Peru travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Puno is a pleasant port city in a beautiful setting and is the gateway to Lake Titicaca. The central city area between the 2 main plazas is the nicest part of the
city to stay and has many shops, hotels, restaurants and tour agencies. Explore the streets around the center for lower prices and interesting surprises. Puno is
much nicer than Juliaca being beside Lake Titicaca and the mountains and has some great attractions and things to do including the amazing floating reed islands.
Puno is also known as the folklore capital of Peru for its famous annual festival of the Virgin Candelaria.
Getting To & From Puno
Higher in altitude (3800m) than Arequipa
this area can get quite cold at night. I have traveled through Puno three times now and stayed here twice. Twice coming from Arequipa by bus which takes 6hrs to
get to Juliaca then another 40mins south from there. You may also come from or go to Cusco
to/from Puno (10hrs).
on the border of Bolivia takes 2hrs from Puno and is the way to get to Copacabana
, also on the border of Bolivia but slightly further south than Yunguyo is the quickest way to get to La Paz bypassing Copacabana.
Tours To The Floating Reed Islands
There are a few different tours available in Puno including visiting the floating reed islands of the Uros people, called Islas Flotantes. I believe you can stay
a night on them with a local family. Some travelers say its a good experience while others say it is a bit fake and put on for the tourists. Personally I think the
floating reed islands tour is fantastic. Just to see how they make the islands is interesting. But also there is so much more to experience while visiting them
including being invited into a house, seeing their crafts, their food and their way of life. On the tour by boat from the port in Puno we stopped in at Suma
Wiljta Island and were welcomed by a man and some of his 6 wives and family. The Uros people are very friendly and fun and of course they love it if you buy some
of their beautiful crafts. You can check out the dragon boats and climb the watchtower for fantastic views of the islands and communities in the area, it's awesome!
After the visit to Suma Wiljta Island, the man of the island and his friend took our group by dragon boat across to Uros Suma Kurmi Island for a lunch of fresh trout,
potatoes, rice and salad. This is also a good chance to meet some of the children. My young son enjoyed playing on the swings with the local kids. It is s great
experience indeed and I recommend a visit to the floating reed islands in Puno very highly!
Carlos Dreyer Municipal Museum
Puno has an interesting museum full of the objects collected by German
Carlos Dreyer (b.1895), he also once lived in the building. Carlos Dreyer Municipal Museum (1977) has on display all kinds of things such as pre-Columbian ceramics
and objects, a group of mummies, paintings, indigenous dolls, stone objects from the Pukara culture and Inca and pre-Inca ceramics of the Nazca, Chimu, Mochica and
Tiahuanaco cultures. The museum also contains an art gallery, a colonial room, a religious room and the Dreyer room with his personal items and objects including
photos, his wifes piano, antique coins, silverware, wood pipes and pistols. Carlso Dreyer museum is another great attraction in Puno and is located across the road
from the cathedral.
Distances From Puno
Distances from Puno to other towns: Chucuito 18kms, Sillustani 30kms, Acora 35kms, Juliaca 44kms, Llave 56kms, Taraco 73kms,
Juli 80kms, Pomata 130kms, Yunguyo
145kms, Conima 157kms, Zepita 161kms, Moho 165kms and Desaguadero