Puno is the folklore capital of Peru and lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, 12 397 feet above sea level. It was the territory of the Tiahuanacos (800 A.C. – 1200 A.C.) who were the highest cultural expression of the Aymara people that established themselves in what is today Bolivia and Peru. According to the legends, the first Incas, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, were children of the sun that got up from the Lake Titicaca and following their fathers, the suns, instructions walked until they found Cusco and settled down.
Puno is regarded to be the folkloric capital of Peru and is famous for its many festivals throughout the year, with many different dances and costumes following old cultural traditions.The life of the people in Puno is in many ways very alike the way their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago, and their work with architecture, textiles, stones and pottery is fantastic. All together with the environment, culture and history it makes Puno/Lake Titicaca one of the most visited places for tourists in Peru.
Lake Titicaca contains numerous islands whose inhabitants continue to live as their ancestors have for centuries as far as customs and traditions. The Urus people live on floating islands that they have artificially made entirely out of totora reeds, their traditional boats are also made of these reeds. Taquile and Amantaní are other islands famous for their beauty, the kindness of their inhabitants and their ancestral skills in weaving. In the 15th century the Incas took over the territory, and then the Spaniards, attracted by the mining industry, took over and left an important colonial legacy in the area.
Close to Puno are the spectacular Chullpas de Sillustani; a complex of impressive burial towers, Juli; famous for its beautiful colonial churches, Llachón; a community that maintain their old customs and cultural expressions, Lampa; with its vice royal church built between 1675 and 1685 and Pucará; known for its pre-Inca pottery.
When you are in Peru, don´t miss to see and experience how the people live their lives on the islands in Lake Titicaca with traditions since hundreds of years.