Skulls & Bones at the Catacombs in Lima

things to do in lima

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There are loads of things that interest me when it comes to travel. One of my favorite places to visit happen to be crypts, catacombs and other morbid/ ghoulish sites.

During a trip to Peru which was around 4-5 years B.L. (Before Lucas), we had a long layover in Lima during our journey back home to New York. We had 6-7 hours to get out and explore a city which we had spent the first night of our trip at, but had no time to explore besides grabbing dinner right by our hotel.We looked at our layover as an opportunity to have some time to get a taste of another city in the country. I feel that we used our time well and got to see a bunch of what the city has to offer.

While looking into how to spend our time in Lima, one sight stood out. I had to make it a point to visit the Monastery of San Francisco to get a chance to visit the catacombs.
things to do in limaIn order to visit the catacombs a guided tour is necessary. It was definitely a bit annoying since all I was interested in seeing was that part of the monastery’s museum.

I don’t remember much about the tour but I do recall that they save the best for last. The catacombs visit is only a small portion of the tour which took around one hour.

We were told that photos were not allowed. Since our group was pretty large, I stuck to the back and tried to sneak a few photos of the catacombs as we moved through the area.

(I know that many of you might disagree with my decision to break the rules and take photos when they are prohibited but this is a decision that I make from time to time. Sorry if it offends anyone.)

things to do in lima

It wasn’t well lit down in the catacombs. This added a creepy feel to the visit. It also made taking photos pretty difficult!

The photo above shows skulls and bones organized in a circular design. They are located in a pit around 12-15 feet deep if I had to take a guess.
things to do in lima

I don’t rememeber much about the history of the catacombs so I decided to head over to the museum’s website.

Here is what I learned. “Discovered in 1943, they countain thousand of skulls and bones, serving as a burial-place until 1808, when the city cemetery was opened outside Lima. It is estimated that 25,000 bodies were laid to rest there; the crypts, build of bricks and mortar are very solid and have stood up well the earthquakes, it is also believe that existed secret passageways connected to the Cathedral and the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition“.

things to do in limaHere was another area that we visited. The bones don’t seem to be organized as well as in the pit. I also noticed that most of the skulls were on a ledge above the bottom floor.

Have you been to any catacombs or other similar sites? If so, please share with us where you’ve been.

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2 thoughts on “Skulls & Bones at the Catacombs in Lima

  1. Hi Michael, I have a week in Peru around a day event in Lima. I’m wondering whether to stay in town or take a few days and head elsewhere, Cusco maybe. Any thoughts on whether it is worth hanging out in Lima? Cheers LF.

  2. Levy Flight- We only spent part of a day in Lima. Based on what we saw elsewhere, I’d recommend going to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Not sure if you have time for Machu Picchu but it would be awesome if you could get there. Enjoy Peru!

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