How to Spend 24 Hours in Puno, Peru

Uros Women working with reeds
Uros Women working with reeds | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Photo of Brandon Dupre
22 April 2018

Puno is where it all began according to Inca legend. From Lake Titicaca the first Inca emerged to found the Inca empire and the lake has since been an important part of Inca mythology and tradition. No trip to Peru is complete without going to Puno and spending a day out on the water. Here’s how to do Puno and Lake Titicaca in a day.

The lake

Lake Titicaca is where you’ll want to be spending most of your time in Puno—it is the reason everyone comes. The first thing to do is to figure out what lake trips you want to do. There are one-day and two-day options. The two-day and one-night option is the best because you’ll be participating in a home stay and living with a local family on one of the islands for the night. If that’s not a feasible option due to your time constraints, a one day tour is fine, but there are some spots you need to make sure you see.

An Uros boat made out of reeds | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

The Uros

The Uros people and their traditions are one of the main reasons why Lake Titicaca is so popular. People come to see the Uros’ floating islands that they live on and make out of a reed that grows in the shallow areas of the lake. The islands are incredible and tours with the families can be arranged by any one of the tour companies. You’ll get to meet the family, see their homes, learning about their traditions and even get a chance to ride in one of their reed boats.

The Uros women take tourists around the island | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip

Taquile island

Until recently, no one knew about this island’s inhabitants. Out on one of the furthest islands from Puno live the Taquile people. Theirs is one of the best examples of traditional Andean life and they have only recently opened their shores to visitors. Their knitted items are renowned as some of the best made in the world and were awarded a UNESCO cultural award as a result. Their traditions and lifestyle are unique and well worth the stop—really, a must see.

A look at the people on Taquile Island | Mia Spingola | © Culture Trip

The plaza

The plaza is where most of the life happens in Puno and where you can unwind after your lake adventures. There are restaurants with great views of the plaza and church, which offer some delicious food to munch on.

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