Thursday, August 4, 2016

Puno and the islands of Lake Titicaca

Boats on Lake Titicaca

Puno is a small town In Perú on the opposite side of Lake Titicaca to Copacobana. It is around a 4 hour bus ride with around an hour of messing around with immigration.

The Bolivia/Perú border

The border crossing is relatively painless however you have to get off the bus, get stamped out of Bolivia, then walk across the border into Perú to get the peruvian visa. Then you are able to get back on the bus and continue.

Puno is another few hours from the border and, unlike Copacobana, is a large generally chaotic city.

However, its Cathedral is pretty

Puno Cathedral

And of course it's on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Its only a short walk from the Plaza de Armas to the walkway along the lake.

The lighthouse on the Lake

Where you can see all of the boats ferrying tourists and commuters to and from the islands in the lake.

The marina

And of course, there are stunning views of the lake and it's wetlands.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca wetlands

Behind the town is a hill with a lookout from which you get a good view of the city and the lake. It's only a short half hour walk, but it does offer nice views.

Puno from the lookout

And unlike most hills in South America, this one has a giant inca statue rather than a cross.

The inca statue

Although there's not much to the city itself, the main reason for making a trip to Puno is to see the floating reed islands.

heading out on the lake

There are many tours heading to the islands and unfortunately it has become very touristy. However the islands are still an interesting excursion.

Reed island

The islands from the boat

Another view of the reed islands

A little further afield is the island of Taquile which offers scenic views of the lake and excellent meals of the local trout.

Farmland on Taquile island

Lake Titicaca from Taquile island

Upon returning to Puno I went to one of the many Peña (music show) restaurants to enjoy a cultural show for my last night in Puno.

Traditional dance