Chachapoyas is a small town in the Amazon region in Northern Peru. It was founded by the Spanish conquistadors in 1538. Afterwards, Chachapoyas became the starting point for the exploitation of the Amazon in Peru.
The name of the city is derived from the Quechua language: Chachapoyas can be translated into “cloud forest.” Locals are still called the “cloud people”. Being situated in the mountains, the city of Chachapoyas is quite isolated. However, new roads between Chachapoyas and other cities of Northern Peru have been constructed recently.
The ancient culture of the Chachapoyas left archaeological sites, and other tourist attractions behind that might be of interest for culture lovers. Many tourists come to Chachapoyas to visit the popular fortress of Kuélap. Today, Chachapoyas is a town with 20,000 inhabitants and the capital of the Amazon region. It is a perfect destination for hikers and adventurers because many tours in Chachapoyas and excursions into the forest start in here. With its subtropical climate and warm temperatures during the day, Chachapoyas can be visited year-round.
Being the most important archaeological site of the Chachapoyas culture, the fortress of Kuélap is a very popular tourist attraction that is frequently visited by tourists. It is supposed that 3,000 people lived in this huge archaeological site that comprises more than 400 structures. Nowadays, Kuélap is one of the biggest stone ruins in America. The construction probably served the defense of the Chachapoyas culture.
At the interesting site of Karajia which is situated in the Utcubamba valley, you can find eight mummies belonging to the Chachapoyas culture. The mummies are kept in sarcophagi. Nearby you find the caverns of Quiocta where you can observe stalactites and stalagmites. If you want to learn something about the Chachapoyas culture and see archaeology artifacts, you should go to the Leymebamba Museum. You can combine the Leymebamba Museum, with a visit to the Revash mausoleums. Here you see the tombs of the most important people of the Chachapoyas culture resembling small houses with pictographs.
Tourists with a passion for hiking and adventure should visit the Gocta Waterfall, the third highest waterfall in the world with an altitude of 771 meters. The waterfall is located in the cloud forest and can be reached by bus or hiking through the beautiful forest. While hiking it is possible to observe birds and monkeys that live here.
Altogether, Chachapoyas is a region to be explored!
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There are many coffee shops as well as Peruvian and Italian restaurants in Chachapoyas.
Chachapoyas can be reached by plane or by bus. However, the airport of Chachapoyas does not operate at the moment. The closest alternative is the airport in Jaén. Latam Airlines offers flight connections to Lima. Jaén is located around 190 km from Chachapoyas and can be reached after a 3-4 hours bus ride. Chachapoyas can also be reached by bus from Lima, and also from Chiclayo and Cajamarca.
The bus from Lima to Chachapoyas takes 23 hours; the trip from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas takes eight till 10 hours; and the trip from Cajamarca takes approximately 10 hours. However, it might be more comfortable to take a bus from Chiclayo because the condition of the road between Cajamarca and Chachapoyas is quite bad. There are no night buses from Cajamarca to Chachapoyas.