Despite the general absence of buildings, the Campo Santo still retains the colonial layout of the old Yungay. It is as though its pre-existing spatial configurations are reasserted through flora and fauna.

The most carefully curated spaces centre around the old Plaza de Armas and the Cemetery. There you will find small rose gardens, cobblestone paths, sheltered benches, and pruned hedges.

The northern outskirts, meanwhile, have been left to grow wild. They are home to colourful songbirds, chirping insects, and exotic butterflies. These areas line the urban settlement of Cochahuaín.

To me, the northern side of the Campo Santo is the most peaceful part of this sanctuary. Small, simple gravestones mark the sites of homes that are now buried deep underground. The sound of water trickles as small streams slowly eat into the sediments. Large rocks from the Huascarán are shrouded in giant cacti. The mountain stands ahead, unobstructed. Sheep graze in the distance.

Listen to our walk around the north side here:  

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