Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sillustani - A Pre- Incan Burial Ground

After lunch we came back to our hotel, picked up a few more layers of warm clothes, and headed to an ancient pre-Incan burial ground known as Sillustani.
Our visit here was brief on account that it was absolutely freezing and the daylight was fading fast, but it was a fascinating visit nonetheless.  To get to the grave sight we walked up a little path way that lead through a minuscule town then up the main hillside.  The tombs are above ground, in the most interesting cylinder type shape structures, we had views of them the entire walk up to the site.

Sillustani is a pre-incan ground on the shores of Lake Umayo near Puno in Peru.  The tombs, which are built above ground in tower-like structures called chullpas are the vestiges of the Colla people.  Who were conquered by the Inca in the 15th century. The structures housed the remains of complete family groups, although they were probably limited to nobility. Many of the tombs have been dynamited by grave robbers, while others were left unfinished.  The insides of the tombs were built to hold entire groups of people, most likely extended families of the Aymara elite. Corpses were not intentionally mummified, but in the dry environment created by the closed tomb, they survived for centuries. Most mummy bundles indicate burial in a fetal position. Some of the tombs also have various animal shapes carved into the stone. The only openings to the buildings face east, where it was believed the Sun was reborn by Mother Earth each day.

It was a beautiful area and I would have liked to have explored a little more and seen more of the tombs but by the time we made it to the top I couldn't feel my hands or my face since it was so cold and the wind was even colder.  We did get a stunning view of the sunset as we made our way back town through the little town to our coach.  I made sure to order the warm chicken noodle soup that night and drank a whole pot of coca tea and it was deliciously warm and the perfect meal for such a stormy night.


  1. Interesting to see what I missed on that excursion. Your pictures of the llamas, especially the one with the woman were wonderful.

  2. Interesting place. I've heard of the Incas, but not the Colla people. I love the pic of the church with the ocean and the sunset.