Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, is the highest navigable lake in the world that shows the reminiscences of its origin through rock paintings and spear, the testimonies of our ancestors the highland life.
The Collao plateau is the geographical space, where ancient and important cultures like Pucará and, later, Tiahuanaco, appeared.This is the region where, according to legend, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo emerged from the sacred Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world at 3820 meters above sea level. The lake is on the border between Bolivia and Peru, so each country has its share. Puno is the largest city in Peru on the lake and is a good base to explore.The floating islands are easily accessible from the city of Puno. Enough of tourism on foot of the port and the people will begin to offer excursions. Bargaining is a good idea, since the prices vary wildly and everyone ends up in the same boat regarless of what they paid. The islands are amazing and very interesting for tourist. The Uros is the famous islands of reeds of totora, which grows in the lake.
PLACES TO VISIT
The main tourist attraction is Lake Titicaca on the Uros Islands also known as the floating islands. These islands are made of cane that grows in the waters of the lake. Is very turistic. Taquile the island with its special social system is very interesting and also very beautiful. The island of Amantani, more remote, and more agricultural products, is a beautiful and authentic place. It is a good place to know the locals and see beautiful sunsets. All the islands can be visited separately or in an organized tour. One possibility is to take a tour that includes all those who visit the islands and spend the night on the island of Amantani. Around the lake, there are many ruins. The best known of these is the funerary towers of Sillustani. These towers, from different eras, are interesting and in a fine location, near a small lake.
Sillustani is located on a hill near a small lake and beauty. Both Incas and pre-Inca cultures use this site to build burrying towers their kings and nobles. They were buried with their families, and also with offerings to the gods, such as llamas, alpacas, quinoa, etc.It is easy to identify the difference between the most primitive pre-Inca towers, and the most accurate Inca towers. Respect for the Inca culture that conquered and maintained the tradition.
ISLAND OF TAQUILE
The Taquile Islands are beautiful. It is a mountainous island in the lake, where a social culture has developed. Each person has the clothes according to their social status. Black leaders hats, for example. There is a difference between single men, men and married men dating. This also applies to women. Contrary to many traditional societies, a couple must live together for a year, to see if it works, before getting married. Weddings are held annually at a large party (one week) for all couples. Many are the sheep slaughtered for the occasion
Uros Islands, also known as the floating islands, are the main tourist attractions on Lake Titicaca. Nowadays, it has become very touristy. The jump from the local population to the visitors when they land on one of the islands and try to sell all kinds of memories. They claim that they are original to the islands, but can not be guaranteed. However, its nice appearance.The islands are made of cane that grows in the lake. The lower part rots over time, so new layers are added regularly.
ISLAND OF AMANTANI
Isla de Amantani is a beautiful island, more than 3 hours by boat from Puno. Its remote location and does not make it less touristy. The community that lives there maintains traditional agricultural life. It seems that not much has changed during the time.The island is not very large, so one can walk around it. A hot spot is the highest mountain top on the island. It is both a sacred place, and a great place to watch sunsets. The 300 meters of the elevation of the level of the lakes could be difficult if the visitors are not acclimatized. Otherwise, it is very simple and smoother.
- Juliaca: an important commercial city of the department. Among its attractions are the Virreynal Church of Santa Catalina. Important commercial city of the department. Among its attractions are the Virreynal Church of Santa Catalina.
- Lampa: a city that keeps intact the colonial remnants. The Virreynal church of Santiago Apóstol stands out, inside which is a copy of "La Piedad" by Miguel Angel. You can also visit the house of the painter Víctor Humareda, the chinchillas hatchery and the Lensora rock paintings.
- Drain: Border city and international bridge with Bolivia. Nearby are the cave paintings of Pizacoma, with an approximate age of 10 thousand years.
- Chucuito: a place rich in archaeological remains such as a phallic temple "Inca Ullo" intended for the cult of fertility. Many of their houses and churches still preserve their viceroyal past.
- Pucará Town: where the Great Pucará Temple is located and where its inhabitants, prodigious artisans and potters, make the known "toritos de Pucará".
- Yunguyo: border town with Copacabana in Bolivia and where there are many folkloric and religious festivities.
- Chimú and Ojerani: peasant communities whose inhabitants are expert weavers of totora rafts.
- Ilave: important shopping center with two interesting virreynales churches. Every Sunday a local fair is held.
- Juli: Outstanding tourist center of the region, whose churches keep valuable works of the Cusco and Italian painting.
- Pomata: Among its buildings include the churches of Santiago Apóstol and Nuestra Señora del Rosario, built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in pink granite and altars in gold leaf.
- Zepita Population: with beautiful churches such as San Pedro, totally built in stone in the eighteenth century.
- Tinajani Canyon: formed by two large rock masses, located in Ayaviri. They call it the "devil's bath", because when it rains, from the bottom you hear very loud noises that cause fear.
- Other places to visit are Taraco, Huancané, Vilquechico, Moho, Conima, Santa Rosa and Sandia.
Typical dishes from Puno
Puno food is characterized by the warmth of a wood-fired oven, using its clay pots and all the aroma that is related to mother earth. Most of its ingredients are meats, tubers, herbs, grains that are used to a large extent in their typical dishes. Many of their dishes are native to the place and others have been influenced by their Bolivian neighbors. These rich stews can be found in restaurants, picanterías, fairs, the great patron saint festivities and in many lodging houses. They are served accompanied by chicha morada or an authentic chicha de jora and others with a pisco acholado. Among them we can talk about:
- Chupe of quinoa: It is a very nutritional dish. It is based on quinoa, cooked in cold water without salt. Vegetables are added. Put all the ingredients in a pot of water with salt, the head and backbone of the fish or shellfish to be cooked. Strain the broth and add the vegetables, potatoes, quinoa and fish. Fry in hot oil, add onions and tomato.
- Fried fish: It is a fish that is acquired from Lake Titicaca that contains proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals. Fried trout is a very nutritious food because its meat has potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. This dish is very simple to prepare, usually accompanied with Creole salad and fried or boiled potatoes. It fry the trout, it is accompanied with potatoes, choclos and chuño parboiled or it can also be with fries and rice, usually Creole salad is added as in many Peruvian meals. For its appearance, for many tourists it is the Peruvian salmon, however the trout of the lake has an exceptional flavor.
- Head broth or Huarjata:To prepare this dish, you should cook a head of pork (pork) or lamb in pieces. Add onion, garlic, peeled potatoes, black or white chuño. When serving it, you have to present it with red pepper, onion and tomato dressing, all these products are spread in the parboiled. The broth is served separately. Currently it is accompanied with rice.
- Chairo or Chayro: It is a thick and tasty soup based on potatoes, chuño, meat and other ingredients. Very appetizing and high nutritional power. It is the favorite soup of the villagers who return after finishing a day. It is a meaty stew prepared with lamb meat, chalona (dried lamb meat), vegetables (carrot, celery, beans, garlic, onion), potatoes, black chuño, salt and oregano.
- Alpaca chicharrón: It is a delicious and nutritious stew of Puno. First the meat is cooked until the water is consumed, then with the same brown fat. It is served with chuño, potato and toasted serrano corn. Sometimes it is served with criollo sauce. Alpaca meat is recognized as one of the most nutritious foods, since it has 22% protein, 56 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat and a fat content of 3%, which is why it is considered a light product par excellence. Currently it is also consumed between meals in Cusco, Cajamarca and other regions.
- Quinoa diet: This dish contains an extraordinary nutritional power, quinoa has no cholesterol and is easy to digest. Bring milk, cheese and other invigorating products. It is very rich on the palate.
The quinoa must be previously well washed, the quinoa is sancocha until it is well cooked so that it is not watered or thickened, then beat it with a wooden spoon and add milk to taste, butter and chopped cheese and salt taste. It is usually served with meat stew, either lamb or beef.
- Thimpo by Carachi: It is prepared based on Carachi fish, typical fish of Lake Titicaca that measures 10 to 15 cms. Carachi has a high phosphorus content. If you want you can use silverside or mauri instead of carachi. It is served with whole potatoes and chuños, muña, onion, garlic and chili.
- Cancacho: It is a dish originally from the city of Melgar, Ayaviri in Puno. It is roast lamb with skin. This meat is macerated from the previous day, in a combination of vinegar, chili, garlic, lemon, cumin and other species. The Cancacho is the obligatory dish at parties and special events in the city and much of the region. It is served accompanied by roasted potatoes baked in the oven, of phasi de tunta (white chuño) with cheese and chili or uchucuta.
- Sanchochado Puneño or Sajjta: It is a dish that is made with chicken or chicken meat, potatoes, peas, enough onion and carrot, all mixed with yellow ground panca chili with peanuts, cheese, huatacay cookies. Serve with tomato and chopped parsley. The classic sajta uses as a base the belly of the beef, white chuño, yellow potatoes, peas, carrots, ground peanuts. It is a powerful dish.
Climate in Puno and best time to travel
Average normal temperature for Puno:
- The month with the highest temperature is November (16.8 ° C)
- The lowest temperature occurs in the month of July (-1.3 ° C)
- It rains with greater intensity in the month of January (173.72 mm / month)
- The best time to visit Puno is after or before the rainy season that lasts between the months of December and March.
Recommendations: Tips for your trip to Puno
- The best season to visit Puno is after or before the rainy season that lasts between the months of December and March. Also, it is preferable to avoid the high season that goes from July to August.
- You should wear warm clothes, because the weather is quite cold due to the height, with an average temperature that ranges between 3 and 15 degrees.
- There are people who come from low altitude lands, suffer the problem of lack of oxygen (soroche), so it is recommended that in the bus terminals buy pills to combat the soroche and always carry a small bottle of water throughout the trip. iodized alcohol, water florida, Grabol (half of the tablet must be taken). The good thing is that this soroche does not affect all people.
- Other people due to the cold of the night suffer from bronchial pulmonary problems, for that it is necessary to carry paracetamol pills (headache and cold), Grabol (for dizziness on the trip).
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