5 great things to do in Puno
Tranquill on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, sits the small town of Puno. The city is the perfect location to discover this majestic Lake and its unique floating Island of Uros. Here are 5 things to do while in Puno.
Visit the floating islands of Urus, with a short boat ride from Puno. The foreigners' group usually leave in the morning. You can either visit with an arranged tour or just walk down and buy a ticket at the harbour. The boat will stop at one of the floating islands where you will learn more about the Urus people and how they live on the water. Afterwards, you will be able to visit the main island where there are some restaurants too (overall for two people we spent roughly 100 soles, for the boats, entrance fees, and souvenirs to support the community). It is quite an incredible (although a bit touristy) experience, to see how these indigenous people live as they did many years ago to get away from the violent Inka. There are currently 120 floating islands on which three main groups live: the Uru-Chipaya, Uru-Murato, and Uru-Iruito. According to the legend, they consider themselves the owners of the water and the lake and used to say they had black blood as they don’t feel the cold. Today their life is a mix of millenary traditions such as living in small reed huts, fishing on reed boats and twenty-first-century life thanks to the internet and motorized boats. Visiting the floating island of Urus might be touristy, but it’s definitely an eye-opening and interesting experience to see such a particular and unique culture.
Spend a night at Amantani Island to get a deeper experience of the local indigenous culture. With a three-hour boat ride from Puno, you will reach the Amantani Island where locals offer homestays to tourists. You will be able to learn how the local community lives, spend time together and visit the temples on the island.
Visit Taquile island, usually included in the Amantani island tour, to see how male weavers produce textiles of incredible beauty and quality. These unique textiles have been inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Visit Cathedral de Puno, a majestic 18th-century Baroque cathedral. Built in 1757 in the Andean Baroque architectural tradition, the cathedral towers in the centre of the square and is still today the centre of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Puno.
Enjoy Peruvian live music at Ecco’s bar, a dimly light live music venue with a room dedicated to pool. Local bands playing rock, jazz and traditional music alternates on the stage during the night. The atmosphere is lively and electric, also thanks to the tasty coctailks served at the bar.
A touristy yet interesting place to imagine a time past.
Where to sleep in Puno
Perched on its own little rocky island of Esteves which stretches into the lake, Hotel Libertador Puno is an oasis of beauty and peace. This 5-star hotel with 70s style interior design and 123 rooms, provides all the comfort and the best views on Lake Titicaca. Your lakeside day at Hotel Libertador will start with a lavish buffet breakfast looking out over the water while the sun starts to warm up the air and the first boats are off towards the floating islands of Urus. From the private jetty you can catch a boat ride to discover this unique indigenous Urus community living on the water, or, if you are feeling more adventurous you can enjoy a paddle on one of the canoes. When you get back, lunch can be enjoyed in any of the beautifully decorated lounge areas or in the terrace under the warm Peruvian sun. In the afternoon, you can train in the gym or relax in Wellness & Spa center where you can find a jacuzzi and a steam room.
Before dinner, enjoy a drink by the bar while playing some pool and admiring the city of Puno on the other side of the bay, sparkling in the dark, like a collection of little diamonds in the night sky.
For dinner treat yourself at Los Uros restaurant. Overlooking the lake, this restaurant offers international and traditional Peruvian dishes, including Andean recipes which use regional products and supplies. There is no more exclusive and immersive way to explore Lake Titicaca than staying at Hotel Libertador, a real treat.
For a more budget option, Hotel Suites Antonio's offers spacious and comfortable rooms, with air-conditioning and breakfast included at a great value for money. The location is perfect to explore the city by walk.
Where to eat in Puno
Lunch at Loving Hut Vegan
Whether you are vegan or not, you will definitely love the food at this simple but delicious restaurant. For lunch, you can either take the set menu (starter, main and dessert) or choose from the very wide selection of dishes in the menu. We tried the curry and the green noodles and they were both very tasty!
Dinner at La Casa Corregidor Cafe & BarWe fell in love with this beautiful places due to its internal courtyard with orange walls, blue details and a massive cactus towering in the middle. Everything on the menu is wonderful, from the coffee (which is organic) to the main dishes and the dessert.