Machu Picchu Travel

Chauchilla Cemetery

Chauchilla Cemetery

The vast Nazca desert is a land full of mysteries and archeological wonders though not many people seem to know about them. However, we want you to have all the information about the amazing things you could do in southern Peru while you’re here.

The Chauchilla Cemetery is a long lost necropolis situated at the outskirts of the Nazca city. The site is another of the many legacies left behind by the ancient Peruvians that walked this arid zone hundreds of years ago.

An open-air cemetery that housed hundreds of mummies at its peak but now just a few of them are left due to the many robberies it suffered before it became an official archeological site.

Nonetheless, the corpses left are incredibly well preserved, with some even holding onto the very last string of hair on their scalp. It is the only place in Peru where you get to see mummies in their actual burial place.

The origin of the Chauchilla tombs are still a mystery since archeologists link them to different times and societies though many of them believe that it was a burial place for the Nazca people. Would you like to know more? Keep reading and learn everything about this spooky place.

About the Chauchilla Cemetery

The burial grounds were discovered in the 1920s though they weren’t recognized as an official archeological site until 1997. During that time, the Chauchilla Cemetery was looted consistently by ‘Huaqueros’ or grave robbers in English.

For that reason, many archeological artifacts and mummies were lost, leaving only a few remains on the site. Luckily, the tombs were restored almost identically as they were hundreds of years ago, with some of the most well-preserved mummies, bones and cranes in each of them.

According to some archeologists, the site dates back to over 1,200 years ago, something incredibly astonishing since the mummies have preserved part of their skin, hair and bones throughout these years.

The Peruvian desert’s dry climate made it possible to preserve the corpses magnifically. Likewise, the burial practices also contributed to their conservation. The full-bodied mummies were covered in cotton, painted with resin and later put into tombs made out of mud bricks.

There’s also a great number of mummified heads that once were thought to be “Trophy heads” taken in battle. However, recent studies have shown that these cranes came from the same population as the rest of the mummies, but the exact nature and use of the heads remains unclear.

How to Visit the Chauchilla Cemetery?

The burial place is located in the Nazca region, 30 minutes away from the city of Nazca to be exact. Many travelers don’t know about this incredible place in the desert, which is why most of them stick to their Nazca Lines Flight and don’t realise there’s so much more to know in these mysterious lands.

If you’d like to visit this place, we have structured the Chauchilla Cemetery Private Tour so you can experience it at its fullest. If you’d like to add this attraction to your travel itinerary, make sure to contact our team while you’re here!

Would you like to uncover the mysteries of Peru? Check our travel packages and start planning the trip of your life while you’re here. Our travel specialists can help you organize the best trip itinerary while optimizing your time and experience according to your interests!