Chachapoyas

Known as the Country of the Clouds

The city of Chachapoyas or the Country of the Clouds as some call it is considered an undiscovered paradise. It is located in the Amazonas region, and Peru visitors have the chance to admire the beautiful nature, different microclimate, colonial city or ancient ruins of Cuelapa, located between the Andes and the jungle. Chachapoyas Peru is a city at an altitude of 2,235 m above sea level and it is a home for more than 20 thousand people. The city was founded by the Spanish conquistador, but its history goes back way beyond. Chachapoya is a pre-Columbian Indian culture, one of the most developed civilizations of the ancient Amazon, which existed approximately between 800 and 1500 AD. n. e., although, perhaps its history goes back much deeper. Representatives of ancient culture lived on a mountain plateau - and called themselves "Warriors of the Clouds". The culture is one of the reasons history lovers often travel to Peru. The warriors left behind a mysterious legacy that humanity is trying in vain to unravel. Just imagine seeing the remains of this culture with your own eyes during a tour to Chachapoyas!

Today, the legacy left to us by a mysterious folk consists of a number of archaeological finds, the largest of which is the ancient capital of the culture of Chachapoya, the fortified city of Kuelap. Kuelap is older and much larger in the area (about 6 hectares) than the famous city of Inca, however, in the world, it is not so widely known by visitors of Peru. The main reason is that it is very difficult to get there. Despite the fact that the citadel was discovered long ago, scientists got the opportunity to study it only recently at the end of XIX century. The researchers found the ruins, almost entirely covered with stone debris - only the roofs and tops of the walls stuck to the surface about 1.5 m high. To free the city from stone captivity, tons of rocks and cut trees needed to be removed and the big cleaning took more as much as several decades. Only by the end of 2007, the first houses and streets of the ancient settlement were opened to a group of archaeologists, engaged in the restoration and preservation of the heritage of Chachapoya under the leadership of Alfredo Narvaez. Built in the IX century, the city consists of 420 buildings, economic and defensive structures.

In its massive walls, 40 mummies of people of different ages were found. And nowadays the marvelous fortress opens during Kuelap tours. The city is located in the mountains, far from the coast and is considerably isolated from other regions of Peru. There is a daily bus service to Chiclayo and Cajamarca. Despite the availability of a local airport, the number of flights is small. There are a lot of interesting places not only in the city but nearby: 23 archaeological sites, 2 waterfalls, 4 cave complexes. Even an experienced visitor of Peru will find something surprising. The tour to Chachapoyas can offer not only the unique authentic culture but also a great starting point for visiting a few other marvelous sites a little bit off the track. For example, visiting Gocta Waterfall will truly be the highlight of your trip to Peru. The wonderful thing about waterfall tucked away in the breath-taking cloud forest environment is the mystery that surrounded it up to 2002. Can a modern person imagine that a nature wonder 771 meters tall managed to stay hidden and be known only to locals? But right now it is also a must-see part of the trip to Chachapoyas.

There is a legend that suggests that all Peru visitors were not able to see it sooner because of the beautiful mermaid that kept waterfall in secret. The place is still a bit hard to find for a visitor, so it would be better to book an experienced guide for your trip to Chachapoyas. The next place makes a tour to Chachapoyas easily comparable to a tour to Machu Picchu. Karajia is a site where you can see 8 Cliffside mummies. The sarcophagi are similar to human being figure and made of straw and clay with the bit of gravel. The amazing thing about these mummies is their location that made it impossible for the grave thieves to steal any important detail. Peru visitors will be also amazed by the six connected caverns that have a little secret of their own – marvelous stalactites and stalagmites. Getting around these places can be tricky, so again it is advised to book a guide for a trip to Chachapoyas.

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