Higher Bodies of Water
Just over a year ago, on April 16, 2019, I visited the port city of Puno on the shores of the famous Lake Titicaca in Peru. Titicaca lake is widely known as the “highest navigable lake in the world” at 3,812 m (12,507 ft) above sea level, but there are other bodies of water that are higher, but not larger – and one of those is Lake Umayo situated 20 km’s from Puno.
A remote place
Lake Umayo feels remote, even though the journey from Puno only takes about 45 minutes (with a couple of stops along the way.) Silently overlooking the lake from the hill right on the edge of it is the rather mysterious and mystical pre-inca burial site of Sillustani. It being positioned in a picturesque area with the stunning backdrops of Lake Umayo and its lagoon with the deep green of the surrounding landscape makes for an impressive visual experience.
The site itself consists of numerous tower-like structures known as chullpas, which were Aymara funerary towers for nobility. The chullpas at Sillustani are known to be some of the finest and most cylindrical examples of chullpa burial tombs in the entire region. It is speculated that these initial structures by the Colla (a subgroup of the Aymara people) were possibly later used as foundations for new towers by the Incas due to the different architectural styles found at the site.