Sillustani is an ancient pre Inca necropolis located on top of a small peninsula above Umayo lagoon. A paved road will take us there in less than an hour. Upon our arrival to Sillustani we will start our soft trek to the top of the peninsula, where most of these Colla and Inca tombs are located. Once at the top we will appreciate a gorgeous view of the lagoon with the western Andes at its back, we will also appreciate all the work and effort done in order to construct these “Chullpas”.
After having visited the place we will walk down to our vehicle through the original entrance into the site, 78 stone steps. This is quite demanding at 3,800 meters above sea level, thus it is softer to do it during our way down. It is important to mention that our guides have been instructed not to tire our guests excessively. Additionally, we have to be ready for a 45 minutes trek. Besides visiting this enigmatic place, our guides will also organize a visit of native farms and houses, thus establishing a close contact between quechua farmers and our guests; contact that will allow us to see how old traditions are still being practiced on these high flats or plateaus. One of these traditions is the construction of “camellones” or “waru-waru” (in quechua), which are the terraces constructed on the flats for preventing their crops from being flooded. Many alpacas and llamas will also be part of the atmosphere.
According to the Spanish chroniclers; the Collas that had inhabited the village of Hatuncolla (located close to the site), were the ones that had started constructing tombs at Sillustani. They were ruled by a local lord called Zapana, who was later subjugated by the Incas.
Originally there were more than one hundred tombs, from different periods. The most prominent tombs are: The Lizard, Snake, The Twin tombs, and the Square Tombs which are believed to be manufactured by the Incans. We also have to mention the two white Chullpas, one of which was under construction.
The biggest tomb is the one known as the Lizard because of the small reptile carved on one of its stones. According to Squier, the dimensions of this tomb are 16 feet (base) by 36 feet (height) with a shape of an inverted half cone. The materials utilized for the construction were basalt and andesine; very nicely carved and precisely fitted. On the inside the small niches utilized for putting the mummies of their lords can be seen. Located on the eastern side of this small peninsula are two small terraces that were apparently utilized as funeral parlors.
The location and quietness of this place could not be better chosen for the ethereal peace of the dead. Perhaps this location induced a natural mood in order to meditate in this sidereal Colla kingdom.
Note: In APT – 105. This excursion is shortened depending on the flight time of our clients, but we try not to miss a thing in the visit.
Distance: 64 kilometers. Time spent: 3 hours (minimum). Departures: 09:00 and 14:00 hours.