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What to do in Puno

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 08-04-2022

Lake Titicaca, with its incredible expanse of waters, that are more like the ocean than a high-altitude lake, it’s fascinating archaeological sites and completely unique indigenous culture, is simply mesmerizing. The city of Puno is more industrial and hard-working rather than picturesque and pretty, it is an excellent base for exploring Titicaca and its magnificent shores and other remarkable destinations of the Puno region. Take a look at these Puno, Peru attractions!

Virgin de la candelaria festival, Puno

The Uros Islands

The Uros people who inhabit Lake Titicaca created their own floating reed islands by tying together the totora reeds that grows in abundance in the shallow waters of the world’s highest navigable lake. Why they decided to escape the shores of Titicaca is still a mystery but these incredible people have now made their life afloat this massive lake. You can visit these islands just 30 minutes from the pier in Puno.

Uros floating islands

Amantaní Island

This Titicaca Island is defined by its impressively preserved terraces and is home to Quechua communities who earn their living as farmers, fishermen and weavers. Visitors generally arrive as part of a tour of the Uros islands and Taquile island. You can don your walking boots and hike the island’s two high-altitude hills of Pachatata and Pachamama, for magnificent views over the lake and the rugged island landscape. You can even spend a night with a local family on Amantani for deeper immersion into island life and dress up like a Amantani local!

Amantani island

Taquile Island

As you arrive at this tiny island in the middle of Lake Titicaca you might hear the clicking of knitting needles, as the villagers on Taquile, still earn money from their long-established textile industry. On this island, it is the men who make the garments as the women weave textiles on the ancient ground looms and these traditional textiles are now UNESCO - protected. These Quechua-speaking locals are always donning traditional dress as they walk around knitting, a sight to behold!

Taquile Island knitters


With the backdrop of a stunning blue sky, these towering tombs of Sillustani, that are found in this pre-Incan cemetery on the shores of Lake Umayo are just a 40-minute ride away from Puno. Known as chullpas, these relics are a stunning sight over this lake near the larger Titicaca. They are the remnants of the Qulla people, who were overthrown by the Inca Empire in the 15th century.



This temple of Fertility is the main attraction of Chucuito town on the banks of Lake Titicaca. Within the complex are rows of stone phalluses where during historical times, women would perform fertility-boosting rituals, to improve their chances of getting pregnant. While the stone wall at this temple is distinctly Inca, the originality of these stones penises dates back to pre-Inca times and are shrouded in mystery.


Puno Cathedral

On the Plaza de Armas in Puno is the baroque Roman Catholic cathedral, with its stocky twin bell towers and its impressive brown facade. Finally completed in the mid-18th century, the main attraction is the high marble altar under the lofty domed ceilings. Entrance is free and visitors are welcome to attend the daily mass during their visit.

Puno Cathedral

La Casa del Corregidor

Another thing to do in Peru is to visit la Casa del Corregidor. Whether you simply want to admire its beauty or if you just fancy a plate of tapas, this bright yellow landmark is a must-visit in Puno. The 17th-century structure is home to an art cooperative, a fair-trade cafe and a library, while an exhibition hall displays works by local artists and hosts music events. If you prefer vinyl records hung on walls and well-worn board games on tables, ask for a pot of tea at the café.

La Casa del Corregidor

Museo Municipal Carlos Dreyer

Just around the corner from the Casa del Corregidor, this small museum houses an eclectic collection of art and archaeological relics from the pre-Inca, Inca, Colonial and the Republic periods. It was founded by German-born painter and art-lover, Carlos Dreyer, and his collection of paintings and artifacts adorn the museum. Head upstairs to see a collection of mummies and ancient burial towers.

Puno pop art

Cerrito de Guajarati

Balanced high on a rocky outcrop atop a hill looking over Puno city, this white statue is a remarkable homage to Manco Capac, founder of the Inca Empire, in the 13th century. Less than a 15-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas, heading uphill until you reach the observation deck, you will appreciate impressive views over Puno and Titicaca.

Manco Capac