pictures of the World:
Puno - Peru - Bolivia border checkpost - 4 April 2003
Puno is small city situated between Lake Titicaca and the mountains surrounding the city. There is less than 2 miles flat land between the lake and the foothills, which has caused the growing city to continue to expand upwards onto the hillsides.
It is one of the world’s most impressive locations
Puno was named the "Capital folklorica del Peru" (folklor capital of Peru) from the wealth of its arts and culture, particularly dance.
They are most notable during the celebrations of the Feast of the "Virgen de la Candelaria" and the Regional Competition of Autochthonous Dances.
City Population: 100,168, elevation: 3,860 m.
The town's less developed and poorest areas are high on the hillsides, often have very steep streets.
Up one of these streets is the Kuntur Wasi viewpoint, which has a huge metal sculpture of a condor. There are some 700 steps to climb to reach the sculpture but the view across the city and Lake Titicaca beyond is breathtaking.
Puno access to Lake Titicaca is surrounded by 41 floating islands.
Puno is the first major base in the constant migration of people from Andes to the larger cities of Peru. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and is the recipient of new residents from surrounding smaller agricultural communities of poorer people seeking better opportunities for education and employment.
Puno has several small education institutions like Institute of Technology, Institute of Education, technical and junior college-type facilities and "UNA" the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, founded in 1856.
Historically, the area has special significance as the location where the Aymara civilization started its existence. These people still knit and create textile arts in the same fashion that have been practiced for thousands of years.
Maca root, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is a superfood used for thousands of years by the Incas for strength, endurance, and fertility.
Floating Islands - 4 April 2003
Floating Islands are a major tourist attraction.
Puno access to Lake Titicaca is surrounded by 42 floating islands.
To this day, the Uros people maintain and live on these man-made islands, depending on the lake for their survival,
Uros people harvesting some totora, an aquatic plant used to make their floating islands on lake Titicaca is notable for a population of people who live on the Uros, a group of 42 artificial islands made of floating reeds (totora, a reed that abounds in the shallows of the lake). These islands have become a major tourist destination in Peru, planning excursions from the lakeside city of Puno. Their original purpose was defensive, and they could be moved if a threat arose. Many of the islands contain watchtowers mostly made of reeds.
The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma," as local communities have traditionally interpreted the shape of the lake to be that of a puma hunting a rabbit. "Titicaca" combines words from the local languages Quechua and Aymara. The word is also translated as "Crag of Lead." Locally, the lake goes by several names. Because the southeast quarter of the lake is separate from the main area (connected only by the Strait of Tiquina), the Bolivians call it Lago Huinaymarca (Huiñaymarca) or in Quechua: Winay (Wiñay) Marka, and the larger part Lago Chucuito. In Peru, these smaller and larger parts are referred to as Lago Pequeno, (Pequenyo, Pequeño) and Lago Grande, respectively.
Like most of northern Peru, the territory of Puno's importance to the vast Inca empire was reflected in a legendary connection. Inca tradition has it that Manco Capac, the first Inca, rose from the waters of Lake Titicaca, under the orders of the Sun God, to start the Inca Empire, which would be centered in the neighboring region and city of Cuzco.
all pictures on this page by (c) Ina Nowarski
April - May 2003