Chachapoyas is a city in northern Peru at an elevation of 2,335 meters (7,661 ft). The city has a population of 32,026 people (2017). Situated in the mountains far from the Peruvian coast, Chachapoyas remains fairly isolated from other regions of Peru. It is served by buses to Chiclayo and Cajamarca, and flights to domestic locations from Chachapoyas Airport.
The city of Chachapoyas is the capital of the Amazonas Region. It was founded on September 5, 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Alonso de Alvarado “and his twenty”. Local agriculture includes sugar cane, orchid and coffee growing. Chachapoyas’ transitional location between the arid Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central and the rainy, rainforested Cordillera Oriental, allow it to receive generally moderate annual precipitation without experiencing the copiously excessive, tropical-rainforest-like precipitation amounts in towns farther east such as Moyobamba.
- Independence Square, Luya Urco
- Kuelap – an ancient stone city with walls up to 12 m high – the largest pre-Inca ruins in South America.
- Karajia – anthropormorphic sarcophagi built on a narrow cliff ledge. Combine this with a trip to Pueblo de los Muertos (Town of the Dead), another site with several different types of sarcophagi built on cliff sides, along with houses.
- Revash – cliff tombs that look like small houses with many pictographs.
- Museum of Leymebamba – houses and cares for 219 mummies and thousands of artifacts recovered from cliff tombs in 1997.
- Gran Vilaya – a popular trekking route through cloud forest.
- Tajopampa – cliff tomb sites.
- Gocta Waterfalls – Measured in 2004 as 711m high, Gocta is likely Peru’s most impressive waterfall. Easily visited as a day trip from Chachapoyas or by overnighting in the villages of Cocachimba or San Pablo (Peru).
- Yumbilla (895m), Chinata (540m) and other large waterfalls near the villages of Cuispes or San Carlos (Peru).
- Levanto (The nearest ruins to Chachapoyas, 2 hours by vehicle). Perhaps the best unrestored major Inca 3000km road passes through here and the section from Levanto to Chachapoyas is a spectacular 3 to 4 downhill walk.
3 – 7 Days: Take some time to explore the surrounding region of Chachapoyas, by your own account or with an arranged tour.