Arriving by Car to Lake Titicaca

 

Route

Travel time

Distance

Cusco – Puno

7h-8h

387km/240 miles

Arequipa – Puno

6h-6.5h

294km/182 miles

La Paz – Puno

5h

(+ border control)

263km/163miles

If you’re brave, there’s also the option of getting to Lake Titicaca by car. Remember to watch that altitude, though! At the highest point, the highway reaches 4,313 meters above the sea level which can be really dangerous for drivers not used to these conditions.

You’ll typically arrive in Puno from the north (through Juliaca) or from the south (through Chucuito). From Cusco, you will drive south-west to Juliaca and from there further on to Puno (387km/240 miles). If you want to break up the journey, you can make a stop at Pukarani for some hiking and stunning mountain landscapes.

From Arequipa, you will also head towards Juliaca, driving right through the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. It’s worthwhile to make a stop in this nature reserve if your itinerary allows it. It’s famous for volcanoes, rock formations, salt lagoons, and herds of llamas roaming around.

You can also get to Puno from La Paz by driving along the coast of Lake Titicaca via Guaqui, Pomata, and Chucuito (263km/163miles). If you’re coming this way, it makes sense to make a quick detour to Copacabana and stay there for a night or two to explore that side of the lake. Adding Copacabana to your itinerary will only cost you an extra 30km drive and $0.3 for the ferry to cross the Tiquina Strait so go for it if time allows.