Your stay in Puno would be incomplete if, during the days that you visit this majestic and historic region, you don’t visit the Chullpas of Sillustani.
Sillustani is an old funerary complex belonging to the Kolla culture and the impressive tubular constructions that can be seen are tombs. Many of them kept the remains of the ancient nobles of this area of Peru, which is why it is considered one of the most important cemeteries not only on the continent, but in the entire world.
Located on the road to the city of Juliaca (from the city of Puno), this cemetery sees its horizons adorned with water in which the sky is reflected, thanks to the Umayo lagoon that is located next to it.
In its territory it has almost a hundred elongated capsular mausoleums, in which they found remains of nobles, priests and rulers of the Kolla (mostly), Tiahuanaco and Inca cultures. Also, some personal objects of the individuals and offerings were found next to the mummies.
The process of creating their tombs was quite complex, since the mausoleums measure -on average- between four to six meters, although there are some specimens that reach 15 meters high. Its great state of conservation is also surprising, since the materials chosen for its construction (stone, mud and ashlar) ended up being resistant to the extreme climate that prevails in the region, and its finish: the Kollas, like the Incas, perfected the technique of stone carving, which make neat buildings look.
But what was the reason for mummifying the high ranks of society? This is a practice adopted from the Inca culture, in which their dead were venerated by giving them burial after a mummification process. Thus, what was intended was to perpetuate the beauty of their bodies and show respect for the souls that ceased to inhabit the earth. Once they had the mummy ready, they were placed in these huge cylinders (chullpas), in which offerings (food), ceramics, textiles, and precious metal ornaments, made of gold and silver, could also be found.
In this place, mysticism and energy are breathed: those who visit the stone towers of the Chullpas of Sillustani, attest to this. The importance of what this funerary complex meant in ancient Peru and what it means today, by still being able to witness the vestiges of its majestic legacy, makes it an emblematic cemetery for the Inca country, the American region and the entire world. .
The best way to visit this funerary enclosure is through a specialized guide, who will expose the most important details and data of this archaeological site, where you can also enjoy the Site Museum and a visit to the town of Atuncolla, where you can live an experience other than community tourism.
Here, you will share with local families some of the ancient techniques that are practiced today and that are very useful to this day.