Maca was the last village we visited in the Colca Canyon. Stood against the Andean mountains, the pure white walls and green painted doorway of Maca’s church left us a lingering feeling of the Altiplano (Andean Plateau) villages in this part of Peru. It was a feeling that emerges from simple but harsh living condition, rough but beautiful landscapes, humble villagers mingled with curious tourists. After Chivay, our minibus continued to crisscross the mountain roads in the area of Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve where we passed by the day before. Soon, we bid farewell to the area with our last glance of the Misti Volcano.
The ride heading east to Puno was bumpy and felt awfully long. In mid-afternoon, we reached the picturesque Laguna Lagunillas at 4,450m above sea level. Dozens of flamingos dotted the blue icy water, against a backdrop of golden windswept landscape. In the strong and freezing winds, we stood as long as we could to take in the scenery and refreshing mountain air. After the magnificent lake, the minibus just kept on going east until the sun was set.
After hours of bus ride in the mountains, we were all exhausted when we arrived at Puno. Located right by the northwestern shore of Lake Titicaca, Puno is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano. It is a transportation hub and a convenient base for tourists to explore the lake and its islands. We walked a bit in the downtown area, found a place to grab a quick bite, and retired early to our hotel room to gain some rest in order to get over the high altitude syndrome as best as we could. The next day, we would sail out the highest navigable lake (by large boats) in the world to experience the magic of the deep blue Lake Titicaca.
Church at Maca village near Chivay.
The underside of the green doorway of Maca church.
Even at sleepy Maca, tourism has been transforming the life of villagers in recent years. We tried a freshly squeezed juice of a local fruit which we all loved it. A small vendor next to the juice stand was an old woman selling dried roots chips which tasted delicious too.
Farewell to Misti Volcano.
By the mountain highway at an altitude of 4,450m, Laguna Lagunillas was really in the middle of nowhere.
Crystal clear water and groups of flamingos.
Peaceful scenery of Laguna Lagunillas.
Traffic police stand with advertisement of Inca Kola at downtown Puno.
Streetscape of downtown Puno near central market.
Vendors at the main covered market in Puno.
El Rancho, a grilled chicken restaurant in downtown Puno.
Bread for sale on the street of Puno.
The Glorioso Colegio Nacional de San Carlos at Pino Park in downtown Puno.
Iglesia de San Juan at Pino Park in downtown Puno.
The pedestrianized Lima Street in downtown Puno.
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Read other posts on Peru Trip 2010
1. Peru Trip 2010
2. Bumpy Arrival, Lima & Arequipa, Peru
AREQUIPA & COLCA CANYON
3. Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru
4. Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru
5. Volcanoes and Vicuna, Pampa Canahuas Natural Reserve, Patahuasi, and Patapampa, Peru
6. Yanque, Colca Canyon, Peru
7. Cruz del Condor, Colca Canyon, Peru
8. Farming Terraces, Colca Canyon, Peru
PUNO & TITICACA
9. Road to Titicaca, Colca Canyon to Puno, Peru
10. Afternoon on Taquile Island, Titicaca, Peru
11. Morning on Taquile, Titicaca, Peru
12. Inka Express, Puno to Cusco, Peru
CUSCO & SACRED VALLEY
13. Pisac & Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru
14. Salinas de Maras, & Moray, Sacred Valley, Peru
15. Lucuma Milkshake & Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru
16. Saksaywaman, Cusco, Peru
17. KM 82 to Wayllabamba, Inca Trail, Peru
18. Wayllabamba to Pacamayo, Inca Trail, Peru
19. Pacasmayo to Winay Wayna, Inca Trail, Peru
20. Winay Wayna to Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, Peru
21. Machu Piccu, Inca Trail, Peru
22. Machu Picchu in Black and White, Inca Trail, Peru
23. Afterthought, Inca Trail, Peru
LAST DAY IN CUSCO & LIMA
24. Farewell to the Incas, Cusco, Peru
25. Last Day in Peru, Lima, Peru