When-Where-Why?

The Titicaca Lake is the highest lake in the world and there are so many different cultures to discover there that we really wanted to visit it.

We went in July 2019.

We had the opportunity to discover Puno and some archeological sites around, but also to stay in a family house a share they culture.

Transports

From the Arequipa bus terminal there are plenty of possibilities. Inquire on the spot the day before. Allow at least 8 hours of travel.

* There are many buses. Check with agencies or your hotel.

* We chose the panoramic train option:

Company: Peru Rail.

Price: 225 USD

Duration: 10h.

There are several companies that make the trip. We went through MyTourPeru via an agency on Arequipa.

Duration: 7h

Price: 30-40 USD to negotiate with agencies.

It all depends on what you want to see.

The boats leave the port of Puno before 8am. If you go through an agency they will pick you up or you will have to go to the port.

Prices vary from one agency or hotel to another and next if you spend the day or two days (night homestay).

* Puno-Uros

Journey: 30min

Price: 10 soles

*Amantani Puno

Trip: 2h

Price: 20 soles

* Puno, Taquile

Journey: 2 hours

Price: 30 soles

A ride that can be nice: Uros – Taquile and it lasts the day. It costs less than 50 soles.

Everything is trading!

* With an agency:

The tours leave in the afternoon around 14h and return around 17h.

Price: 35-45 soles.

*By your own means:

  • From Puno take a combi either at the DORADO stop in the Jr Lampa street (3 soles fare), or at the FATIMA stop at the Jr Rosendo Huirse street (fare 3.50 soles). Ask them to stop you at the junction between Julliaca & Sillustani. There is a 20 minute ride.
  • Taxis or combo will be waiting for you. Combinations leave when they are full and cost 5 soles. The taxi cost 10 soles. The trip takes about 20 minutes.
  • Entrance of the site: 15 soles.

Housing

*Hostel Homecenter Puno

Type: Double room with private bathroom. The breakfast is really great, there is everything and it’s fresh.

Price: 42 soles.

Address: Jr. Arequipa Nº 522, Pun01 Puno, Pérou

We stayed at homestay on the Luquina Peninsula.

We went through the Magic Travel agency.

The accommodation was perfect and the meals super good!

Activities

There are two interesting museums to see in Puno.

* Museo Carlos Dreyer

What: If you had the opportunity to visit the beautiful archaeological site of Sillustani, you can discover the mummies that archaeologists have brought back and gold jewelry. There are also many pre-Inca potteries.

Price: 15 soles

Address: Deustua 701, Puno 21001

 

* Museo de la coca

What: If you want to know more about the most consumed plant of Latin America, coca, this museum will fill you! It is very complete, and gives you information on its consumption, rituals, production, the problems it raised during colonization and you will even learn how to make cocaine from coca leaves! There is also a small video that talks about the different traditional costumes; you can admire a few on the top floor of the museum.

Price: 10 soles

Address: Ilave 581, Puno 21001

Good places in Puno:

* Ricos Pan: They make great cakes and ice creams as well as empanadas.

Address: Jiron, Moquegua 326, Puno

* PDshuri: Their cakes are super good. They make hearty dishes of Aji de Gallina for 15 soles. If you are in need of good coffee and hot chocolate, they do it with milk and no water!

Address: Jiron, Moquegua 326, Puno (it’s above Ricos Pan)

There are several options and several ways to do it.

You can point out and ask people. But the best is to go through an agency, it is not necessarily expensive!

There are several places:

* Amantani Island: not recommended by everyone because it is extremely touristy.

* Taquile Island: pretty island with terraces and beautiful beaches. It is quiet the evening although tourist day.

* Llachon Peninsula: Formerly it was the place to go if you wanted to avoid tourists but because of the blogs there are more and more. The place still looks very pretty.

* Luquina Peninsula: where we went. It’s empty of tourists, calm and very pretty. We stayed in a friendly family. We cooked with them, sorted the potatoes and released the sheep. We had free time to walk around a bit. Their house is very simple but our room very big and very beautiful. We went through the Magic Travel agency in Arequipa which gave us a very good price including the day in Uros, Taquile and full board homestay.

The family also makes airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com.pe/rooms/20482948?source_impression_id=p3_1562717209_aSOK%2BcHy2lNoPmM5)

You can go anywhere by bus to the peninsulas and by boat to Taquile and Amantani.

A not very tiring day on the lake is possible. You can go through an agency or go to the port directly. There are several options.

We went through the Magic Travel agency and they told us not to go through Amantani as a great tourist. Tip, check that the lunch is included otherwise you risk paying a blind; if it is not, find yourself eating alone.

To be honest everything is touristy so if you have the time do it all! You know that now people live from tourism and will do everything to sell you their craft once there so do not be surprised that everything is well run when you arrived.

What is interesting when visiting these islands is that you will discover different cultures on each of them (dance, clothes, way of life, language …).

For the little story, you will see written “Titicaca” and “Titikaka”. Titicaca means the gray puma and Titikaka means the stone cougar. We talk about cougar because with great imagination we notice that the lake in the shape of a cougar that eats a rabbit. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world; it is a national park of 36180 hectares at an altitude of 3812m. It separates Peru from Bolivia (we find there the Isla del Sol and the Isla de la Luna). Peru holds most of the lake.

The name of Titicaca makes everyone laugh and people have fun saying that for Peruvians Titi represents Peru and Caca (which means as in French) represents Bolivians. Bolivians will tell you the opposite;)

* Floating islands of Uros

These are the closest to Puno. They are accessible within 30 minutes by boat from the port. You will see how these families live on floating constructions made with a sort of reed. There are forty or so islands. The inhabitants began to realize these constructions during the conquest by the Spaniards. The locals speak Spanish and Aymara.

*Isla Taquile

This island is two hours sailing from Puno. She is very beautiful. “The highest point of the island is 4050 meters above sea level, and its main village is 3950 meters above sea level, with pre-Inca ruins on the highest part of the island. the island, as well as farm terraces on the hillsides. “When the weather is clear we come to see the peaks of some mountains in Bolivia and Isla del Sol. The inhabitants have a culture of their own; we see him very well in their dress. Formerly the island served as a prison during the Spanish colonization and still after.

*Isla Amantani

Another island two hours from Puno. “The island has two peaks, the Pachatata (the” father’s land “) and the Pachamama (the” mother earth “), with Inca ruins and Tiwanaku on their summit.The hills are terraced mainly hand-worked and planted with wheat, quinoa, potatoes and other vegetables. “

This is a very nice discovery less than an hour from Puno. This is a beautiful pre-Inca archaeological site on the shores of beautiful Lake Umayo.

There are tombs in which there were mummies (which can be seen at the Puno Museum). These tombs, also called Chullpas, were initially built not the Qolla people. These were conquered by the Incas. Instead of destroying these tombs, the Incas continued to build them and built others according to the same model but with their way of doing things. The Qollas built them by assembling small stones found on the shores of the lake with clay, while the Incas assembled large blocks of square stones with water. All have a cylindrical shape and the highest is 12 meters.

From the site you can admire the lake and a large island in its center: the Isla del Sol (not to be confused with the island on Lake Titicaca!). The water is a deep blue night is splendid!

By going on the site the road is also very beautiful. We discover traditional houses. If you go through an agency we will make you stop to visit.

How to get to the site:

* With an agency:

The tours leave in the afternoon around 14h and return around 17h.

Price: 35-45 soles.

*By your own means:

  • From Puno take a combi either at the DORADO stop in the Jr Lampa street (3 soles fare), or at the FATIMA stop at the Jr Rosendo Huirse street (fare 3.50 soles). Ask them to stop you at the junction between Julliaca & Sillustani. There is a 20 minute ride.
  • Taxis or combo will be waiting for you. Combinations leave when they are full and cost 5 soles. The taxi cost 10 soles. The trip takes about 20 minutes.
    Entrance of the site: 15 soles.

Want to see dozens of big volcanic stone penis? If so, go to the Fertility Temple. We do not know exactly what their origin is, but what we see are giant zizis.

How to get there?


* With an agency that covers round-trip transportation and entry, count about 50 soles.
* By your own means: go to the Banchero Rossi terminal where the mini-van going to Chucuito is parked. The trip takes about 20 minutes and ends at Plaza de Armas in Chucuito. Once on Plaza de Armas, ask for directions. The entrance costs 5 soles.

To go see this site that seems very interesting it must go through an agency. It is very far and the tours start from 7am to 7pm.

It is quite expensive because few people go there and are in general private excursions. You have to count 200 soles per person.

The Tiahuanaco site was created by the Tiwanaku civilization that inhabited the south shore of Lake Titicaca. It is located in Bolivia.

To resume wikipedia (as I did not have the chance to visit the site):
“One of the main archaeological sites of today’s Tiwanaku civilization is the City of the Sun, a place of celebration of the creator god Kon Tici Viracocha, with many ceremonial buildings, the main one being the temple of Kalasasaya, a vast enclosed enclosure.
The two most famous surrounding monuments are the seven-degree pyramid of Akapana and the famous Gate of the Sun, considered by some researches as an astronomical landmark because of its alignment with the sun, and by others as an observatory.
The pyramid may appear as a mini-replica of the temple of Kalasasaya, each of its terraces being adorned with monolithic statues on its edges. Another thesis interprets the mound as a representation of the mountains of the Andes Cordillera. The top of the pyramid is occupied by boxes – whose use remains unknown – arranged around an inner courtyard.
Below Akapana a striking contrast appears with the semi-subterranean temple (semisubterraneo). It impresses with its ingenious system of pipes crossing the pyramid to make water flow up the Akapana, which then poured from one floor to another, the show was to be between that emanates a rice field and that of a fountain … This magnificent artificial waterfall certainly symbolizes the sources of Nevado Illimani.
Finally monoliths, such as those of Benett and Ponce, some archaeologists approach the Moais of Easter Island, are oriented inside the site.
The landscape is dominated by Akapana, a stepped pyramid with seven levels on a general level evoking the Andean cross. This last emblem, with a staggered structure, would also be omnipresent in the art of the highlands, imitating according to some the Southern Cross and reproducing for others the four parts of the universe … Anyway, its architects show a certain sense of the spectacular: foot walls made of sandstone blocks punctuated every three meters of pillars with a rectangular base three meters high. “

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