Puno was founded in 1668 as Villa Rica de San Carlos de Puno by the viceroy the Count of Lemos. Today the city is known as the Folkloric Capital of Peru because of the wealth of its cultural and artistic expressions, particularly the traditional dances which are the highpoint of the celebrations held each year in February during The Fiesta de la Virgen Candelaria, which is the biggest celebration of its kind in southern Peru.

The city of Puno is the highest city in southern Peru, at 12,629 feet (3,827 meters), and it is located in a bay on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The lake has been the focal point of many of the greatest pre-Hispanic civilizations, and many archaeological sites can be visited today.

Today, Puno is an important agricultural region; particularly of South American camelidaes (llamas and alpacas) which graze on its great plateau. Much of the city's economy relies on the black market, fueled by cheap goods smuggled in from Bolivia and Juliaca. Puno has been designated to become a Special Economic Zone by the government. Puno has its own airport called Inca Manco Capac, located in the nearby Juliaca city, where the biggest black market of Peru is located.
Puno's access to Lake Titicaca is surrounded by 41 floating Uros islands. The Uros people maintain and live on these man-made islands, depending on the lake for their survival. Today they are a popular tourist destination.

Puno is the first major hub in the constant migration of indigenous peoples of the Andes to the larger cities of Peru. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and is the recipient of new residents from surrounding smaller agricultural communities of poorer classes of people seeking better opportunities of education and employment. As such, Puno is served by several small Schooling Institutes and Technical schools. Additionally it is home to the "UNA" or Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, founded in 1856.

Brief History

Puno and Lake Titicaca was the region where many cultures were developed such as Pucara culture, which was the predecessor culture of the ancient peoples who later formed the Tiahuanaco culture, which spread out near Lake Titicaca between 300 and 1000ac. Tiwanaco people were masterful stone carvers and created monumental architecture, including in this art examples The Puerta del Sol (Bolivia), which has the representation of the god Viracocha on its lintel, also the Lizard and Karachi, which are called the Chullpas of Sillustani near Puno. In the department there are many archaeological sites almost unknown but very important such as the fortress of La Trinchera, the burial Tombs of Colo Colo, near Patambuco, and Aramu muru Portal near Juli. Over the years, different ethnic groups clustered around Lake Titicaca. It is believed that the Inca Viracocha decreed that Quechua be the language of the region and the Inca Pachacutec be the conqueror of the Qollas. During the colonization of Peru, this region was valuable for its mineral wealth, particularly gold mines and its proximity to the silver mines of Potosi in Bolivia. In 1870 the railway line from Arequipa to Puno was constructed and lake navigation began at Lake Titicaca.




Visit the two more important islands on the lake. At Uros islands, the totora reed is used for the construction of the islands, also houses and boats. Taquile is inhabited by Quechua-speaking people who live under Inca laws and have organized themselves on a communal basis to receive tourists.

  • Duration              - Full day
  • Activity Type      - Nature and culture
  • Transport            - Motor boat
  • Level                    - Easy

For further information, please write us to


Navigate the spectacular Lake Titicaca, visiting the Uros floating islands to learn the inhabitant's culture, life style and language; and lodge at the eco lodge of Suasi island in lake Titicaca, where you can enjoy the beauty of nature during the day and the stars of the southern hemisphere in the night.

  • Duration              - 2d/1n or 3d/2n
  • Lodge/Hotel        - Suasi lodge
  • Activity Type       - Nature and culture
  • Transport            - Motor boat
  • Level                    - Easy

For further information, please write us to