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(Altitude: 3,826 m / 12,555 ft, Population: 1,333, Phone Code: 051)

This inviting little village located near the tip of the Península de Capachica between Puno and Juliaca promises a non-touristy experience. It is dusty, dirt-road town of adobe houses. The Quechua-speaking residents of Llachón devote themselves to farming, and you may be invited to join them in the fields. They are also renowned for their weaving and embroidery.

This town is about relaxing. The lake offers fine beaches, fishing, kayaking and birdwatching. For a change of scenery, climb up Cerro Auki Carus, where there is a Tiwanaku sacred center, Inca Cancha, where ceremonies to Pachamama are done every year. Inside the temple is a sacrificial altar. Auquiacarrus, an ancient sanctuary with magical powers, and pre-Inca tombs are also on this hilltop.

More ruins are atop a hill approximately 1.5 kilometers (1.5 mi) north of Llachón. This 10-hectare (25-ac) archeological site has chullpa burial towers dating from the Tiwanaku period.

You can also hit the trails to neighboring villages. Some hamlets, like Ccotos, may only be reached by trekking in or by boat. Just offshore of the peninsula are Amantaní and Taquile islands, which can be reached by sailboats (about $6) or launch ($36) that leave from nearby Santa María. Boats may also be taken to Península de Ccotos, Islas Uros and other destinations.

On the second Thursday of February, Llachón honors Pachamama with the Pago a la Tierra ceremony. The town’s anniversary is celebrated June 11. Two days later (June 13) begins the feast day of patron saint San Antonio de Padua, serenaded with music played on instruments of the region.

Lodging is mostly with local families, with no more than two guests staying in one household. As the hamlet follows the ayllu system, the task of lodging is rotated between homes. Valentín Quispe has rustic, thatched cabins on the outskirts of the village. He can also arrange homestays with other families and kayaking. Camping is also possible: on one end of the beach is a free campsite and at the other end, a French-owned campground that rents tents and provides meals. Prices are fixed: lodging $15, and board $8-15, depending on meal. To hire a guide is $5 for; to rent a kayak is $15.

Llachón is 75 kilometers (46 mi, 1.75 hr) northwest of Puno, from where tours may be arranged. Buses depart from Puno and Juliaca for Capachica, from where you have to take another transport. The town may also be reached by boat, with the community’s service, Empresa de Transporte Lacustre Llachón, which departs from Puno’s port.

For more information about Llachón and the smaller communities, visit: or


Other places nearby Llachón: Lampa, Juli , Isla Suasi, Juliaca, Isla Amantaní, Islas Uros, Puno, Islas Anapia and Yuspique, Isla Taquile and Chucuito.

26 Jun 2012

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