Puno

 
 
 

 

Puno sits on the edge of Lake Titicaca, One of South Americas Largest Lakes and the World’s highest body of water. The Lake holds host to a community known as the Uros, living on ‘floating Islands’ made from Totora reeds. The city itself is full of music and dance, with colourful market places and feature landmarks such as Puno Cathedral and the Yavari, a 19th-century steamship (now a bed and breakfast).

 

How to get to Puno

From Lima

  • Fly – there are daily flights to Juliaca which is the closest Airport to Puno, about 44km and 1 hour car journey away.

  • Bus - You can take a bus from Lima to Puno. It will pass through Arequipa and you may need to change bus.. Here are a couple of bus companies to do the transfer

 

From Cusco

  • Train – You can get a train to Cusco from Puno. It can take around 10 hours to get there. It’s operated by Peru Rail.

  • Fly – there are daily flights to Juliaca which is the closest Airport to Puno, about 44km and 1 hour car journey away.

  • Bus – there are daily busses leaving between Cusco and Puno. The journey time is around 7-8 hours. There are several companies that are reputable.

    • Cruz del Sur

    • Turismo Mer

  • Car Rental – There are rental car companies in the arrivals terminal. Be sure to check the driving regulations prior to booking. You can also reserve a car online via Rentalcars

From Lapaz (Bolivia)

  • Bus - There are several bus companies to choose from to take this journey, they all have good and bad reviews as do many Bolivian services. The journey will take around 8 hours with a Questionable border crossing

    • Trans Omar

    • Trans Salvador

    • Trans Titicaca

TicketsBolivia.com is a good website for booking tickets, giving several operators and times.

             

We caught a Trans Salvador bus to Puno. Leaving at 4.30pm, this was another cama bus and we had serious doubts about boarding yet another bus. Luckily for us the service on Trans Salvador was miles better then Trans Omar. The toilets weren’t locked for a start and we were given a snack (ham sandwich and an apple) plus the attendants came every so often to pour disinfectant down the toilet and to spray air freshener. One even checked to make sure that people knew that their seats were cama seats. A much more enjoyable trip but felt much longer as we travelled during the day.

We arrived at the Desaguardo boarder at approx. 7.15 pm and made our way out of the bus, through the town (in the dark) and to the immigration point. We queued for almost 45 minutes before being stamped out of Bolivia. We had heard that the boarder closed at 8pm however this was not the case. We then walked out of town (5 minutes) to the Peruvian checkpoint, where we were stamped in to Peru again. We were told that a little later into the trip, the bus would stop at a further checkpoint where our luggage would be checked. This didn’t happen, although at some point our luggage was checked and tagged along route?

 

Where to stay in Puno

This town is a small town on the edge of Lake Titicaca. There a mainly hostels in this town but to a very good standard.

 

We arrived in Puno at about 10.30pm. Immediately a taxi pulled up and we were on our way to our hostel, Kantay Hostel. Lovely helpful staff, with hot drinks on tap. The rooms are clean but a little cold (to be expected). The staff are wonderful and so kind. Breakfast was a generic South American breakfast for reads cheese and ham, it was included so we filed up on it.

 

Things to do in Puno

  • Catedral de Puno – Positions on the west side of Plaza de Armas. The cathedral hold various ceremonies throughout the week. Be sure to see a local wedding on a weekend.

  • Lake Titicaca – the highest body of water in the world and one of South America’s largest lakes. It shares a border through it with Bolivia

  • Yavari – Once a 19th Century steamship for use on Lake Titicaca is now a bed and breakfast accommodation.

  • Uros Floating Islands – The Uros people have called his home, they are floating islands made from Totora reeds. They are layered in cross sectionals to provide a thick base that floats. They are connected together forming a small community.

 

We booked our tour of the floating islands through the hostel, costing 35 sols. This included, transport (by taxi), boat ride, entrance, Island tour and transport back. A decent 3 hour tour and good value. Here we learned about the people living on the floating island and how they produced their goods to sell to send their children to school in Puno.

We have the opportunity to dress in the traditional attire and see how they lived in their straw hut… surprisingly they were kitted out inside with flat screen TVs!

We waked around the old square, and ate lasagne in front of an open fire. Ricky was feeling brave and ate alpaca steak. We walked around Puno and down the streets to an amusement shop where Nathan could play.

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Hi Guys, here is a little it about us and how we ended up on this journey

 

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