06 Feb The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Puno in Peru
Puno is located in the southeast of Peru. It is the city that is located closest to Titicaca on the Peruvian side and it is close to the Uros Islands. Puno is Almost 4000 meters above sea level (12,556 feet). Here is what to expect of Puno.
What to do
One of the main reasons people visit Puno is because they are going to Titicaca. Many people just do a day trip to Titicaca and stay the night in Puno. There aren’t a lot of things to do in Puno itself. But here are some that are worth checking out:
Catedral de Puno
Catedral de Puno
Catedral de Puno is a baroque cathedral located in Plaza de Armas in central Puno. The cathedral was completed in 1757.It is free to enter and is open from 8 AM to 3-6 PM.
Casa del Corregidor
This 17th-century building is one of the oldest buildings in Puno. It was previously a community centre. Now, it is a place where you can buy fair trade handicrafts and souvenirs.
There are multiple museums to check out in Puno. Museo Carlos Dreyer and Coca Museum. Museo Carlos Dreyer is a museum with Puno related archaeological findings. You can also observe Mummies and Chullpa. The museum is very close to Casa del Corregidor, it costs $15 to enter. The Coca Museum is a tiny museum that gives you all the information you need to know about the Coca plant. Admission fee is $5.
Where to stay
There are not really any amazing budget places to stay in Puno. Many of the hotels are rustic and poor quality. You should read reviews on different booking pages before you choose the one.
Casa Andina is an excellent place to stay if you are travelling as a family. It is medium range and it is comfortable and clean. It is not in the centre but closer to the lake with a breathtaking view.
Hotel Hacienda in Plaza de Armas is cheaper and is more central than Casa Andina. It is a good place to stay for couples and friends. Note that it can be a bit noisier because of the location.
I stayed at Olimpo inn and it was very cheap, the room starts at $15. It is simple, clean and the breakfast is simple. It is a good option if you want a cheap place to stay. It is quiet and reasonable. I also stayed one night at Home Center Puno, I don’t recommend that place because the walls are very thin, it is cold and noisy.
Where to eat and drink
Mojsa is an amazing place to eat in Puno. You will have a view of Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. Mojsa means delicious in Aymara which is the native language in the region. Mojsa has everything from traditional Peruvian and international food.
Balcones de Puno
Balcones de Puno is a great place to eat dinner. Be sure to stay there for the nightly show from 7:30 pm to 9 pm. You need to book a table in advance, preferably a day before.
What to not eat
Because of the altitude, your stomach takes longer to digest the food. Therefore, you should avoid heavy meals and pizza. Soups and small meals are an excellent choice to avoid getting bloated.
How to get there
The cheapest and easiest way to get to Puno from Cusco (I recommend taking a plane from Lima to Cusco unless you are on a tour through the country.) One way from Cusco to Puno is 65 soles and takes roughly 5-7 hours. The best bus companies are Cruz del Sur and Inka Express. You should book the bus tickets as early as possible. To get the best seats on the first level you need to book it at least a month before. Your bags are checked in as well and the companies are very safe. You also get a small meal and it has a toilet.
PeruRail is the most luxurious way to travel from Cusco to Puno or Arequipa to Puno. The tickets are priced from $200 depending on the type of train you want to travel in. For more information check out the website here.
Driving takes between 6-7 hours and it is beautiful. It is perfect with a group of friends and especially if you want to get off the beaten path and stop at places in between without many tourists.
Titicaca is a lake on the border of Peru and Bolivia. All of the islands have something unique about them. On the Peruvian side, you can visit The Uros floating islands, Amantani and Taquile. Read more about my stay at Khantati Island in Uros, Titicaca.