 masl (Puno).
Minimum: 820 masl (Lanlacuni Low).
Maximum: 4725 masl (San Antonio de Esquilache).
The city of Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca and its climate is cold and semi–dry. The rainy season starts in October and ends in April. The highest average annual temperature is 14 ° C (58 º F) and minimum 3 ° C (37 º F).
Cuzco - Puno (06 hours approx): Lima–Arequipa–Juliaca–Puno: 1324km (18hras car)
Regular flights Cuzco – Juliaca / Lima – Juliaca (1 hour 45 minutes) / Arequipa – Juliaca (25 minutes).
Cusco – Puno (234Km (10 hours).
Inca Manco Capac International Airport – Juliaca.
Typical dishes and beverages
Puno popular cuisine is related to soups and stews potatoes and red meat.
Known as altitude sickness, is basically due to lack of oxygen. Usually occurs in non-acclimated who ascend above 2,000 meters. In less than 1 or 2 days. Tourists arriving by plane to Cusco is the most prone to altitude sickness. Symptoms usually occur within the first 48 hours of climb (although much later) and range from headache, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, dizziness, palpitations and difficulty concentrating to edema Acute lung.
The best way to prevent altitude sickness annoying, is making a gradual ascent. If you have time and can spend the first night of your trip to Cusco in the Sacred Valley, is less likely to become ill from altitude sickness.
It is important that those who come to Cusco, perform activities gradually. It is advisable to rest the first day, eat light and enjoy the delicious coca tea.
Main tourist attractions and surroundings
Cathedral of the city of Puno
The cathedral was built in the seventeenth century and its facade was carved by the Peruvian master stonemason Simon de Asto. This church is an example of Spanish Baroque and includes Andean elements that give the monument its mixed character.
The count of Lemos balcony
Intersection streets and Conde de Lemos Deustua.
Built circa 1668, is said to have stayed in this house the Viceroy Conde de Lemos when he came to the area to quell a rebellion. Currently works in the cultural complex where the National Institute of Culture of the Puno region and has an art gallery.
Municipal Museum Dreyer
The museum contains pottery, metalwork, textiles and stone sculptures pre-Inca and Inca. It also has a collection coins and documents dating from the founding of the Spanish city of Puno.
Built in stone, was erected by the people of Puno in memory of the patriots who fought for the independence of Peru.
Huajsapata is a natural lookout where you can see the city and Lake Titicaca, the summit is a monument to Manco Capac, founder of the Inca Empire.
Kuntur means "house of the Condor" and offers an excellent view of Puno and Lake Titicaca, where you get up a long stairway.
Titicaca National Reserve
This is a Natural Protected Area, created in 1978 to preserve the natural resources of the ecosystem of Lake Titicaca and the highlands and has an area of 36,180 ha.En the reserve have been dozens of species of birds, fish and amphibians.
Birds are the most numerous and there are over 60 species, among which parihuanas or flamingos, geese, gulls, chullumpis and lequeleques (there are endangered species). The flora of the lake is represented by twelve varieties of aquatic plants, including cattails and highlight the llacho.
This lake is very important in Andean mythology since, according to legend, its waters emerged Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, children of the sun god and founders of the Inca Empire. Peru and Bolivia share sovereignty over this navigable lake, the world's tallest (3810 meters).
It has an area of 8,559 km2, a maximum depth of 283 meters and the average temperature of the water varies from October to May between 9 ° C (48 º F) and 11 ° C (52 º F) from June to September between -7 ° C (19 º F) and – 10 ° C (14 º F). The lake is also tempers the area, because without them there would be no life at this point.
In the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, there are several islands, among which Amantaní, Taquile, Soto and Anapia (natural islands) and the Uros (artificial islands), each with different attractions. In the lakeside reeds growing where various birds and fish refuge as carachis, ispis, bream, umantos, (endangered), mackerel and trout, all native species are prized for their high nutritional value .
Uros Floating Islands
A 5 km west of the port of Puno (20 minutes by boat).
The islands of the Uros (3810 meters) are in the bay of Puno and are approximately 20. Each is inhabited by about 3 to 10 families uroaymaras who build their houses and roofs with reed mats, although there are some who have replaced their traditional roofs by metal ones. The main islands include Tupiri, Santa María, Tribuna, Toranipata, Chumi, Paraiso, Kapi, Titino,
Tinajero and Negron.
The Uros kotsuña call themselves "the lake people", and its origins date back to times before the Incas. Maintain the tradition of artisanal fisheries, especially carachi and silversides, as well as hunting wild birds. The men are skillful drivers reed boats and the women are expert weavers.
The cold, dry climate typical of the region in the area is attenuated by the action of the masses of water that is constantly evaporating.
A 36 km northeast of the port of Puno (3 hours and 30 minutes by boat).
Located 3817 meters, Amantaní has an area of about 9 km2. The flora is characterized by the presence of bushes as muña, kantuta, sage, tola and patamuña. Live on the island eight communities are devoted to growing potatoes, corn, oca, quinoa, beans and peas and most representative handicrafts consists of the textiles and stone carvings.
Among its natural attractions are two viewpoints on the top, where you can see the lake in its entirety, as well as some pre-Hispanic ruins, ceremonial centers and a cemetery of mummies.
A 35 km east of the port of Puno (3 hours by boat).
Its size is approximately 6 km2 and altitude between the port and the town varies slightly from 3810 meters to 3950 meters. The maximum temperature is 23 º C (66 º F) and the minimum is 7 º C (37 º F).
The remains of the island dating from pre-Inca times and can be seen at the top. During colonial times and until the early twentieth century, the place was used as a political prison, but since 1970 the island became the property of the Taquile.
Taquile is characterized by its friendly people, who maintain their customs, traditions and old dresses;. The locals are noted for their industrious and fine textiles with symmetrical decorations symbolic of bright colors that reflect their lifestyle, their customs and beliefs of the Andes.
A 18 km south of Puno
Also known as the City of the royal treasury because it was the tax collection center for the colony, there stand the main square and church of Santo Domingo Renaissance (XVI century) and Assumption (siglo XVII). On the outskirts is the shrine of the Inca Uyo featuring stone sculptures in the shape of a phallus, what is said in this place was worshiped fertility.
Archeological site of Cutimbo
At the height of 17 km of the road from Puno, Moquegua, about south of Puno (20 minutes by car) to the fork that leads to the complex.
This is a pre-Hispanic cemetery that belonged to the manors Lupaca and Colla. Although we find evidence of cave paintings up to 8000 years, the main structures date from the years 1100 to 1450 AD There are also traces of the Incas. Dominate the landscape or pucullos chullpas, a funerary towers large.
Archaeological complex Sillustani
A 34 km north of Puno (35 minutes by car).
This resort is located on the shores of Lake Umayo. It is famous for its chullpas, which are circular stone towers built to keep the funerary remains of the main leaders of the early settlers of the Collao. Some reach up to 12 meters high, and remarkable for its base is less than the top. A short distance from the archaeological site is the site museum, which houses several pieces of cultures Colla, Tiahuanaco and Inca.
Virgen of Candelaria Festival
The Virgin of Candelaria is the patron of Puno and is celebrated on February 2 and is the starting date of festivities that will last ten days. During the first day, hundreds of dance groups from various surrounding towns pay homage to the "Mamacha" showing the best of their folklore and costumes more elegant. The image of the Virgin is carried in procession through the main streets. During these days you can see many dances that are part of the festival.