TOURISITIC LOCATIONS

CHULPA LARAMITA: this round building is a very special tomb located with the Mismi glacier in the background (the Mismi is the origin of the Amazon River). It can be reached after a one-hour walk in a southeasterly direction.

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MOLLEPUNKU: These caves are near Callali and have wall paintings and art that date to six thousand years before Christ. They show that these places were inhabited since thousands of years before present. The drawings and engravings show the process of domestication of llamas. Remains of chulpas are also visible.

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TAHUAYA: Four rectangular Chulpas (tombs) in Cansaseta, a place that can be reached in 30 or 40 mintes’ drive to the northeast. The name should be Tahua Aya, which means four (houses of the) dead, where early inhabitants would place the corpses of their dead.

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CHOQUESISHA: within the town itself, these are three springs of water where offerings are made to Mother Earth before the Fiesta. Women are required to make the offerings because it is a feminine paqarina “place of origin” in the ukhu pacha, lower earth, according to Andean tradition.  The Municipality has repaired this ancient sanctuary, which had become choked by soil and garbage. It stands as an example of the respect and care that must be practiced in these places where rituals of respect and gratitude were celebrated since pre-colonial times. These sanctuaries stress the importance of water, and the care required in times when this precious element is scarce.

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APU CALLALLI: in the fields to the southeast of the town there is a place where a rock used to stand, the Apu Callalli, where men used to pay the ground before religious festivals. Unfortunately, the stone itself was destroyed because of ignorance or maybe as part of the program of Destruction of Idolatries. From this place the Torreqaqa is visible.

THERMAL BATHS: although it may seem incredible, at this altitude hot springs provide bathing possibilities as they sprout from cracks in the volcanic rock. Near Callalli (30 minutes on foot) are the Inca Baths with warm water pools and showers.

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PARAQRA: this is the ancient Collaguas settlement of Sibayo, upstream of the Colca River (one hour on foot or 15 minutes’ drive). The round Collaguas houses stand out in an impressive landscape, the surrounding hills are bright red. The ruins of a large chapel, a mixture or Collaguas and Colonial styles, is known to this day as “the Cathedral”. Several rectangular houses nearby were the lodgings of the Franciscan friars. On the hillside stand fortifications and walls with a doorway that transposes the walls. Presumably, beyond and higher there was a fortified refuge whence the Colca Valley could be watched. The pathway is narrow and requires careful tread. Just before arriving, there is a mummy in its original place, protected by iron gratings.

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LLAPA YANAHUARA:

The Colonial Temple of Llapa Yanahuara is located at an altitude of 4,316 m. in an environment which is both solitary and mystical. Only the ruins of ancient houses are still standing in the vicinity. The school closed years ago for lack of pupils. The size and beauty of this church is astonishing and one wonders: Why this building in such a distant place? The answer could be that the place was a site of cult and pilgrimage since times immemorial. One proof could be the rock behind the church which used to be considered sacred (Huaca); and below the building sprouts a spring of clear water, also considered a holy site and a place of origin (Paqarina). The rock symbolizes the male and the water the female divinity. This place was the hub of pilgrimage for the ancient Collaguas and Incas. Behind the church there are Inca ruins which could have been used as a temple. The Franciscan monks built a church over the spring and put crosses on the rock to “Christianize” them, thus perpetuating the cult. During the month of September, Catholic saints are celebrated here: the Virgin of the Rosary, Saint James, Saint Anthony and the Holy Ghost, which in this case represented as Christ on the Cross. These festivals are celebrated to this day and attract large groups of pilgrims.

Maybe the name LLAPA (all, or everything in Quechua) was originally ILLAPA which is lightening or thunder. This would explain the presence of Saint James (Santiago), “the son of thunder”. This saint and apostle was very important for the Spaniards.

An important road passes through Llapa Yanahuara and connects with the colonial bridge PACHACHACA. This road comes all the way from Cusco and continues on to Arequipa and the valleys of the Colca and the Majes Rivers. There is a small colonial bridge just before the little village. The colonial church, the courtyard with three arches and the adjoining houses are part of the sector registered by the INC (Peruvian National Institute of Culture).

Llapa Yanahuara was previously an annex of the District of Yanahuara in Arequipa. Because of the distance, in the late the Eighteenth Century a decision was taken for the care of this annex to pass to the Parish of Callalli. Apparently the local people were never in accordance with the change, nor in agreement with the service of the Callalli Parish Priest.

An interesting event was recorded in 1804. Customary wakes took place within the church itself, where food and drink were prepared and partaken in celebration of the deceased. The parish priest ordered the destruction of the vault to terminate these excesses. The local authorities complained to the Bishop, who requested a report from the priest. The mention of a vault suggests that the place discussed could have been an underground crypt where the corpses were buried or exposed as mummies according to pre-Hispanic rites. This would show that ancient customs still survived centuries after the European invasion and the indoctrination of the Franciscan friars.

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MAQUERUYO (CHOQUELACCA): it is difficult to reach this impressive location, which in local belief is “Mauka Arequipa” ancient Arequipa. It consists of rock formations which, with some imagination can resemble houses and churches… The location is nearly five thousand meters above sea level, and can be reached from the anexos Challuta or Cota Cota in a vehicle in about one hour, after which it is necessary to continue the climb for another hour or so. But the effort is worthwhile, and is rewarded by the unique experience of seeing these formations at this altitude, with pure air and a clean blue sky that is highly impressive.

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PACHACHACA:

The colonial bridge of Pachachaca (Earthen Bridge) at 4,241 meters altitude, is part of an important path from Cusco to Arequipa and the valleys of the Colca and Majes Rivers. The latter provided fruit, figs, maize wine and cane alcohol. One could imagine that Tupac Amaru, the Indian cacique precursor of Peru’s Independence, could have traveled this route with his mule packs. The length of this bridge, with three arches of five points, witnesses its antiquity. The bridge was built over a narrow gorge of the Colca river that runs far below, forming whirlpools and caves. According to legends and local folk tales, these waters were the home of mermaids who attract and enchant young men with their song and drag them to the depths. According to the myth, a guitar left on the river shore at night will be well tuned and with a fine sound in the morning, thanks to the mermaids.

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TORRE QAQA:

This is a rock formation above the village of Callalli and is the town symbol. The name means Rock Tower, but the ancient name was SAYA SAYA, which means standing, raised, erect. This formation is part of a series that altogether give the impression of a castle that guards and protects the town of Callalli.

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THE COLCA WINDOW:

The so-called Colca Window affords a vista of the Colca Valley from its upper end. It consists of two face-to-face rock formations that shape a “window”, inviting the viewer to visit beautiful scenery where the Colca River (previous called in Quechua Hatun Mayo or Big River) runs it course. The Mismi glacier is also visible from this point. The snowmelt on the eastern slope of the Mismi is the primary origin of the Amazon River that pertains to the Eastern Water Divide. The road visible from this “window” leads to Callalli, Tisco, Sibayo, and the Colca Valley proper, giving rise to the nickname “The hidden route of the Colca Valley.”

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CATEDRAL (SIBAYO)

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CATARATA IMATA

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