7 days from £1,738
Kuelap and the lost Andean culture of Chachapoyas, hidden away in a little-visited corner of northern Peru, have featured in our brochures since 1989. Suddenly, the world has become aware of their existence. The spectacular citadel walls of Kuelap, often swathed in Amazonas cloud forest, was built by a civilisation which pre-dated the Incas by 500 years. The sheer scale of the fortress, astride a mountain crest, is staggering. The effort to get there is well worth it; although that said, the infrastructure is constantly improving: the formerly bone-shaking road to Chachapoyas is now paved.
Deep gorges carved aeons ago by the Marañon river and its tributaries still, in the 21st century, cut off valley from valley. Because of this isolation it's likely that 711m Gocta Falls escaped the attention of all but the inhabitants of the village of Cocachimba: but now adventurous visitors can appreciate the scale of this dramatic natural feature.
Holiday ItineraryDay 1: Depart Chiclayo for Cocachimba close to Gocta Falls. Overnight.
Day 2: Hike to Gocta Falls (5 hr round trip). Drive to Chachapoyas, overnight.
Day 3: Visit the sarcophagi at Karijia; drive on to Chillo, 2 nights.
Day 4: Drive up to cliff-edge Kuelap fortress. Explore the ruins.
Day 5: Visit the tombs of Revash. Overnight nearby.
Day 6: Drive to Cajamarca (10 hrs). Overnight.
Day 7: Depart or extend your stay in Cajamarca.
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This is a remote and fascinating trip. Until recently, it was a long and uncomfortable journey, but with improved roads and hotels, you can now have a more comfortable experience in an area as yet relatively little visited by tourists.
Chris Parrott, Founding Director
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The vast walls of Kuelap fortress
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