Sillustani – Ruins of the Inka

Most of you might have heard of Machu Picchu and the Inka trail and how this lost tribe had lived and sustained themselves in the Andes. As soon as I did some travel preparation and came here I quickly found out that Machu Picchu, Cuzco and the Sacred Valley were only a small percentage of what was still left of the ancient tribe on the continent. Actually in most regions of Peru and Bolivia you can find ruins or excavations of Inka and pre-Inka peoples.

Sillustani is one of them, conveniently located close to the Titicaca Lake and therefore easily accessible from Puno. When you first get to the place it looks a little  mousy but as soon as you get in and walk around the funerary towers, you notice the power of this place. A number of different pre-Inka peoples used the hill for their funeral rituals and sacrificial offerings. The towers evolve from small igloo-like stone piles to impressive 12 m high, properly formed stone buildings.

The views from the top of the hill are surprisingly incredible as a big lake you couldn’t spot before opens up in front of you. We enjoyed the views and the sun.

On our way down we even met a baby Alpaca, which are by the way the funniest animals ever!

Insider tipp: Agencies offer tours from Puno. All of them start around 2pm. Going by yourself is, however, just as easy because you only need to jump on a colectivo to Juliaca and hop off earlier at the crossroad (which the driver will nicely advise you if you ask him) where a bunch of other colectivos will be waiting to take you there. Try to go in the morning or around noon to avoid the crowds of tourists that will “invade” the place at 2:30pm!




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