The Southern Andes and Lake Titicaca Feature
Although any time of year is suitable for traveling to Puno and Lake Titicaca, visiting during a festival of dance, song, and parades is ideal. The streets are flooded with people; the folklore experience is passionate and very fun. Preserving the choreography of more than 140 typical dances, Puno's most memorable celebration is the Festival of the Virgin de la Candelaria (candle), held on February 2 and during carnival. A cast of several hundred elaborately costumed Andean singers, dancers, and bands from neighboring communities parades through the streets carrying the rosy-white-complexioned statue of the Virgin. During the rest of the year, the statue rests on the altar of the San Juan Bautista Church. Puno week, as it's informally known, occurs the first week of November and is equally fun. When Puno isn't having a celebration, it reverts to its true character, that of a small, poor Andean agricultural town. On the lake, Isla Taquile celebrates a vivid festival the last week of July.
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