Puno, Puno Province, and Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is a calm ocean at the top of the world. The deep blue lake reflects the clouds and the mountains. You can read more about the Uru people and the spectacular floating islands here. Taquile Island has a self governed collectivism still based on the Inca moral codes. It was one of the last places in Peru to be conquered by the Spanish. It remains a heritage site for humanity, one of the more authentic pre-colonial societies in the Americas.
Puno hold a reputation for being a place to sleep while waiting to see the wonders of Lake Titicaca. It's unfinished houses, dusty streets, and lack of modern infrastructure might lead you to believe it. Having said that, we felt welcomed and safe in Puno. The city center was pedestrian friendly and full of restaurants with good food, and the shopping had the cheapest alpaca wool goods in Peru. With little room between the lake and the mountains, Puno has expanded up the mountainside making the city itself quite scenic at times. With Lake Titicaca in the background, it can be downright breathtaking.
peru 1188  The first stop for many will be the Juliaca Airport, in the Andean highlands. peru 1490  Juliaca: not always a pretty picture. peru 1496 peru 1489 peru 1493  Without modern drainage, streets full of water after a heavy downpoor in Juliaca. Andan highlands between Puno and Juliaca
peru 1257  The deep Blue of Lake Titicaca. from the condor  Breathtaking sights in Puno. At 3,830m, a hike to a city overlook can cause you to literally lose your breath, too. peru 1218 peru 1269  Central Plaza in Puno. peru 1273 peru 1262
peru 1217 peru 1215 peru 1288  Some of the best ceviche to be had in Peru, can be had caught fresh from Lake Titicaca in Puno. peru 1240 peru 1232  Unfinished rooftops and exposed rebar make up most of Puno's architecture. peru 1212
peru 1249 Puno panorama peru 1235 peru 1467 steps peru 1237
peru 1255 peru 1304 peru 1315  Uros, floating islands. peru 1319 peru 1326 peru 1356
peru 1350 peru 1348 peru 1345 peru 1379 peru 1393  Taquile Island. peru 1400
peru 1418 peru 1384 peru 1436 peru 1440 peru 1425  The island of Taquile remains a self governed collectivism. The society is run in very much the same way as it did 600 years ago. peru 1373
peru 1413 peru 1396 peru 1414 peru 1524  Moving on: our journey took us north towards Cuzco. peru 1476  Agriculture and livestock are the main economies in Puno Province. peru 1523
peru 1481  Even only a few degrees off the equator, we encounter snow twice in Peru! The elevation has a powerful influence on weather patterns. peru 1532 peru 1542  Progressively the mountains get more spectacular until you reach La Raya Pass, at the Puno-Cuzco province boarders. Mountains in the area are as high as 18,000ft above sea level. peru 1544