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PUNO  -  PERU


The city of Puno is Gateway to Lake Titicaca and the Folkloric Capital of Peru, located high up in the Andes at an altitude of 12,421 feet (3,860 meters) above sea level.
 

Founded in November 1868 by the Spanish count Lermos, and once a prosperous community granted city status in 1810 due to the silver mines at Laykakota, Puno today is the capital of the Altiplano region and considered the commercial border town across lake Titicaca from Bolivia.

 

The city also has an exuberant side. It is officially the Folkloric Center of Peru. Throughout the year, monthly festivals with music and dance fill the streets and bring out the photographers. The most popular of these festivals is the feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria in February with the famous Devil Dancers. The costumes are vivid and spectacular and no expense is spared for the 10-day celebration in honor of the patron of Puno. One the first day hundreds of dance groups from the neighboring towns pay their tribute to the Mamacha, showing the best of their folklore and wearing their finest costumes. This is the time to see the famous and colorful Diablada where, to the rhythm of the Sikuri or panpipe players, groups of dancers dressed as devils parade worshipping their patron. The image of the Virgin is taken out in procession crossing the main streets of the city of Puno. The following days are celebrated throughout the area with fairs, festivals, drink and dancing day and night.

 

The city of Puno celebrates its founding during the first week of November and throughout the year, on Sunday mornings, the Plaza de Armas is the site of military parades, music and ceremonies. During Puno Days, on November 4 and 5, a lavish procession and masked dancers celebrate the beginning of the Inca Empire when Manco Capac and Mamá Occlo rose forth from Lake Titicaca.


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