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The deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca guard remote islands where life moves at a slower pace and centuries-old Andean traditions are preserved. From the lakeside city of Puno, Peru’s folklore capital, you can board a speed boat and cruise to the nearby floating reed islands of Uros or further out to the islands of Taquile or Amantani.

Interacting with island residents is a rich cultural experience that you can enjoy on a full day excursion or overnight homestay. If you’re fortunate to witness one of the lively annual festivals in Puno, observe how the elaborate dance and music performances blend Andean and Catholic beliefs.

  • Elevation ~ 12,420 ft (3,860 m)

    Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake.
  • Climate The southern high plains, or altiplano region, of Peru has a semi-arid climate. Temperatures throughout the year do not vary much, with warmer days and bone chilling nights.
    Daytime: ~ 60-65°F (15-18°C)
    Nighttime: ~ 33-46°F (1-8°C)
  • Dry Season From April to November
    Weather conditions are typically sunny and pleasant. In June and July, nighttime temperatures hover around freezing.
  • Wet Season From December to March
    During these months, clear mornings followed by afternoons with showers may occur. The heaviest rainfall typically occurs in January and February.
Serving as the gateway to Titicaca Lake, boat tours to visit the intriguing island communities depart from the city’s harbor.
Puno is Peru’s proud folklore capital. The Festivity of Virgen de la Candelaria, celebrated there every year in February, is a lively cultural display of Catholic tradition fused with Andean culture.
Woven by hand from dried totora reeds, visit the homes of locals who have lived on this cluster of islands for generations as far back as pre-Inca times.
Against the hilly landscapes of this island lie the ceremonial temples of Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Pachatata (Father Earth) that showcase the iconic element of duality in Andean culture.
In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed Taquile Island and its textile art “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity."
Ancient stone burial towers, called chullpas, comprise the Sillustani Ruins. The tombs are believed to have been built for the deceased elite of the indigenous Kolla people.
Interacting with the local families of Uros, Taquile, and Amantani reveals the authentic cultural variations that stem back to pre-Inca times.
Isla Suasi is an exclusive resort located on a private island in Lake Titicaca. Hike trails, kayak in the gentle waters, or head to the spa for a massage or facial.
The first-class train connects Cusco to Puno to Arequipa along one of the most scenic rides in South America as it weaves through the Peruvian Andes.
Stay with a host family from Uros, Taquile, or Amanti. Overnight accommodations are modest, but learning about native customs from island locals is a truly rich cultural exchange.
Depart from Puno, drive across the Peru-Bolivia border, and then board a luxurious catamaran. Set sail from Copacabana, Bolivia and venture to Isla del Sol to appreciate ceremonial structures built by the Incas.
Outside of hotel restaurants, there are a handful of good restaurants around the main plaza of Puno.

Mojsa is a distinguished restaurant in Puno with a lovely balcony overlooking the main plaza. Patrons enjoy a menu of Peruvian main dishes such as grilled trout, lomo saltado, and crispy baked cuy (guinea pig).
Jr. Lima 635, 2nd floor, Puno
La Table del' Inca
Well presented Peruvian dishes are prepared with a French twist at this nice sit-down restaurant. Start with an order of sweet potato and squash soup, and for a main dish, tempting options include lomo saltado (beef fillet) sauteed in red wine sauce or quinoa risotto served with vegetables and a lemon herb sauce.
239 Jr. Ancash, Puno
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Lake Titicaca Travel Tips

Peak travel season is during the months of June, July, and August. These months coincide with the region’s dry season.

Shoulder season months fall between the wet season and peak dry season; April to May and September to November. The weather during these months is pleasant and there are fewer tourists. April and May (after the tail end of the rainy season) is a particularly beautiful time to visit Puno because the surrounding landscapes are green and flowers are in bloom.

  • February | The Virgen de la Candelaria Festival is the most important religious celebration in all of Peru, and includes numerous religious services, banquets, dances, contests, and a colorful procession that brings together hundreds of the faithful.
  • March | Inhabitants of Peru gather on the main square and streets of Puno to celebrate Carnival. Although not as grandiose as in other cities of Peru or other Latin American countries, it’s a great time to mingle with locals and, if you are not afraid of catching a cold, participate in the water fights that take place in the center of town.
  • May | The Alacitas y las Cruces Festival is a unique event where locals make and sell miniature artisan handicrafts in diverse fairs located on the main streets of each city. The handicrafts are modeled after various objects of desire: houses, cars, money, and so on. Bolivian artists also participate in this festival.
  • November | The Founding Anniversary of Puno is characterized by civic manifestations and school dance exhibitions held in the city’s streets.

The nearest airport is located in the nearby city of Juliaca, about 28 mi (45 km) and a 1-hour ride away from Puno. Daily flights from Puno depart to Lima and Cusco.

Lake Titicaca is a high altitude location; higher than Cusco actually by about 1,300 ft (460 m). Altitude sickness is caused by a rapid change in elevation without the necessary time for acclimatization. Mild symptoms are common and include lingering headache, nausea, and loss of appetite. Every person responds differently to the change in altitude and unfortunately there is no way to prevent it or predict how seriously it may affect you. Talk to your travel doctor about preventive medication.

Clothing | Jacket, hat, and gloves are essential cold weather attire.

Sun protection | Wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and strong sunblock.

Upgrade your transfer in/out of Puno aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer for a scenic and luxurious ride across the altiplano. Enjoy gourmet dining, onboard entertainment, and endless breathtaking views.

Departures are limited. Please speak with your travel advisor to determine which train itinerary works best with your desired travel dates.

VIP Bus & Tour | Take a comfortable first class bus from Cusco to Puno. The 8 to 9 hour journey makes a few stops for guided visits to important pre-Columbian and colonial sites, including Raqchi “Temple of Wiracocha” and Andahuaylillas “Sistine Chapel of America.”

Bus Terminal | A little more than 1 mi (2 km) southeast of the Plaza de Armas is the Terminal Terrestre, which houses Puno’s long-distance bus companies. Paved roads connect Puno to other main cities; Cusco (6-7 hours) and Arequipa (5-6 hours).

Since Lake Titicaca rests between Peru and Bolivia, crossing the border between the two countries is relatively simple. Years ago it was possible to cross into Bolivia on one of the iron steam ships such as the SS Inka or SS Ollanta, but due to increased border regulations, travelers must pass through Yunguyo, which is about 2.5 hours by car from Puno. From there, travelers can obtain a visa to enter the country, pay the Bolivian reciprocity fee, and continue on to Copacabana and La Paz.

Travel is full of variables and there is always a risk, however small, that something might go wrong before or during your trip. Something as minor as a flight delay can have a significant financial impact, as can illness, bad weather or baggage delay.

Ask your travel advisor about including travel insurance in your customized travel package.


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