Puno city is the gateway to Lake Titicaca, therefore you will most likely have some free time to stroll the city on foot, but where to start? How to do it? Don´t worry! below we highlighted the must-see attractions in the historical center that you can visit for free by doing your own self-guided free walking tour Puno, just follow the instructions, we have also embedded a google map with the highlights!
Free Walking Tours no Peru
This is the plan for the Free Walking Tour Puno
Check out all the recommendations below to see where you can start? What to see? Where to finish your walk? Where to eat the best food in Puno city?
Start at the Plaza de Armas of Puno
In pre-Hispanic times there were already human settlements of farmers and fishermen who lived on the shores of Lake Titicaca according to many chroniclers and historians, which suggests that when the Spaniards arrived Puno city´s location from today, they made a Re-foundation of the city in 1668 under the name of San Carlos de Puno.
Puno like many colonial towns in Peru still has a strong colonial Spanish background in architecture and the urban planning which resembles a Checkers´ board or quadratic cities and right in the center there is the Plaza de Armas which is the birthplace of the city.
In the central part of the square, there was a colonial water fountain that was removed and replaced in 1925, by the statue of General Francisco Bolognesi, a hero of the Pacific war against Chile.
Atrium of the Cathedral of Puno
The beautiful baroque-style cathedral was built in between 1669 and 1757 founded by Silvestre de Valdez, damaged by earthquakes. Many restorations were many by Emilio Hart Terre.
At the façade you will see many flora and fauna representations on high relief, there is also a mermaids figures holding Charangos (Small Guitars made out from the Armadillo Schells), you cannot miss this place definitely when you free tour in Puno.
Laykakota was a mine and at the same time a city located approximately 6km in the northeast of Puno city from where silver was extracted, this mining was founded by the brothers Gaspar and José Salcedo in the mid-seventeenth century.
At the beginning of 1667 the conflicts and rebellions between the Spaniards from the north (Basque Country) and the Spaniards of the south (Andalusia) began, even though there was an express order of the Viceroy Count of Lemos to stop the conflicts, these rebellions did not cease, which is why the Viceroy of Peru, Don Pedro Antonio Fernández de Castro, better known as Count of Lemos, had to travel to the city of Puno and deal personally with this conflicts to restore order and peace.
Carlos Dreyer Spohr Museum
Carlos Dreyer Spohr was originally born in Germany at the end of the 19th century, then he migrated to Peru and lived in the city of Puno for around 30 years, he was an antique collector, painter and passionate about cultures that lived and lives around the Lake Titicaca.
All Carlos’s collections are now exhibited in this museum, where you can see ceramics, metallurgy, textiles and even sculptures from the Puno region. There are many artefacts from different historical periods, there are even human remains that come from the tombs of Sillustani.
Price: Adults pay 5 USD approx. | Students pay 3 USD approx. | Please bring local currency!
Opening hours: 9am to 7pm
This site is optional since there a fee for accessing this museum
This beautiful colonial house was built in a total area of 600 square meters, dates back to the 16th century, the house still maintains its colonial-style through Sevillian tiles, patio and balconies; The house was an official residence for the most important authority from the colonial period who had the political title of “Corregidor”.
Corregidor literally means “a person who is responsible for making order and peace in a city”, at that time he was the highest authority of the city as it is the Mayor nowadays.
The house was badly damaged by the earthquakes of 1781, 1810 and 1981 and fortunately rebuilt and today is used for different exhibitions of art, music, literature, etc.
This is just a fun walking street where you will find arts and crafts, cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and travel agents, definitely the perfect place for a pleasant afternoon stroll, if you are looking for an awesome restaurant you can find it at this street.
The original church was built in 1562 but unfortunately, it was destroyed by an earthquake, the current church we see today dates back to 1887 and has an Ogival French architectural style.
This church is also very famous because within it is the patroness saint of the Puno city known as The Virgin of Candelaria, the most famous in the southern part of Peru, the catholic festivity takes place on February the 2nd of each year, you definitely do your best free walking tour Puno with vivid Culture.
The Park was built at the beginning of the 20th century in memory of Manuel Pino who is one of our heroes of the Pacific war against Chile; Manuel Pino was born to Puno city and studied law and politics in Arequipa city, he participated in the battle of Miraflores (Lima) in 1881 where he died heroically.
Nowadays the park is the main place where locals gather to talk about politics and social issues; this park is also used for cultural events, similar to Plaza San Martin in Lima city, make your way here when you do your free walking tour in Puno.
If you haven´t visited a traditional place in Peru, you will surely love this market. Traveling for many tourists means not only visiting touristic attractions but also giving it a social sense by exploring non-touristic locations and thus helping locals through a purchase. In this market, you will find food, clothes, and souvenirs of Puno, each stall operates independently and the vendors are very friendly. If you are looking for food go upstairs to the second floor where you will find traditional food for 10 soles or 3 USD for a set menu (soup, main course, and infusion).
This square is located about 7 minutes’ walk from the Central Market, visiting it is highly recommended! From here, you can see the immensity of the highest navigable lake in the World and the largest in South America. The place is also perfect for photos shooting, especially if the day is very sunny, the photo can be taken with the background of Puno city or Lake Titicaca.
There are also restaurants at this pier and square, after lunch, you can take a boardwalk along the coast of Puno, everything is sign-posted, or else you can take a boat to the floating Islands of Uros.