How to reach Machu Picchu without the Inca Trail
One of the world’s great wonders, Machu Picchu is the holy grail for any traveler visiting South America...
Places in Lake Titicaca
With a regal plaza, concrete block buildings and crumbling bricks that blend into the hills, Puno has its share of both grit and cheer. It serves as the jumping-off point for Lake Titicaca and a convenient stop for those traveling between Cuzco and La Paz. But it may just capture your heart with its own rackety charm.
The region’s only commercial airport makes Juliaca, the largest city on the altiplano, an unavoidable transit hub. The city bustles with commerce (and contraband) due to its handy location near the border. Daytime muggings and drunks on the street are not uncommon. Since Juliaca has little to offer travelers, it is advisable to stay in nearby Lampa or move on to Puno.
This charming little town, 36km northwest of Juliaca, is known as La Ciudad Rosada (the Pink City) for its dusty, pink-colored buildings. A significant commercial center in colonial days, it still shows a strong Spanish influence. It’s an excellent place to kill a few hours before flying out of Juliaca, or to spend a quiet night.
More than 60km northwest of Juliaca, the sleepy village of Pucará is famous for its celebrations of La Virgen del Carmen on July 16 and its earth-colored pottery – including the ceramic toritos (bulls) often seen perched on the roofs of Andean houses for good luck. Several local workshops are open to the public and offer classes where you can make your own ceramics.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
A desert full of mysteries: the Nazca Lines and beyond
The giant animal figures and hundreds of razor-straight lines etched into the sun-baked Pampa Colorada plain near the Peruvian desert town of Nazca constitute one of humankind’s enduring mysteries...
Top 10 adventures in Peru
Peru may be known as a cradle of ancient civilisations, but its wild topography also makes it a wonderland of adventure...
Inti Raymi: a guide to the Incan Festival of the Sun in Peru
Image by Fred Lam...
La Diablada: guide to encountering demons on Lake Titicaca, Peru
diabladas by pablo/T. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2...