Machu Picchu Travel

Best Things to Do in Puno

Best Things to Do in Puno

Puno, Peru is more than Lake Titicaca, it is one of Peru’s most cultural, traditional, and mysterious places, the cradle of ancient pre-Inca civilizations. So, besides taking a trip to the highest navigable lake in the world,  look at this guide, so you’ll have a comprehensive list of things to do while you’re staying in Puno.

Exploring the City

The Plaza de Armas, near the Cathedral, is the hub of Puno's cultural and social scene. You can soak in the lively atmosphere of this bustling area. It is bordered by bright buildings and ornamented with flowers and fountains. Take a stroll in the plaza and take in the sights, sounds, and rhythms of everyday life.

There’s so much to do in Puno’s Historical Center, you can start visiting the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral to understand Puno's lively downtown. The Cathedral is a stunning piece of architecture. It also reminds us of Peru's long colonial history.

 When you enter, carefully see the elegantly designed, religiously themed interior. Most hotels are near to the main center, making it simple to go about. The area is home to many major monuments and structures. These include the cathedral and some museums.

When you feel like making a stop, we recommend visiting the famous Yellow House, called “La Casa del Corregidor” which is across from the Cathedral. This is one of Puno's last examples of colonial architecture, a protected monument with historical value. 

You must visit it. Stop in for a coffee on the sunny terrace, or come by night for snacks and a local craft brew. You can visit the Carlos Dreyer Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. It houses artifacts from the region's ancient civilizations.

The second choice is the Coca and Customs Museum. Here, you can learn about the plant's importance to the locals. They will teach you about its cultural and medicinal value, and its role in ancient rites. You will also see traditional dancing costumes. They add to the museum's cultural experience.

To see the Puno people's way of life, you should wander in Jiron Lima, Puno’s busiest and most vibrant street. There you’ll find restaurants, shops, and bars. Also, there are several souvenir stores along this pedestrian-only strip. Heading north from the main plaza, Plaza de Armas, is an easy way to reach there. 

On a nice afternoon, this busy avenue is a great place to take a relaxing stroll across the city. Additionally, it connects the main square to Parque Pino. The park was created around 1900 to honor a local doctor. He was a hero for his bravery in the war against Chile.

To have Puno’s best views you cannot miss Puma Uta and Kuntur Huasi viewpoints. Puma Uta is a Puma statue sightseeing in the outside Puno City, offering good vistas from its high position.

To have another perspective of the city, go to Kuntur Huasi. The Condor monument is situated 3990 meters above sea level. This sightseeing was constructed in 2003 and dedicated in honor of the Andean condor, which is considered the Andes' guardian bird.

 The 11-meter-tall metal condor monument is situated on a pedestal to resemble the bird's natural habitat. If you want to take the greatest pictures of Puno, this is a must-see tourist destination. This viewpoint is accessible to the public and is best seen around sunset.

Peru is religious and happy. You can see that in how Peruvians celebrate. So, Puno is no exception. The most popular celebration in this area is in February, we’re talking about the Virgen de la Candelaria Festival 

The city comes alive with bright parades, there are traditional dances and extravagant costumes at this exuberant festival. Enjoy the joyous mood when you observe the fusion of local Andean customs with Catholicism.

This event creates a breathtaking show with over 100,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This party is Peru's biggest, offering a unique cultural experience. This is due to its remarkable mix of Quechua, Aymara, and mestizo parts.

Take it easy and recover in Puno's serene environs following a day trip. Indulge in a revitalizing spa treatment with natural products and Andean plants. Enjoy the fresh mountain air. Stroll by the lake at your pace. Take in the breathtaking Andean scenery.

Explore Puno’s surroundings

Lake Titicaca brings many visitors to Puno. That's why Viagens Machu Picchu offers you tours to help you make the most of your trip to this lake:

Lake Titicaca Full Day:  We will pick you up from your hotel. You'll see the Uros, people who live on the floating reed islands. They will teach you about their traditions, customs, and building techniques. They are for these totora reed islands.

Then,  you will arrive at the island of Taquile in around one hour and thirty minutes. You'll be able to take in the stunning views of the lake while traveling. Be sure to have your camera ready! There, you'll learn about the island's art and culture. After Taquile, we’ll be back on a boat ride to Puno

If you don’t have much time in Puno, the Half-day tour of Titicaca Lake is your best bet. We’ll take you to see Titicaca Lake and Uros Island, then we’ll return to Puno. If you want to learn more about this area and get to know people’s daily lives, we recommend Amantani Island Homestay

After visiting Uros island, you’ll spend the afternoon and night on Amantani Island with a local family. You will spend your first day enjoying a delicious dinner with a welcoming party. The next day, we’ll head to Taquile Island. There, you’ll learn about the Taquileños’ unique traditions and culture.

A place that should not be missed is The Sillustani, which was developed in the 15th century. However, Sillustani shows great technical and architectural skills. Famous for their finely cut stones, the Kollas left behind a heritage that impacted the well-known Inca civilization.

The site is between huge valleys and towering mountains overlooking the Umayo Lagoon. The lagoon provides a breathtaking natural background. It accentuates the exceptional indigenous workmanship.

The site's preservation and its importance to our pre-Hispanic heritage are the reasons. They led to the Pukara Archaeological Site being named a National Heritage Site in 2001.

The site has two sections. People may have used one for home reasons and the other for religion. This site is a must when you’re in Puno.

The Inca Uyo 200 square meter ruins are made up of an inside wall of around 80 lithic "fungiform" monuments that have been carefully cut out of the stone. In 2003, it was designated as a National Heritage Site.

According to folklore, women could have been "cured" of infertility. They did this by sitting on these statues. They would douse themselves in Chicha, or maize beer, as part of a rite. In this manner, they could determine the destiny of their womb simply by seeing the flow of the holy liquid. 

The Inca Uyo ruins span 200 square meters. They consist of an inside wall with around 80 lithic "fungiform" monuments. Artisans carefully cut them out of the stone. 

In 2003, authorities designated it as a National Heritage Site. It only takes 30 minutes to get to Inca Uyo. The attraction is open all year round and the entrance is only S/. 1.00.

Another place worth seeing outside Puno is The Tinajani Canyon. Located in the Puno region, is just 3 hours from the Folkloric Capital of Peru. This marvel is great for camping, and also good for rock climbing, mountain biking, and other outdoor fun.

This natural feature is famous for its towering rocks. Some of them may climb up to 50 meters (or even more). The canyon has an area of 200 hectares. This site was occupied from 8000 to 2000 B.C. 

Cutimbo is an archeological complex built from 1100 to 1532 A.D. Cave paintings there show aspects of our ancestors' lives.

Prominent members of the pre-Hispanic societies lived here. Just as at the Sillustani Archeological Site, important people were buried with their possessions. These included jewelry made of gold, silver, copper, and household items.

Explore the vast mysticism of the Puno area in a mysterious entryway that hides an unsolved secret. Myths about it captivate visitors from both the US and abroad, we're talking about the well-preserved archeological site of Aramu Muru shows a gateway to another dimension.

The wall is seven meters high. However, it's so far from the main road that it wasn't found until the 1990s. Although Aramu Muru's history is unknown, it is most likely a pre-Inca building that was formerly utilized for rituals.

Would you like to know more about Puno and Peru? Here you’ll find all the information you need for your trip. Our local expert team has prepared the most complete informative guides for you! 

Also, if you want to fully experience Peru, check out our travel packages. You can live an authentic experience with Viagens Machu Picchu.