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.