Browsing: Puno

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Mauricia Surco knits a sweater in the fields near her home while her children tend to their flock of sheep nearby. (All photos by Meghan Jones)  See slide show.

By Meghan Jones

Have you ever wondered where exactly that hand-made ceramic llama you purchased at the Mercado del Incas in Lima came from? Or the delicately knit, hand-spun alpaca ponchos? As I strolled through one of the various tourist shops in Miraflores, I became very curious about all of these intricate and beautifully hand-made objects: where do the people live who create them, what process goes into the making of each unique product and, more importantly, how well are the artisans compensated for their work? I decided that I would travel to meet some Peruvian artisans and find out the answers to these questions for myself.

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Los Uros islands in Lake Titicaca, Peru. (Photo by Breanna Raymer) See slide show.

By Andreas Vailakis

I woke up in a daze — confused and disoriented. My eyes heavy, as the crisp cold air cut through my thoughts. As the haze slowly lifted from my eyes, I started to make out my surroundings: there I lay facing a straw wall, barely able to move my arms and legs due to the heavy weight of 12 blankets on top of me. Outside, I heard the vague sounds of straw cracking, as if following the pattern of footsteps. Suddenly it all came back to me and I realized that as I lay on my bed in my tiny straw hut in the predawn darkness, the entire land mass that supported me was merely a floating island of straw and dirt on Lake Titicaca in Peru on the floating islands of Los Uros.

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Hundreds of skulls look towards the mausoleum of a local miner in Lampa, an little-known destination in Puno, Peru. (Photo: Magalí del Solar/El Comercio)

By María Helena Tord,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

A new circuit in Puno will take you to see a part of Peru’s highlands away from Lake Titicaca. Right at the border of the Andes, there exist magical towns filled with stories and fabulous natural settings like the Tinajani canyon and the woods of queñuas and puyas.

Lampa: The pink town
The trip begins in the city of Lampa with its quiet streets surrounded by pink houses with pinkish tiled roofs.

The hands of the clock on the municipality’s tower mark three o’clock in the afternoon; this magical place seems as if it were frozen in time.

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The Templo de Asuncion is example of Juli’s stunning churches. (Photo: Magalí del Solar/El Comercio)

By Maria Helena Tord,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Juli is a place that holds the greatest treasures and is an example of the splendor of the Spanish Viceroyalty in these lands. It is a not very popular destination for tourists and it hides a unique legacy worth visiting on your next trip to the south of Peru.

This small town, called America’s Rome, has monumental churches that stand in the landscape of its quiet and deserted streets.

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By Marisol Grau, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

The chullpas, an Andean mausoleum, stand out in the horizon at the archaeological site of Sillustani. These funerary constructions constantly remind visitors of the respect that the leaders of the ancient Andean civilizations awoke.

The ruins of Sillustani are on lake Umayo near Puno. (Photo: Richard Hirano/El Comercio)

This cemetery in the Highlands not only contrasts the world of the living with the world of the dead, but it also is a tribute that revives the hegemonic class of cultures like Pucara, Colla, Tiahuanaco and Inca from centuries ago.

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By Andrew Dare

The first two weeks of February sees one of the largest fiestas in South America in Puno, next to lake Titicaca: the spectacular Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria.

The event is really split into two parts, but as well as the organized events, spontaneous groups of musicians and dancers can and do spring up at any time and anywhere in the town.'s a devilish party in Puno: Festival de la Virgen de la Candelaria 2010
All photos by Andrew Dare.