Juliaca is perhaps the most undesirable town in Peru. This is the definition of a third world shantytown and has very little to offer other than being a base for trips to smaller nearby towns on Lake Titicaca, the site of the Puno airport, and a stop on the rail line. It is very impoverished with people living in tents right on the main streets. The roads are unpaved and unfinished construction projects have left heaps of materials scattered about town. Piles of trash are burned in the roads. Crime is commonplace. Unless you have a good reason for coming here, don’t!
Getting To Juliaca
Aeropuerto Internacional Inca Manco Capac, Aviacion (no #), 051-328-974. You can get to and from the airport to the center (2km) by taxi (7-10 soles). Or, if you are heading to Puno, tourist buses run from here to Puno (1 hour, 15 soles) frequently. Flights are generally sold one-way and range from about $100-250 from Lima or Cuzco. Airlines include Peruvian Airlines (www.peruvianairlines.com.pe) and LAN- 213-8300, www.lan.com.
- To Cuzco – (45 minutes).
- To Lima – (1 hour 45 minutes)
- To Arequipa – (2 hours 10 minutes)
The three companies all have similar services and routes. All have terminals on the 12th block of San Martin. Most go to Puno and Cuzco from where you can make other connections.
- Ormeño – 54-5057, www.grupo-ormeno.com.
- Cruz del Sur – 32-2011, www.cruzdelsur.com.pe.
- Civa – 32-6229, www.civa.com.pe.
By Train – See Cuzco or Puno.
Where to Stay in Juliaca
Suite Don Carlos – Prado 335. This is the best option in town with large new rooms. The newer addition to the hotel has more modern rooms, while the older part is still fine, but a bit worn. Rooms have cable, minibars, and hairdryers. $$$
Hotel Royal Inn – San Roman 158. This hotel is centrally located and a good value. Rooms have hot showers and cable TV. The restaurant here is better than most and keeps you from walking outside, a big plus in Juliaca. $$
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.