As a Catholic house of worship, the Puno Cathedral is richly decorated, but relatively sober inside. After admiring the intricate stone carvings on its exterior, step inside to enjoy the quiet atmosphere under the lofty domed ceilings and admire its high marble altar.
The Puno Cathedral is officially named La Catedral Basílica San Carlos Borromeo, but hardly anyone calls this landmark by its full name these days. The cathedral was built in 1757 and is of the Andean Baroque school of architecture, a style that was commonly adopted in the mountain regions of South America.
Having burned down in 1930, the Puno Cathedral was completely rebuilt and was declared a “Patrimonio Histórico Cultural de la Nación del Perú” (a national cultural heritage site) in 1972. The cathedral is the final resting place of former Bishop of the Diocese of Puno, Julio Gonzales Ruiz.
Start your visit by admiring the exceptional sculpted stonework by the Peruvian stone mason Simón de Asto on the cathedral’s façade.
Inside, see how the entrance hall is clad in silver, a donation by the local miners who funded this house of worship. Walk up to the marble altar, which has a painting of a crucifix as its centerpiece. This painting reportedly has a bullet lodged in it, the result of an 18th-century conflict about ownership of the mines in nearby San Luis de Alba and has become known as The Lord of the Bullet.
The other artworks in the cathedral are also worth closer inspection because they are from the Cusco and Italian schools of painting.
The Puno Cathedral is easy to reach. The city’s main pedestrian street, Calle Lima, leads straight to the Plaza de Armas. You can also rent a taxi, colectivo (a shared taxi van) or mototaxi to reach the cathedral from anywhere in the city.
Entry to the Puno Cathedral is free and visitors are welcome to attend the daily Mass. The cathedral is closed for a few hours around lunch time each day. Come at night to see the cathedral in a more atmospheric light, with its illuminated bell towers framed by a starry night’s sky.
Located in the heart of Puno, this hotel is steps from Casa del Corregidor and Puno Cathedral. Puno Plaza de Armas and Carlos Dreyer Museum are also within 5 minutes.
Located in the heart of Puno, this hotel is steps from San Antonio Church and Puno Cathedral. Puno Plaza de Armas and Casa del Corregidor are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in Puno, this hostal is within a 10-minute walk of San Antonio Church and Puno Cathedral. Carlos Dreyer Museum and Casa del Corregidor are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Puno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Naval Museum and Puno Cathedral. Enrique Torres Belon Stadium and Puno Central Market are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in Puno, this hostal is within a 10-minute walk of Puno Central Market and Puno Cathedral. Coca and Costumes Museum and Pine Park are also within 5 minutes.
Located in Manazo, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of San Antonio Church and Puno Cathedral. Carlos Dreyer Museum and Puno Plaza de Armas are also within 5 minutes.
Situated in Puno, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Arco Deustua and Puno Cathedral. Coca and Costumes Museum and San Juan Church are also within 10 minutes.
Situated in Puno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Puno Plaza de Armas and Puno Cathedral. Puno Central Market and Pine Park are also within 5 minutes.