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Puno is located on the high altiplano, between Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, and the Andes Mountains of Southeastern Peru. It is known as the Folkloric Capital of Peru, for its many festivals and celebrations, the most important of which it the Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaría, which features elaborate costumes and vibrant music and dancing, and lasts for 18 days. Much of Puno’s population speaks their native Aymara language, along with Spanish.

Facts about Puno

Lake Titicaca is a still, deep blue body of water comprising over 3,200 square miles. It lies on the border between Peru and Bolivia and can be accessed from either country; it is the sacred mythological birthplace of the first humans, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the first children of the Sun God, Inti.

Each February, the amazing festival of the Virgen de la Candelária takes place in Puno. It features over 100,000 dancers and 40,000 musicians all wearing colorful, elaborate costumes that can take many months to create. Some of these dancer’s outfits can weigh up to 60 lbs!

The Floating Islands of Uros, inhabited to this day, were originally constructed at least 500 years ago and comprise 40 human-made islands made of totora reeds. Built as a way to evade violence from conquering people, the islands must be continually rebuilt in order to maintain the integrity of their foundation.

Due to its altitude and location, Puno never gets very hot, although the sun can be very intense at this elevation. The average annual temperature in Puno is only around 47 degrees Fahrenheit, and the nights can become very cold, with temperatures below freezing on many nights of the year.

Taquile is an isolated island located 45 km from Puno that houses a population of approximately 2,200 people who possess their own unique culture. Knitting among the Taquileños is the exclusive province of men and boys, while the women of the community spin, dye, and weave belts and other items on back strap looms.

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