Puno to Bolivia
Travelers make a mistake when they breeze between Puno and the Bolivian border without stopping. The road passes through a string of quaint towns, with interesting colonial churches and a seemingly continuous schedule of festivities.
The south shores of Lake Titicaca are the center of Peru’s Aymara population, a distinct language and cultural group. They have a historical reputation for repelling domination, be it the Inca 500 years ago or the Shining Path in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2004, several towns in this area rose in protests against allegedly corrupt leaders. In the worst instance, the mayor of the town of Ilave was dragged from a house and lynched by a mob of Aymara Indians. Before visiting these towns, inquire in Puno beforehand about the present situation.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition