Things to do in Puno!
What to do in the city of the Titicaca lake?
Nicole Maxdeo
April 3, 2024

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Archaeological centers, natural beauties, and cultural centers that will leave you breathless. Here are the 10 best things to do in Puno while visiting the magical city of the Altiplano.

Table of Contents

Visit the Plaza de Armas or Main Square

Every magical little town or charming city has its square that captivates more than one. When one arrives at a different and unknown place, they always think about visiting the main square, an iconic and central place that welcomes you to visit the best of the city.

They built this colonial-style square in 1901 on an ancient ceremonial site called "Supay Kancha," which means "Devil's Enclosure or Devil's Circle" in Quechua.

This square has a fountain in the middle, and at night, this fountain lights up to enjoy beautiful photos. Also, upon arrival, you will have a sign that indicates: Puno. Around this beautiful square, you can also find the best hotels and restaurants.

Visit the Cathedral of Puno

This is a very nice place to visit in Puno. Builders led by Simón de Asto constructed the cathedral in 1757, with assistance from several miners to erect such a similar building. In 1972, authorities declared it a National Historical Heritage.

It could be said to have an Andean Baroque style. Inside, the architecture is quite modest, its facade is more classic. We can observe decorative elements such as the sun, pumas, mermaids, and flowers.

To finish with this beautiful place, we can also find representative paintings of the Cusco School of Art. On its silver-covered altar, the flag of the Vatican is observed, in honor of Pope Paul VI, who visited Puno in 1964.

The viewpoints of Puno

Undoubtedly, a must-visit place on your visit to the high-altitude city. From these viewpoints, we will have panoramic views of the city that will take your breath away. Within this group of viewpoints, we have:

Huajsapata Hill

In addition to the beautiful views, something special about this viewpoint is that the monument to Manco Cápac is located here. To reach this imposing viewpoint, you can walk from the main square for almost 10 minutes or take a taxi. This viewpoint is not very far away.

Kuntur Wasi

Also known as the Condor's Lookout. Here you can discover an Andean condor, considered a sacred animal for the Incas. From here, you can appreciate the best views of the city and the lake.

Puma Uta

Both the puma, the condor, and the serpent make up the trilogy of sacred animals for the Incas. In this viewpoint, you can see the statue of a puma, which watches over the city of Puno and the Andes.

Lake Titicaca and its islands

The Uros Islands

The Floating Islands of the Uros are just a set of about 60 islands made of totora that grows in the lake and that are also used to build the caballitos or little boats of totora that the fishermen use in Huanchaco, near Trujillo.

These islands were built to be mobile at first; the first Uros arrived here after the Aymaras and the Incas expelled them from their lands. These 15 by 15 meter islands are tied to the lake bed with rope cables.

Amantani Island

Amantani Island is another stop on most Lake Titicaca tours. It has over 3,000 indigenous inhabitants. Tourists usually spend the night here and sleep with one of the 50 families. Each family has at least one room and a bathroom, making it a real experience.

In the evening, local people usually offer a dance show. You can dress in their traditional costumes, and dance to lively music played with pan flutes, guitars, and small charangos.

Taquile Island

Taquile Island is the last stop on a visit to Lake Titicaca. It is famous for its exceptional weaving tradition, still maintained by the approximately 2000 island residents. However, the first challenge to reach the main port is the 538 stone steps that must be climbed to reach the central square, which is a considerable challenge, especially because the city is 3,950 meters above sea level.

Corregidor's House

Next to the main square, in the heart of the historic center, is one of the oldest buildings. It dates back to the 17th century and is one of the most important monuments in Puno.

In this colonial-era mansion, the person in charge of administering justice and regulating taxes and citizenship lived. However, it is currently a place where we can see art exhibitions, a library, a handicraft store, a small internal courtyard, and a gourmet-style restaurant.

Chullpas de Sillustani

Sillustani is a pre-Inca archaeological site located 40 minutes from Puno and is considered one of the most enigmatic places in Peru. This magical place is located on the shores of the lagoon known as Umayo. Formerly, it was believed to be a cemetery. Here you can observe the so-called Chullpas. These are cylindrical tower-like constructions that were built with stones almost 12 meters high, used as tombs.

These pre-Inca funerary constructions belonged to the Qolla culture, a community of Aymara origin that inhabited this area between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Carlos Dreyer Museum

This museum mainly features archaeological relics and antiques dating from pre-Inca, Inca, colonial, and republican times. It has 8 rooms where pieces of gold, silver, ceramics, textiles, and sculptures are exhibited.

The name of this museum is due to the German collector and artist. He is also the owner of the old mansion, and it is worth mentioning that, in 1980, this mansion was declared a National Heritage.

Coca Museum

Due to its composition, coca has long been used to cope with altitude sickness, relieving general discomfort, among others. Thanks to its great popularity in relieving these symptoms, it is very common for coca consumption to have increased. If you want to know more about its importance and history, this museum is for you.

Manuel Pino Park

Through Jirón Lima Street, you can reach this magical and beautiful place called Pino Park. An option to visit something more of Puno.

A well-known and popular place for the inhabitants and visitors of Puno. If you want to get to know Puno thoroughly, this park is ideal for you. This park has colorful gardens, and in the center, you can see the monument to Manuel Pino, who was a local hero who died in 1881 during the Pacific War against Chile.

Inca Bay Boardwalk

Located almost 9 blocks from the central square of Puno, it is a perfect place for a walk along the shores of Lake Titicaca.

This is a stretch that you can walk along and is almost 1 km long. Here you can see a lighthouse and the Sukankas or Intihuatanas, which, in the Inca and pre-Inca era, were used as sundials.

With all these options to explore, are you ready to visit Puno?

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