Altiplano Pictures, Peru

The Andean Altiplano [high plains], llamas and mountains, Peru

The Peruvian Altiplano (high plains) and Andes mountains between Puno and Cusco, photographed from the train between the two cities.


A Sillustani burial tower, Altiplano near Puno, Peru

Lake Umayo and a Sillustani burial tower 35 kms (21 miles) from Puno, visited by taxi.

The pre-Inca Sillustani funeral ground and associated ruins of the Aymara culture – who were conquered by the Incas – are not much of an attraction compared to the magnificence of Inca remains or even Spanish colonial architecture, but if you’re in Puno and have done the obligatory Lake Titicaca cruise then a half a day drive around the Altiplano is worth it, but more for the desolate mountain-framed plains than for the Sillustani’s crumbled glory – but don’t stay over in Puno just for this unremarkable sight.

Sillustani takes about 45 minutes to reach from Puno. Professional tours often stop off at local houses on the way back to see how locals live but many tourists find this pay-to-intrude just rude. A good English-speaking taxi driver could probably offer a more flexible trip but make sure you have real communication before setting off into the big nowhere.

A small religious complex on the Altiplano near Puno, Peru

A small religious complex on the Altiplano. The walls are designed to keep the wild and whistling wind out rather than wild and biting animals or wild and thieving bandits.

A llamaherd in the middle of the Altiplano, Peru

A llamherd in the middle of nowhere with very huggable llama. Or is it a young alpaca?

An aerial shot of the Altiplano, Peru

This is what the Altiplano between Cusco and Puno looks like from the air. Not a hospitable place.

Puno city view, Altiplano and Lake Titicaca, Peru

Puno’s suburbs; this is the Altiplano’s second largest city after Copacabana in Bolivia. Both cities squat unattractively on the shores of lovely Lake Titicaca but offer colourful festivals and curious islands.