Puno is a city in southeastern Peru, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, at 3,860 m above sea level. It is also the capital and largest city of the Puno Region and the Puno Province. The city was established in 1668 by viceroy Pedro Antonio Fernandez de Castro as capital of the province of Paucarcolla with the name San Juan Bautista de Puno. The name was later changed to San Carlos de Puno, in honor of king Charles II of Spain. The city boasts several churches dating back from the colonial period, they were built to service the Spanish population and evangelize the natives.
Today, Puno is an important agricultural and livestock region; particularly of South American camelids (llamas and alpacas) which graze on its immense plateaus and plains. Many homes in Puno, much like surrounding cities, are half-finished. This is done so that the inhabitants do not have to pay taxes. Much of the city economy relies on the black market, fueled by cheap goods smuggled in from Bolivia. Puno has been designated to become a Special Economic Zone or "Zona Economica" by Peru's president, Alan Garcia. Puno is served by the Inca Manco Capac International Airport in nearby Juliaca.
Puno is known as the "Capital folklorica del Peru" (folkloric capital of Peru) due to its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions, particularly dance. They are most notable during the celebrations of the Feast of the "Virgen de la Candelaria" and the Regional Competition of Autochthonous Dances. Puno's access to Lake Titicaca is surrounded by 41 floating islands. To this day, the Uros people maintain and live on these man-made islands, depending on the lake for their survival.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Puno