(note: the visit took place on August 13th 2015
I’m lucky to have my fellow travelers to travel with me. We split tasks on whom to do what (hotel, travel bookings, etc). My friend Christine got Puno’s itinerary and she got to manage what to do the day we were in Puno. She picked Inca Lake Tour Agency to arrange our adventure, and picked ½ day Sillustani tour, continued by ½ day Uros Island Tour.
Around 8:30 am we were picked by our private guide named Samuel. He was very knowledgeable, kind, and polite. From our hotel Camino Real Turistico, we went to Sillustani burial ground. It is located around 32 km north west of Puno Central and it took about 40 minutes drive to reach the site. The road to Sillustani was basically ascending and we took our chance to stop at one spot where the Puno City looks like miniature from a fairy tales.
All the way to Sillustani were a vast yellow plain with some llamas and alpacas happily feast. It was unfortunate though that it was cloudy the whole morning.
The Sillustani burial complex had actually been improved by years, said Samuel. Vehicle were once allowed to enter the burial ground and able to explore the Chullpa (The tombs). But then, they managed to spare some areas dedicated to parking lots, and entranceway to the actual site where lots of Chullpa were placed. That way, it can only be accessed by walk, and help preserve the ground. Around the complex were few local’s house, Umayo Lagoon, and some ruins.
In the complex, we saw so many tombs (Chullpa) which said only dedicated to the inca’s elite. The tomb is cylindrical and made from the brick, and the mummified dead-body is preserved inside the Chullpa. One chullpa could reach 12 m high. They also put worldly belonging inside the Chullpa. That is way many of them were broken by grave diggers. All the mummies were put in fetal position had been removed from the Chullpa.
Going back from Sillustani, we stopped by the local village. All of us were fascinated by the humble traditional local house and had been wanting to stop by. The family whose house we entered was very kind and friendly. They were making traditional Peruvian food. What took my attention is they use soil as a sauce (Yes! Soil !!). But it wasn’t just a soil. The soil is special and not available everywhere, but good grace, it was so simple and so tasty. Although it was such a short visit, we got a chance to talk and had fun with the family and its 4 children. It was such an amazing experience for a half day Tour. I couldn’t wait for the next epic exploration I had been waiting for : The Uros Floating Island in Lake Titicaca !!