encounter chachapoyas

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Nestled between the Andes and the jungle, Chachapoyas, described by some as Cusco 30 years ago, is a friendly colonial town with outstanding natural beauty and cultural richness. The thick cloud forest enveloping it gives the place a mystical feeling that makes you want to delve in and explore further.

In times gone by, the area was inhabited by the Chachapoya culture, also known as the Cloud People. They were skilled warriors who supposedly were blond and fair skinned! Twice as old as the Inca, they constructed some of the most spectacular sites in Peru, which remain almost unexplored and unexplained still to this day.

Bear in mind that there aren’t many paved roads leading to Chachapoyas and you need to allow a few days to travel. On the up side, this means not many people make it there, giving it a more authentic feel. Stunning views, hummingbirds, hot springs and orchids (not to mention a huge number of ruins) await those who venture out here.

ancient civilizations in the north of peru

Be astounded by Kuelap, its lost city feeling and the mystery surrounding its purpose, or visit the Leymebamba Museum with its mummies. Make sure not to miss visiting the impressive Gocta Falls, kept secret for years by locals fearing an ancient curse if they revealed its location. There are many other wonders hidden in the dense forest and it is thought that not even 5% of it has been discovered so far. So if you have the time, and a good adventurous spirit, it is more than worth venturing off the beaten track and exploring Chachapoyas. This is a truly special place.

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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN chachapoyas

Kuelap Archaeological Site

This is one of the most extraordinary ruin complexes in Peru. Be amazed by the sheer size of its granite walls rising to up to 59ft. (18m) in height and, literally hundreds of structures including lookout posts, houses, burial chambers (including bones) and sacrificial alters. The backdrop of the surrounding hills adds to the experience of exploring this awe-inspiring fort.

Leymebamba Museum

This Museum houses more than 200 mummies and funerary offerings found at the Lake of the Condors. The drive to the Leymebamba Museum is spectacular itself. Nearly 200 mummies sit in a cool climate-controlled space. They are so well maintained and in tact, many still have their facial features/expressions. Some mummies in agony look contorted – hands pulled up and extended over their mouths, their jaws open.

Gocta Waterfalls

The world’s 3rd highest waterfall and although well known to locals for centuries, its existence was unknown to the world until after a 2005 expedition. A 3-hour hike through the forest, watch in amazement as the water cascades down the green shelf. Locals feared a curse if they got too close, legend has it a mermaid and giant snake protect a pot of gold in the pool below, where the water splits, mimicking the mermaid’s hair, at the bottom of the falls.

Hike to Karijila

An impressive site with almost 10ft. (3m) tall funerary statues situated high up on a cliff overlooking the Utcubamba River. It’s not easy to get here and requires a long walk, but once there you will find yourself asking how on earth did they get the statues up there?!

Revash Funerary Complex

Revash is made up of a group of burial buildings hidden in the cliffs 9,186ft. (2,800m) above sea level. Painted red and cream, they look like little bird houses built into the sides of the cliffs.

Town of Chachapoyas

Also known as Chachas, the town of Chachapoyas is laid-back and has some beautiful colonial buildings awash in white and surrounded by Peru’s high-altitude cloud forests. A busy market town, Chacapoyas is a great base for exploring the incredible and mysterious ancient ruins left behind by the Chachapoya civilization.

destination map

Title Address Description
Machu Picchu
08680, PerúMachu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, is quite possibly the reason you chose to travel to Peru in the first place! It was recently voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and we guarantee that this magical spot will not disappoint you. Read more…
Cusco, PerúCusco is the jump off point for a trip into the surrounding Sacred Valley to the less visited ruins and brightly painted churches of the southern valley en route to Puno or to crop circles and Inca salt pans…and of course to the World Wonder of Machu Picchu! Read more…
Sacred Valley
Valle Sagrado, 08670, PerúNestled deep within the Peruvian Andes, the Sacred Valley is home to charming Inca towns, impressive archaeological sites, and traditional local markets. It is also one of the best areas in Peru for a wide range of adventure activities while en route to Machu Picchu. Read more…
Lima, Perú

Known as the ‘City of Kings’, Lima is a city of contrasts. A mix of the old world and the new; modernity and tradition…Lima is a chaotic yet fascinating capital city. As well as being Peru’s capital, it is also the capital of gastronomy for all of the Americas! Read more…

Lake Titicaca / Puno

Legend has it that the children of the sun god, Manco Capac, and his sister, Mama Ocllo, rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca to build the Inca Empire. Explore the floating Uros Islands made from totora reeds and, discover the region’s authentic folklore. Read more…

Arequipa & Colca Canyon
Chivay, Perú

Legend has it that the children of the sun god, Manco Capac, and his sister, Mama Ocllo, rose from the depths of Lake Titicaca to build the Inca Empire. Explore the floating Uros Islands made from totora reeds and, discover the region’s authentic folklore. Read more…

Peruvian Amazon
Selva Amazonica, Perú

Early morning bird watching, late night jungle walking, fishing for piranhas, or a visit to the world’s largest macaw’s clay lick where hundreds of birds meet to feed – a truly colorful sight! There’s nothing like the wildlife that thrives in the Peruvian Amazon! Read more…

Ica, Paracas, Nazca
Ica, Perú

Situated on Peru’s arid desert coastline, this region boasts an interesting mix of ancient local culture, spectacular natural beauty and adventure sports. Ica, Paracas, and Nazca makes a great stop off or break point on a coastal ride towards Arequipa. Read more…

Trujillo & Chiclayo
Trujillo, Perú
Chachapoyas, Perú
Huaraz, Perú

Surrounded by jagged snowy peaks, glaciers and turquoise blue lakes, Huaraz is a real mountain adventure destination, not to mention home to ancient cultures and charming little villages. Read more…

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Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.

Best times to
visit chachapoyas

Since Chachapoyas is located on the edge of the jungle the climate usually is hot and humid, with an average temperature of over 68°F (20°C). Certain areas do experience cold spells and temperatures can at times fall dramatically depending on the altitude. The best time to visit is during the relatively dry months between May and October. Rain, although quite irregular, is prevalent throughout the rest of the year.

practical information


Chachapoyas and the surrounding villages are among the highlights of Peru. Cloud forests, beautiful scenery and many pre-Inca mysteries to be discovered. However getting there is the tricky part. Currently LATAM has several scheduled flights per week to Tarapoto and Jaen. From Jaen it is another 4 hours drive overland to Chachapoyas, but it is just one hour away from the fortress of Kuelap.

Buses connect through Chiclayo, which is an 8 hour overland trip. From Chachapoyas you can take local transport in the form of buses and private transfers to the area’s top highlights. The best is to simply book a tour.


The best way to visit all the places of interest is to book a tour which includes transport and a guide. The highlights are scattered throughout the region and the best way to experience them is to plan for at least a 4 night stay in 2 or even 3 hotels or lodges located in the different areas.

Alternatively there are local minibuses that run between the different villages.


Tourism to Chachapoyas and its surroundings are just starting so there are many basic options available in Chachapoyas and some 3 star properties. There are also a few beautiful and comfortable eco-lodges close to Leymebamba and the Gocta waterfalls. Luxury hotels are not available yet.

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