Last updated on December 31st, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Steeped in tradition and legends, the high elevation Andean town of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, has long celebrated “La Candelaria” every February. The two-week-long party draws many spectators to see the colorful costumes, lively dancing, fireworks, and the very popular Dance of Devils.
This year, Puno also will jump for joy now that La Ruta de Manco Capac is officially opened. The Route of Manco Capac allows tourists arriving in Juliaca to follow in the footsteps of the legendary founder of the Incas, Manco Capac. Travelers then visit the shores of the beautiful Lake Titicaca, to the floating islands of Uros and the islands of Taquile and Amantani.
La Ruta de Manco Capac is meant to open up a new route for tourists to follow as they travel to Lake Titicaca and visit the surrounding region. Each year, tens of thousands of tourists visit Lake Titicaca, known to be the birthplace of the Inca Empire.
Many arrive by plane from Cusco or Lima, or by train from Cusco, and then spend the night at one of the excellent Puno hotels along the lakeshore before taking a boat trip to see the islands of Taquile or Amantani or the floating reed islands of Uros.
Here, islanders wear traditional clothing, such as hats and hand woven thick sweaters. Many of the locals are expert weavers of cloth or reeds. The locals are friendly, and some open their homes to visitors since they rely heavily on the tourism industry to supplement their incomes.
The new Manco Capac Route initiative means there will be increased hotel offerings in Juliaca, more restaurants, and other tourist-friendly places. Juliaca, located about 35 miles north of Puno, will become more of a destination rather than merely a way-station. The initiative, enacted by Peru’s tourism department, will make Juliaca a boomtown and ease pressure off of Puno. The route also includes the development of the beach towns of Coata and Capachica, where visitors can enjoy the shores of Llachón.
If you are planning a Peru vacation, don’t miss the opportunity to travel to Lake Titicaca and the Puno region. There are often festivals such as the La Candelaria going on in this lively and very traditionally Andean part of Peru. And with the inauguration of La Ruta de Manco Capac, taking a Lake Titicaca vacation is easier than ever.