PUNO INFORMATION

Description:

The department of Puno was once home to the great civilization of the Tiwanaku who were once the most advanced civilization of all the Aymara people. The area was conquered by the Incas in the 15th Century, and later by the Spanish Empire in the 16th Century. The capital city, also known as Puno, serves as magnificent evidence of the combination of cultures which have left their mark on the region. Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca and is the folklore capital of Peru. The city's beauty is characterized by its location next to Lake Titicaca, as well as the colonial architecture which it contains. The nearby city of Juliaca is a transportation hub for the department. Nearby are the Chullpas de Sillustani a monument built by the Collas which is still perfectly preserved today. Lake Titicaca is home to the Uros, artificially made floating islands made of totora reeds. Titicaca National Reservation is refuge to many species of plants and animals, as well as breathtaking stretches of Lake Titicaca.

Puno was the territory of the Tiahuanacos (800 A.D. – 1200 A.D.) who were the highest cultural expression of the Aymara people that established themselves in what is today Peru and Bolivia. The Incas took over these lands in the fifteenth century, and the Spanish, attracted by the mining industry developed there, left an important Colonial legacy throughout the entire area.
Today, the city of Puno (3,287 masl), which lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, is the folklore capital of Peru and the site of the Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria. In the outskirts, you can visit the spectacular Chullpas de Sillustani, a complex of impressive burial towers built by the Kollas, Juli, famous for its beautiful Colonial churches, Lampa with its vice royal church built between 1675 and 1685, Llachón, a community that still maintains its centuries old customs and cultural expressions, and Pucará, known for its pre-Inca pottery and for the “toritos de Pucará” that the artisans of today create from clay.

The lake contains numerous islands whose inhabitants continue to live as their ancestors have in custom and tradition. The Uros an example of this; this people group lives on “floating islands” that they have artificially made entirely of totora reeds, and they navigate in their traditional boats also made out of totora reeds. Taquile, Suasi, and Amantaní are knows for their kindness of their residents, their ancestral skill in weaving, their pre-Columbian constructions, and lovely countryside. The Titicaca National Reserve (36,180 hectares) protects extensive stretches of totora reeds and various species of plants and animals.

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