Juliaca is located in the southeast of Perú, next to the town of Puno and thus near Lake Titicaca. With 225,146 inhabitants (according to the 2007 census), it is one of the largest cities in the region. Juliaca has an altitude of 3,825 meters above sea level on the Altiplano. In addition to tourism, it is the largest economic center of the Puno region. It is close to Lake Chacas, Lake Titicaca, and with the nearby ruins of Sillustani, with its well-known ruins, one of the destinations to reach Lake Titicaca. Juliaca is also known for its Carnival, the festival in honor of Pachamana, which takes place between February and March, where the women dance with colorful costumes on the street and traditional dances of the Altiplano.
Juliaca and the industry
Due to its height and rather cooler weather, Juliaca has been known for its distinctive textile production since the pre-Columbian era. Especially the processing of alpaca wool, which has reached a large circle of lovers due to the craftsmanship of the craftsmen and especially the artisans, gives the city a supraregional reputation that only Chinchero can compete with. Scarves, hats, sweaters and clothing of all kinds finds its customers here. Meanwhile, Juliaca is the second most important economic metropolis in southern Peru.
It is also beneficial for the trade that due to its proximity to Lake Titicaca and the border with Bolivia, many trade routes and relations with Bolivia have been formed. Thus, over the centuries, numerous branches and industries have firmly established themselves there. In addition to trade, the manufacturing industry, the focus is on transportation, logistics and, of course, tourism as well, with the related transport by bus, train and flight path, as well as the hotel industry.
Since about 4,000 BC, the region around Lake Titicaca is becoming ever more densely populated. First of all, the local inhabitants mainly used to fish and the Uros families populated the self-made reed beds. Thus, the territory of today’s Juliaca in the period between 1,000 BC and the later prevailing in the region to 200 AD Pukara cultures in the entire Andes provoked. Until the Spanish conquest in 1550, the area around the city was a contested bone of contention among a wide variety of indigenous peoples, including the Incas.
The economic location on the border with Bolivia
Juliaca owes its good connections to cities such as Cuzco, Arequipa, Puno and the new connection of the Interoceánica Súr with Brazil to the good connections and the developed transport routes to Bolivia. The latter international link is currently on everyone’s lips, because the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht has invested a lot of capital to get along with many other construction projects and this project. It has come out in all previous researches that even the former President Alejandro Toledo has provoked it. But all the bribery cases are still not fully recovered and it affects far more people than we know so far. What used to be the transport routes for goods and goods on the roads and roads has been shifting more and more for years onto the rail network, which is increasingly being used by tourists as well.
The city itself has developed quite a bit with the normal part of the population as well as with tourists. The result was the large shopping center, the Galería las Calceteras in the central Plaza Bolognesi, one of the typical textile markets. Right next door you can admire the church “La Merced”. Another attraction is the Franciscan Monastery of Santa Bárbara in Plaza de Armas and Cerro Huaynarroque Viewpoint with the white Christ the Redeemer. At the end of the town in the direction of Puno, more and more large buildings of universities and markets are also appearing.
About ten kilometers to the north-east lies the florally and fauna-rich Laguna de Chacas. If you drive further south towards Puno and Bolivian border, you turn right before the toll station turn after a few more kilometers in the place Atuncolla, which is always worth a visit, with its very natural buildings and farms farms, if you on the Road to Sillustani to Umayo Lagoon. The farmers are happy to show and explain their small farm and estate for a few soles (usually 5 soles). This is usually adopted by their children during the day. You can learn more about Atuncolla and Sillustani in one of the other posts.
Juliaca is not really worth seeing. The roads have been flooded more often in the last few years (2016 and 2017) and we have been able to view the place itself more as a permanent construction site. You have to be careful when driving through even on the larger roads and follow the vehicles in front, otherwise it can happen that you drive in the middle of a busy intersection in a road recesses, which is more like a small pond and its shoals you really not can estimate. Many a vehicle looks more like a Sahrara vehicle after being immersed in these red-brown colored ponds and lakes of the streets of Juliaca. Everything is also pretty mushy …
The streets of Juliaca are quite chaotic, usually with very narrow sidewalks and a street that is not concrete or paved. In fact, the streets and streets are closed to traffic at any time of the day, or are parked by technically talented people on their non-existent roadsides.
Although Juliaca is linked to tourist cities like Puno, Cuzco and Arequipa, Juliaca has more of a charm than a transit city from which to get out of the way as soon as possible. So do not waste your time in Juliaca and rather travel as fast as you can to Sillustani, Puno or Bolivia to Yunguyo / Copacabana and Desaguadero. The city is really not very attractive and has only a few tourist attractions. There are also some buses to these destinations during the day. All you have to do is get a ticket, it is even better to get a taxi from the center. On the streets where the market is, it will always be teeming with people selling tickets for the buses.
If you are in the region between January and February, you should pick out the dates of the next carnival because this is one of the great festivals that Peruvians and groups from neighboring Bolivia are celebrating in the middle of the streets in Juliaca. The participants wore the traditional robes and the women and girls stand out from afar with their colorful costumes.