Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, Chachapoyas, the capital of the Amazonas Region, has a population of around 50,000 and an elevation of 2,335m (7,661 ft). Known locally as 'Chacha', it still has a historical centre with numerous churches and buildings from the 19th century. The city is not just an attraction itself, but also offers a central point from which to discover the archaeological and natural wonders of the region itself.
ca. 80km (50 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 2,900m (9,514 ft) above sea level
Rising above forests and valleys, Kuélap is a complex of pre-Columbian ruins crowning the top of a mountain. Rediscovered in the 19th century after having been abandoned because of the Spanish Conquest, the site has been a point of interest comparable to the more famous Machu Picchu and continues to be explored with archaeological excavations.
ca. 45 km (28 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 2,500-1,729 m (8,202- 5,673 ft) above sea level
The Gocta Falls were known to locals for generations, but fears steming from local superstition surrounding the waterfalls prevented them from being known to the outside world until the early 21st century. The waterfall, stretching 771m (2,531 ft), is among the tallest of the world.
ca. 43 km (27 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 2,070 m (6,791 ft) above sea level
Looking over the valley below, a number of large sarcophagi of up to 2.5 metres (8 ft) in height house the remains of some of the members of the Chachapoya culture’s nobility. The figures, protected by the steep hillsides at Karajia, are made out of a mixture of mud, wood and straw and topped with large heads and still show some of their original colourful paintwork.
ca. 91 km (57 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 2,800 m (9,186 ft) above sea level
Located near the village of San Bartolo, Revash is a funerary complex built by the Chachapoya people during the late Chachapoya period. The chulpas, or mausoleums, are built out of adobe and are integrated into the surrounding cliffs of the narrow valley they occupy. The cliffs not only serve as part of the structures, but also protect the mausoleums from the elements.
ca. 62 km (39 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 1,891 m (6,204 ft) above sea level
The sleepy town of Cuispes would be easy to miss if it were not for the number of spectacular waterfalls in the surrounding area. Among these are the Yumbilla Falls, the fifth tallest waterfall in the world, with a height of 895.5m (2,938 ft.). Like the Gocta Falls, the Yumbilla Falls only became known to the outside world at the beginning of the 21st century.
ca. 8 km (5 miles) from Chachapoyas- ca. 2,591 m (8,500 ft) above sea level
Only a short car journey from Chachapoyas is the small town of Huancas. Surrounded on three sides by three valleys, the town serves as a viewpoint overlooking the Sonche Canyon from which the majesty of the surrounding area can be viewed.