The department of Puno is located on the Collao plateau, the highest in the Andes of South America. It has a flat relief, on an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level. Its aspect is that of an immense plain covered with grasses and grasslands in whose horizon some snowy ones emerge. The 70% of the territory is located in the Collao plateau and 30% occupies the Amazon region.
The capital of the department is the city of Puno, on the shores of the mythical Lake Titikaka, the highest navigable lake in the world, at 3,827 m.s. It is the center of conjunction of two great cultures: Quechua and Aymara; those that propitiated an incomparable patrimony of customs, rites and beliefs.
The city of Puno has a cold and dry climate. The rainy season starts in October and ends in April. The maximum annual average temperature is 14.4 °C (57.9 °F) and the minimum of 2.6 °C (36.7 °F).
When Tiahuanaco broke down between the 12th and 13th centuries, they gave rise to independent kingdoms, such as the Collas, with their center of development in Atuncolla and Sillustani; the Lupacas with center in Juli and Chucuito, all with notable administrative centers in Cochacacha and pacajes located in Desaguadero.
An army of 200,000 warriors led by the Inca Pachacutec and his general Apo Condemayta overcome, after fierce resistance to the Collas, being annexed to the Andean civilization (Inca) from 1440 AD. Thus it is that Puno becomes a town of passage or obligatory rest, because it was the conduit that led to the mines of Potosí in Bolivia and to the north of the Viceroyalty of La Plata, currently Argentina.
Puno, known as the Folkloric Capital of Peru, is characterized by its very rich and varied musical expressions, consisting of more than 300 dances, which are presented majestically in the Festival in honor of the Virgen de la Candelaria (from January 25 to February 08 of each year), being one of the most exquisite folkloric and cultural expressions of Peru and Latin America, recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Main tourist attractions
Undoubtedly the greatest natural attraction in Peru, Lake Titicaca occupies much of the province of Puno and part of the neighboring country Bolivia. It is the highest navigable lake in the world (3,812 m.a.s.l) which is home to several natural islands, such as Taquile and Amantani; as well as artificial islands (Uros) inhabited by communities that to this day maintain their customs and traditions, which have seen in tourism a new way to improve their economy with responsibility and respect for the environment.
The Island of Uros
It is a set of artificial islands made in its entirety of totora (native plant) by the community of the same name, where it is possible to live a unique experience interacting with the local population, which has lived in that same way since ancient times, being one of the biggest tourist attractions of Lake Titicaca.
The Chullpas of Sillustani:
This place is located 33 km from the city of Puno on the shores of Lake Umayo on the peninsula of Sillustani on the route that connects Puno with the city of Cusco.
This archaeological area has a large number of Chullpas (tombs) or stone constructions with a cylindrical shape. This necropolis belongs to different eras, ranging from the kingdom of the Aymaras, Collas to the Inca presence.
Located 18 km from the city of Puno in a deviation towards the Desaguadero route.
It emphasizes mainly Inca Uyo or temple of the fertility, it is an Inca ceremonial complex of rectangular form that contains phallic monuments, place where until the present time sacred rituals are offered to the “Pachamama” or Mother Earth, known as tenplo of the Andean fertility and Sun worship, also used as an astronomical observatory.
Photo gallery Puno