Chachapoyas Tours, Travel and Adventures

Tourism in Peru


“Delight yourself and give free rein to your senses in this land of lagoons and dreamy waterfalls.”

Chachapoyas Tours,Places in Chachapoyas, Chachapoyas Transport, Chachapoyas Weather, Chachapoyas Map, Chachapoyas Peru

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top

Once in the city of Chachapoyas, you will be bewitched, in a blink of an eye, by its magic. It is a city wrapped in a veil of mystery for it is not a frequented destination; a pity, really, since its narrow streets are absolutely lovely, its desserts and sweets are extremely tasty and the patios of its houses are decked with orchids. Even if Chachapoyas looks like any highland city, it heavy carries the scent of the jungle.
On par with the grandeur of Machu Picchu is 2,000 year old Kuélap, a fortress with 65-feet tall walls and fascinating stone friezes, a symbol of the Chachapoyas culture. Yet, this is just the scratching of the surface when it comes to tourist destinations.
There are literally hundreds of archeological vestiges strewn along the Utcubamba River Valley, history that rivals that of Cusco. The best example of this is the Karajía sarcophagi, standing 6.5- feet tall and embedded in a cliff wall that falls straight down; these monuments are reminders of some ancient cult of the dead.

You won’t want to miss out on the village of Huanca and the pottery its artisans create, or Colcamar and its spinners, the tradition living in Jalca Grande, and the cheeses and yogurts from Leimebamba, a charming village and site of a museum which exhibits funeral bundles and other finds of a culture uncovered in the area of Laguna de los Cóndores (Lake of the Condors).

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top

Places  to  visit and celebration dates


In Chachapoyas:

• Main Square. As the name suggests, it is the heart of the city, featuring strong Spanish influences. Surrounding it are exquisite buildings roofed with clay
tiles and in the center of the square stands a lovely fountain installed in the 19th century.

• Bishop’s house. This old Colonial mansion was the birthplace of Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza (1750 – 1825), a teacher, priest and one of the most celebrated Patriots of Peruvian Independence.
It also preserves valuable pieces of furniture from that time as well as interesting paintings from the Colony, chiefly featuring religious motifs.

• Santa Isabel Ranch. It lies on the outskirts of the city, a lovely place with orchids, a recreational area and the most beautiful view of the Utcubamba River Valley and the mountains of the Luya province.

• Independence Square. A quaint, traditional square that commemorates the Battle of Higos Urco, an important event during Peru’s struggle for independence. A monument honoring Chachapoyas patriots was erected in the middle of it.

• The Monsante House. A living example of how the city is preserving a large part of its Spanish roots. The National Cultural Institute declared it a National Cultural Heritage, and now it is headquarters for a tobacco company.

• Yanayacu Well. Dug on the Luya Urco Hill, some have attributed it as a miracle of Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo when the area was going through a terrible drought.

From Chachapoyas:

• Kuélap. Forbidding stone fortress built by the Chachapoyas culture 2,000 years ago as revealed by studies recently done by the archeologist Alfredo Narváez. The most remarkable features are its towering walls (65 feet in height) and the interesting architectural style of its round buildings found on the inside of the fort and decorated with friezes.

• Revash Archeological Complex. Fascinating set of mausoleums located at the bottom of a sharp cliff. Their paintings of red ochre colored animals are awesome.

• Karajía sarcophagi. These pre-Incan sarcophagi were embedded at the top of a sheer cliff 1,000 years ago, 6.6-feet tall, fashioned from mud and decorated with geometric motifs.

• Huiquilla Private Conservation Area. A wildlife refuge that protects important animal species, like the spectacled bear, the Andean fox and the majaz. On an area of 1,150 ha, Huiquilla is one of the last pockets of primary forest left in the region as well as a nice spot for birdwatching, demonstrated by the 88 species on record there.

• Mallqui Central Museum, Leimebamba. A modern museum that displays mummies and artifacts uncovered at the Lake of the Condors as well as clothing and ceramic pieces and weapons found in the area. Highly recommended.

• Huancas. Utterly traditional town whose residents are expert potters and have managed to find just the right combination of the traditional and the modern. Nearby is the Sonche Canyon, a setting of breathtaking landscapes.

• Jalca Grande. Traditional town with a remarkable Colonial church exhibiting designs from the ancient Chachapoyas peoples on its walls.
The community has established a small museum where they have displayed historic artifacts. 5 minutes away is the Ollape archeological complex.

• Gocta Falls. A recent discovery (2006), its 2,529 feet place it number 3 on the list of highest waterfalls. The surrounding habitat is home to toucans, monkeys, pumas and the eye catching cockof-the-rock.

• Lake of the Condors. A spectacular natural setting likewise famous for the mummies discovered there, which are now on display at the Mallqui Museum. The original gravesite was placed on a cliff overlooking the lake.

• Pomacochas Lagoon. It gets its water from an underground stream, and, at the deepest part (260 feet), it is dark green in color.
Its main attraction, though, is the marvelous spatuletail, an endemic hummingbird which flits and flutters in the area surrounding this lagoon, and which experts consider the most beautiful in the world.

• Quiocta Cave. A deep, large cave where pre-Incan peoples buried their dead. Like all caves, it possesses strange and wonderful natural formations. Waterproof boots are recommended.

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Raymillacta. Second week of June. Raymillacta means “Great Festival of the People”, and dancers and musicians from all over the department of Amazonas,
Peru and other countries come to participate.

Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. August 7 – 15. Patron saint of Chachapoyas. The streets are covered with traditional flower petal carpets in honor of Virgin Mary, whose image is carried in procession through them.

Feast of the Lord of Gualamita. September 10 – 15. Patron saint of the town of Lamud. The faithful reenact the story of the image’s origin in Cusco.

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Chachapoyas is an amazing place on account of the presence of stunning geological formations, like the Gocta Falls, 2,529-feet high, the third highest in the world.

Routes & length of stay

City tour, Bishop’s house, Independence Square, the Montante House, town of Huancas.
Fortress of Kuélap, Huiquilla Private Conservation Area.
Leimebamba (Mallqui Central Museum) and Revash Mausoleums.
Karajía, Quiocta Cave.
Jalca Grande and Ollape.
Gocta Falls.
Lake of the Condors.

Chachapoyas map

1 Kuélap
2 Karajía
3 Huancas
4 Colcamar
5 Jalca Grande
6 Leimebamba
7 Gocta Falls

Accommodation and tourist services

Chachapoyas has hotels up to three stars, and basic lodging is found in other towns. Restaurants in the city are rather simple, foregoing sophistication but not good taste. You can find transport to Kuélap, guided tours to Gocta Falls and other destinations. Full service tours to other towns are available as well.

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Recommended for

People interested in exceptional but little known archeological sites, who will be thrilled by Kuélap, Karajía, and the Lake of the Condors.

Popular traditions and culture enthusiasts, who can find these expressions at Huancas, Colcamar and Jalca Grande.

Nature lovers and birdwatchers, who should not pass on the trips to Gocta Falls, Huiquilla and Pomacochas.

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top

What to buy?

Crafts in Chachapoyas are varied and splendid, from wood carvings to handmade and naturally dyed sheep’s wool clothing. Because of its location, the area teems with beautiful orchids, so people make exquisite orchid arrangements. In Huancas, skilled artisans create excellent pottery.

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top

What to eat?

You can find almost any type of Peruvian food in Chachapoyas, but the most popular is the regional, Creole cuisine, featuring dishes like juanes de yuca (boiled and grated cassava, combined with rice and chicken, then steamed in banana leaves), tamales, and humitas (corn rolls), caldo de gallina (chicken soup) and lomo saltado (stir fried sirloin strips). They serve top quality beef, prepared in different ways and priced quite reasonably. Residents love cuy con maní y papas (Guinea pig with peanuts and potatoes) and purtumute (the area’s most popular food; at its simplest, made only with beans, hominy and cilantro).
Chachapoyas’ emblematic products are licor de leche (sweetened and spiked milk drink) and pan semita (type of bread).

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top