Lake Titicaca in Puno is a must-see Peruvian attraction, but it’s definitely a tourist trap.
For those who want to get off the beaten path for a few hours, this Inca temple is on my Top 10 Things to Do in Puno list. It’s a fantastic, short (45 min) hike. The view is spectacular; the temple has several “rooms” to explore, and (my favorite) you won’t see another tourist for miles.
Lonely Planet has a blurb on how to get there, but they have you climb up the back of the mountain, which is very challenging. After exploring a bit, the Significant Other and I came up with a (we think) much easier route.
Here’s how to get to the Inka temple ruins outside of Puno:
Go to the bus station in Puno. Take a combi that’s going to the town Chucuito. Tell the diver you want to visit the ruins and have him drop you off in front of “Villa Del Lago” bodega. You’ll know it’s almost time to get off the combi when you pass Casa Blanca, a 5+ story hotel with oddly shaped windows and a huge “HS” drawn on the building. (It’s hard to miss off the right-hand side of the road.)
This is the store where you’ll get off the combi:
It’s across the street from “Villa Azul”:
Head down the path for about 20 minutes (slow walking) until you reach the transformer.
Keep going and take the first left after this transformer:
You *might* see this sign in front of the left-hand turn if they haven’t taken it down.
You should pass these buildings after making the left-hand turn.
Continue down the path until you get to two stone walls that intersect a powerline pole.
Take a right and walk toward the man in the photo, straight down the path between the two stone walls.
On the way you should pass two (or more) graves on the left-hand side of this path.
Keep following this path until it ends. You’ll be at the bottom of a terraced hill.
Climb up the hill taking the easiest path you can find. The temple and its gorgeous views are at the top!