Half an hour from Puno, at km 17 on the Puno-Moquegua road, you find the Arquelogical Complex of Cutimbo.
In front of it, a robust hill rises and ends abruptly in some kind of a meseta, making it look like an island in a sea of highland grass.
Exactly on top of this hill are the chullpas of Cutimbo. A stone trail makes the climb easier. It is a pre-Colombian burial ground of the Lupaca and Colla nobility.
Even though remains can be seen of cave paintings that go back 8,000 years, the main structures date from 1100 to 1450 AC and there are also traces of the Inca era.These pucullos or chullpas, big burial towers, really dominate the landscape.
These chullpas are better conserved than the ones in Sillustani and they also have the special feature that they are not only circular but also square. The stones have carvings representing lizards, apes, snakes and felines.
CHUCUITO, JULI AND POMATA CIRCUIT:
Chucuito is called the "City of the Royal Treasure" as it was the center where taxes where collected during the colonial era. The economic prosperity of those days is still reflected, though not with the same splendour, in its stale novo-hispanic constructions around the Plaza de Armas. The renaissance Santo Domingo and La Asuncion churches are two fine examples of Chucuito’s rich past, a city filled with colonial nostalgy that conserved its empaved alleys and the facades of the old casonas that transport us back to the Hispanic days.
Close to the center there’s a pre-Hispanic beauty spot named Inca Uyo, a rectangular construction from the Incas. Inside the Inca Uyo there are dozens of fallic sculptures made in stone. It is thought that this arqueological site was part of an important ceremonial fertility center.
Is 79 km south of Puno and is called "LittIe Rome of the Americas" or "The Aymara Rome" due to its four catholic churches in the centre of the city and for having been an important bastion of the missionary Jesuits.It is the capital of the province of Chucuito and was founded in 1534 by the Dominicans, the religious order that was later replaced by the Jesuits, who created a centre for the preparation of missionaries in Juli.
After completing their studies, these missionaries were sent to Bolivia and Paraguay where they spread the word of God. The Jesuit presence generated an intense cultural and religious life, and therefore Juli was the city where the second printing press of the viceroyalty of Peru was installed in 1599.
But the major attractions of the city are its wonderful vice royal churches, like the San Pedro or the San Juan de Letran church. The first one is in baroque style and was constructed in the 16th century by the Domicans (who called it Santo Tomas). San Juan de Letran church has beautiful canvasses by Bernardo Bitti, a recognized Jesuit artist.
This eye-catching village with its Aymara roots is located on top of a hill (3,497 masl), which turns it into a splendid panoramic viewpoint of Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian Copacabana peninsula. In Pomata, the Santiago Apostol church is an obligatory stop.
lt is considered one of the best expressions of mestizo Aymara colonial arquitecture. It has a very ornamental entrance door in pink "sillar", a volcanic rock, while its smooth-edged tower reminds us of the Cusco bell towers. The church has subterranean galleries or catacombs where the bishops and archbishops of the Altiplano were buried. Pomata is in the province of Chucuito, 105 km. south of Puno.