We took a bus tour down from Cusco to Puno, then back again a few days later. It took around 10 hours one way. Luckily, the tour bus was very comfortable, and made lots of stops to ruins and ancient sites along the way. While in Puno, we also stopped by to visit Lake Titicaca, Uros Islands and Taquile.
Peru Adventures – Part 4. Puno
We went with Inka Express for our bus trip to Puno. They were fairly pricey, it cost around 170 soles ($70 NZD) for a one way ticket. We enjoyed our time with them though. They stopped at Andahuaylillas and then Huaro district, where we looked around and went in to a few churches. We made a stop at Raqchi (Inca ruins/archaeological site), had lunch at a restaurant called Sicuani. Then carried on to La Raya (mountain range), Pukara (Inca fortress), and eventually wound up at Puno. It’s not a bad way to spend a day, if you’re not in a rush to get to your destination.
In Puno, we contacted a local travel agency to visit Lake Titicaca, the Uros Islands and Taquile. We didn’t get the best service with them, they were very late in picking us up. I don’t remember the name of them unfortunately. We still enjoyed ourselves however, by focusing on the sights and culture around us.
We visited the floating islands on Lake Titicaca. This lake is the largest in South America, on the border of Bolivia and Peru. Our guide was telling us that it’s considered to be the birthplace of the Incas. The Uros Islands are made up of floating islands out on the lake. They’re constructed out of reeds (totora, I think they’re called) that grow in the shallow parts of the water. It was amazing.
Next up, we visited Taquile. This island is home to around 2200 people. We arrived to a sign that encouraged visitors to overall, be respectful. We may be tourists here, but this is their home, and we should respect that. Ask before you take a photo of someone. Don’t litter. A good reminder to all tourists and world travellers. The views from the top of the island were incredible! Overall, it was a good way to spend our one full day in Puno.
Now for the hostel we stayed at. This was El Manzano. I quite liked it here, it was on three different levels, and it reminded me of cabins at a campsite. The rooms were simple. but cozy.
There was also markets all along the road just outside the hostel. They had an amazing assortment of fresh fruits, I was there a lot!
Next stop, Salkantay Trek!