Puno Travel Guide
Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca © Judith Duk
Puno is the gateway to Lake Titicaca, set on the shores of the largest lake in South America, and is one of the country's major resort destinations. The main reason to visit Puno is the lake and the dozens of islands dotted about, each with their own interesting characteristics. Boat trips to the floating islands of Uros or to the island communities of Taquile and Amantani are the main attractions. The town was founded by the Spaniards in 1668 and has a wealth of Spanish and native architecture, as well as mestizo art and crafts. Puno town is also reputed to be the centre of Peruvian folklore, its inhabitants descending from two ancient Andean tribes, the Quechua and the Aymara, and it is host to some of the most vibrant traditional festivals in the country. Music, dance and colour fill the streets each month, a delight for photographers. The most popular festival in Puno is the feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria, held each year in February, that features the famous Devil Dancers. The region is rich in ancient history and along the lake are the pre-Columbian ruins of Chullpas de Sillustani, a curious ancient complex of tombs in the form of round towers.