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Chapels of Curahuara and Sajama

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Tag: Altiplano

Ojsani Chapel

About four miles from the Cruze Okoruro (the unmarked intersection of the old road with the new), or some 12 miles from Tomarapi, you arrive at the lovely little chapel of Ojsani.  According to Philipp Schauer, Ojsani Chapel was built in 1854 by Mariano Pacaje, an indigenous man.  The chapel was originally dedicated to Maria […]

The Churches of Curahuara de Carangas and Sajama: In and Near Sajama National Park

This is the second of two posts that serve as the “backbone” of my Guide to the Churches of Curahuara de Carangas and Sajama.  This post provides directions to the churches and other sites in and near the Sajama National Park, as well as links to descriptions of each of the sites.  The guide is […]

Wilancha!

A wilancha is an Aymara blessing ceremony.  In this case, the blessing was for the preservation work on half dozen colonial era chapels the U.S. Government was funding.  The wilancha is carried out by sacrificing an animal.  The ceremony is accompanied by a celebration including a feast, music and dancing.  Tatyana and I attended this […]

Cerro Pirapi and Pirapi Chico Necropolis and Fortress

About halfway between Caquiaviri and the Bolivia/Chile border at Charaña are two hills on which the ancients chose to build a necropolis and a fortress.  I haven’t had the chance to fully explore these hills, but even the short visits I have made to this area have been very interesting. Even without climbing the hills you […]

Qilqata Chapel

Back on the Patacamaya-Tambo Quemado road, you arrive at the Qilqata Chapel (sometimes Kelcata) only about seven miles from the turnoff to Curahuara de Carangas.  The chapel is only a third of a mile off the road and is plainly visible on your left. Qilqata is a cute little chapel with a walled courtyard and one […]

Curahuara de Carangas, the Sistine Chapel of the Altiplano, and Santa Barbara

Curahuara de Carangas is the largest town in the area, and host to two churches, one of them renowned as the Sistine Chapel of the Altiplano for its spectacular murals.  It is also one of your few choices for provisions and accommodations in this area of the altiplano.  Curahuara was a population center long before […]

Rosapata and Lirqu

  Rosapata and Lerqu make a great side trip on your way to Curahuara de Carangas.  The two chapels are small and humble, but each is beautiful in its own way.  Also, the landscape is spectacular.  That said, this is not a trip to take in your nice sedan, and it is going to take […]

Huchusuma Chapel

Huchusuma Chapel is the first of the Curahuara-area chapels on our route.  In fact, in the area of Curahuara de Carangas and Sajama there are more than 50 chapels, most of which were constructed in the colonial era.  Some are mere ruins, at this point, while others are beautifully constructed and maintained.  Huchusuma Chapel is […]

Chulpas Near Curahuara de Carangas

Chulpas (also Chullpas), the tombs of the ancestral peoples of the altiplano, are found almost everywhere on the high plains of Bolivia.  They seem to be particularly common along the road to Curahuara de Carangas.  There are many Chulpas, and I see more every time I take the road, so if you keep your eyes […]

The Angels of Calamarca

  This is one of the must-see sites in Bolivia, in my view.  The 28 almost life-sized paintings of angels displayed at the church of Calamarca represent the most complete series of angels still together in Bolivia, or likely anywhere.  They are spectacular, and well worth the small trouble of turning off the road.  The […]