Sarcophagi of Karajia

The sarcophagi of Karajía are located 45 miles (70 km) northwest of Chachapoyas. These clay tombs have human forms and are set along the edge of a cliff—an altogether dramatic and strange sight.

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The tombs were made by the Chipuric culture, a subset of the Chachapoyas culture, to house the remains of important individuals. The Chachapoyas culture dominated northern Peru from the 11th to the 15th century.

Several of the tombs were raided and shattered long ago, but a group of six remains. The sarcophagi are set along the cliff and joined at the hip, with their backs facing the cliff. They have long face and heads that are painted in reddish hues. A few skulls rest on top, and there’s a funeral capsule contained within.

The walk to the tombs takes around 30 minutes and can be muddy. If you don’t want to walk, you can arrange to ride horses. It’s a good idea to bring hiking shoes and binoculars—you can’t get up close to the tombs, so having binoculars will allow you to see all of the details of the site.