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Puno is a port city at an altitude of over 3,800 metres, on the shores of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano of Peru. Despite its picturesque hillside setting, the city itself is a ramshackle collection of mostly unfinished modern buildings - its biggest attraction is as a departure point for the famous floating islands on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. This, and its proximity to the Bolivian border, means that it´s a regular stop on the South American tourist trail.

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Points of Interest in Puno

Most Puno sights are actually not in the city itself. Check the "Get out"-section below.

  • Floating Islands (described in detail in "Get Out" section. Tour boats leave every 40 mins from the dock (5 Soles by taxi). These cost 10 Soles for the return boat trip plus a 10 Soles entry fee to the islands. The last boat leaves around 4:30pm. The boat takes you to a couple of different islands (there are more than 50) where the island's "president" explains how the islands are built. Everything is made of reeds, including the islands themselves, the people's houses and their boats.
  • The Islands of Taquile and Amantani where you can sleep over with a local family.
  • The peninsulas of Chucuito and Capachica that form the right and left arm of the Puno Bay. In Chucuito you can stay in Luquina Chico or Karina, in Capachica the community of Llachón is becoming famous, but you can also stay on the other side of the peninsula in Ccotos or the small island of Tikonata.

In the city itself you can visit the panoramic viewpoints of the Puma and the Condor statues, but especially the last one has had security issues the last few years. Visit in group or accompanied by locals. Especially the Condor has a great view on the bay. Take a taxi (8 soles) to the top and go down the hundred plus stairs, in 10 min you are on the main square.

Also worth visiting: the Dreyer Museum close to the main square, and the Yavari boat museum. 7 soles by taxi (Hotel Posada del Inca).

In the last few years a few smaller museums have opened, like the Galindo Gallery with paintings in the Cusco School style, the Paleontological Museum and the Totora Museum.

Puno Plaza de Armas

Puno Cathedral

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About Puno


Puno's elevation is about 3,822m (12,565 feet), which means it is fairly cold, especially at night. The sun is bloodblistering hot during the day though and you should wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen during the day. During high season (July, August) almost every day one tourist is hospitalized with sunburns, especially after falling asleep on top of one of the sometimes agonizingly slow boats to the islands of Taquile or Amantani. If you arrive from a lower elevation, you might want to spend a day or two taking it easy in order to acclimatize.


There are several llama farms in Puno available for tourists to go to. You can learn about the history and agricultural llama use. Fun Fun! check all the places in [2]



  • In and around the mercado central are several budget places to lunch for less then 3 Soles.
  • Down Jr Tacna from the mercado many restaurants have dinner menus for 3 Soles or so.


Most touristspots are in and around Calle Lima, with main courses around 20 Soles. A little bit of bargaining will get you a discount, but don't push it too far if you want your food prepared without any bodily fluids.

  • Cafe restaurant Monterrey, Pasaje Grau 158, has reasonably cheap and good breakfasts.
  • Restaurant pizzeria Ollantay, Pasaje Grau 160, has pizzas, trout and alpaca. Ask for el menú.
  • Restaurant Colors, Calle Lima, has creative nouveau andean and international dishes and free wifi. Really good food and the desserts are fab!
  • Cafe restaurant Sal y Azucar, Pasaje Grau, relatively cheap but delicious desserts and some savory meals.
  • Restaurant Don Giorgio, Calle Lima, serves Italian food at very high prices and is the only restaurant or cafe in town with WiFi, according to iPeru (but see above).


  • Restaurant Vida Natural, Jr. Lambayeque 141. Perfect if you like natural, fresh and tasty vegetarian food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cheap complete menus. Custom dishes on request. Friendly owners. (Closed on Saturdays)


  • Fruitjuices at one of the many juguerias on the second floor of the market.
  • Many gringo spots at or near the pedestrian mall.
  • Pacha cafe-bar, calle independencia (main pedestrian blvd). Bar on main street offers average coffee and cocktails. Any food ordered is brought in from outside, so best not to eat there. Staff have game to see how much they can short-change gringos. Free wifi, password 1063071970. 2 for S12 happy hr.


You can buy souvenirs here for less than in Cuzco or Lima. There is a fairly large market down by the water.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Puno on Wikivoyage.