In addition to sarcophagi, the Chachapoyas also built mausoleums with the same pattern: on the very cliffs of the mountains. These mausoleums, locally known as pucullos or chullpas, resemble small houses which were made out of polished stones. Some of these houses have two or three floors, but each one is less than one meter high.

Unlike the sarcophagi that housed just a single corpse, the mausoleums received many bodies. Archaeologists have found mortuary offerings inside such as musical instruments, necklaces, pottery and feathers. In addition to the mummies, another remarkable feature is that the walls are painted or decorated with religious magic figures.

One of the largest mausoleums ever found in this region is situated above a lake known today as Laguna de las Momias (the lake of the mummies). It was more than 200 funerary bundles which belonged to Chachapoyas elite. There were even mummies of children in this mausoleum.

When I came over the town of Leimebamba, I managed to talk to the landlord of the land where the lake was, and he told me that the hike to the lake could last from 12 to 15 hours. He added that it was necessary to rent horses, and so on. It was very expensive for a backpacker like me, so I decided not to go. It would be less expensive if I were in a group, but I was alone.

Anyway, this town (Leimebamba) has a modern museum which showcases a great number of mummies.

I missed the Lake of the Mummies, but I visited the mausoleum of Revash.

Related posts:


Chachapoyas descendants

The eternal guardians on the cliff