Jaylluwa Stone Forest and Odd Rocks

The Andes Mountains have lots of rocks. Lots. In southern Peru’s Corani District there are enough rocks together to form a stone forest. The same day Rocío and I visited Jaylluwa Stone Forest we also ‘rang’ a bell stone, saw the result of lightning and searched for uranium.

Jaylluwa Stone Forest

Near Aymaña in Corani District is the Jaylluwa Stone Forest (Bosque de Piedras de Jaylluwa), a large area covered in rocks. Approximately 4,000 metres high in a remote part of the Andes, Jaylluwa receives fewer tourists than other stone forests I’ve visited including Turkey’s Cappadocia, Bolivia’s Moon Valley, and Argentina’s La Leona. In fact, here we didn’t see another tourist.

Welcome to Jaylluwa Rock Forest Sign

Sign welcoming people to the Jaylluwa ‘Stone Forest Natural Ecotourism Sanctuary’

Jaylluwa Rock Forest, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

The Jaylluwa Stone Forest with snow capped mountains peaking in the background

Many forest rock formations have local nicknames based on their resemblance including penguins, a camel and a hand.

Hand rock, Jaylluwa Rock Forest, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

These rocks resemble a giant hand sticking up out of the ground

Sheep, alpacas and llamas wander through the stone forest, grazing any grasses they find while potatoes are grown around the forest clumps. We came across graziers checking their hut and livestock. Out of courtesy, Rocío gave them some food we had.

Hut, Jaylluwa Rock Forest, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

Graziers, their dog and a friendly sheep checking up on their stone hut

Hut, Jaylluwa Rock Forest, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

That same hut is dwarfed by the surrounding Jaylluwa Stone Forest

Potato fields and Jaylluwa Rock Forest, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

Rock formations form a cliff behind potato fields

Lightning Rocks

Lightning is a powerful force and in the past it struck a giant Corani stone, splitting it into two pieces.

Lightning-split rock, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

The two unequal halves of the lightning stone

Lightning-split rock, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

The larger half’s huge size is clear with Rocío standing next to it

The Bell Stone

Also in the Corani District is a second rock oddity: a stone that resembles a bell when hit with another stone. Only the top stone provided such sounds with the bottom stone sounding dull. Rocío strongly believed the bell stone arrived as a meteorite.

Bell stone, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

The bell stone is the top rock

To hear the sounds for ourselves, we took turns in ‘ringing’ the bell stone.

Bell stone, Corani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

Rocío striking the bell stone

Video of ringing the bell stone, demonstrating the difference in sounds between the top and bottom rocks

Searching for Uranium

The Carabaya Province is geologically rich with gold, uranium, silver, lead and zinc found. Radiation from uranium in Ollachea likely destroyed my camera’s flash. We were told that once, locals, including children, brought stones containing uranium to a mining company for payment.

Earlier in the day guide Ulices showed us the yellow-coloured uranium in rocks outside Macusani. At pre-Incan settlement Marca Marca we again searched for this metal. Having lived a long time in Japan and being passionate about geology, uranium fascinated Rocío.

Looking for uranium, Marca Marca, Macusani District, Carabaya Province, Puno Region, Peru

Rocío and Ulices looking for yellow uranium in white stone

2 thoughts on “Jaylluwa Stone Forest and Odd Rocks

  1. Pingback: Travelling the Interoceania Highway | Where is Joe.in?

  2. Pingback: Two Amazing Day Trips from Macusani, Carabaya Province, Peru | Where is Joe.in?

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