Puno is located on the Collao plateau and on the border of Lake Titicaca, in the Suni natural region, with a very cold climate. The annual average weather is of, maximum of 16 ° C and minimum of 8 ° C.
The department of Puno was created by General Don José de San Martin on April 26, 1822
It´s located to the South East of Peru with an altitude of 3827 m.s.n.m. and covers an area of 71,999 km2. It limits with the department of Cusco, Tacna, Arequipa, Moquegua and Bolivia country. Due to its high plateau location, it is one of the coldest regions of Peru
The department of Puno has a population of 1,389,684 inhabitants. The division includes the following provinces: Azangaro, Carabaya, Chucuito, Collao, Huancané, Lampa, Melgar, Moho, Puno, San Antonio de Putina, Sandia, San Roman and Yunguyo.
When we talk about Puno we have to refer to the Tiwanaku culture, which had the same antiquity as the Mochica and Nazca culture in Peru. This culture originated possibly the year 300 A.C. It´s capital was the sacred city of Tiwanaku, 21 km. Southeast of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia country, it spread across the Collao plateau, the Bolivian altiplano and the southern coast of Bolivia and northern Chile. It reached its apogee in 500 AD. For a long time it was believed that this culture was the oldest in Peru until cultures like Caral (3000 BC) were discovered.
The Tiwanaku culture based their economy on the cattle raising, agriculture, hunting and trade. It is known that this culture was colonizing, meaning that it traveled from town to town conquering and that is how they expanded their domains, teaching their customs and organization. The most representative cultural expressions of Tiwanaku are: the Kalasasaya Palace, the Pumapunku complex, the sun gate, the Chullpas.
After this culture the Aimaras kingdoms developed in Puno, they were located in the Andean Altiplano or Collao plateau, which -from north to south- occupied territories from Canchis and Canas (Cusco, Peru) to Potosí (Bolivia), they used the language Aymara and Puquina. the most important Aymara architecture are the chullpas Lagarto and Karachi of Sillustani (Puno). when the Inca Viracocha arrived to Puno, he imposed the Quechua language in this area and the Inca Pachacuteq was who achieved his absolute conquest, after much resistance.
In the era of the Peruvian viceroyalty was highly coveted because its land is very rich in minerals such as the Gold washes.
PUNO IN THE PRESENT:
Puno is a very important city for Peru not only because it is a border area but also for the historical importance of this place, its people are friendly and helpful and its streets has a striking colonial style. The Incas did not build many buildings within the Puna territory, However, at the time of the viceroyalty, important temples were built because their lands were highly coveted for their minerals. Puno is one of the main gold producers of Peru and the tourism has increased a lot in recent years. The main attraction of Puno is undoubtedly the islands such as the Uros or Amantani.
The historic center of Puno has traditional streets and is very quiet for visit, there are some bars, restaurants and entertainment centers, during the day the economic activities keep the city active but it does not have a very active nightlife. Puno is the perfect place to find tranquility and relax but not is the best destination for the entertainment.
The culture and traditions are very important for the people, for this reason this región is known as the folkloric capital of Peru. the most important festivity is in honor of the Virgin of the Candelaria, celebrated in the month of February.
Puno is a quiet city in general but it is advisable not to leave the center, the airport is 1 hour from the city of Puno in Juliaca district. Juliaca is a very commercial city but it is not advisable to visit it without a guide.