Chachapoyas Travel Guide


Located in the ceja de la selva (jungle's eyebrow, i.e., where the Andes backs up onto the Amazon), Chachapoyas is the capital of Peru's Amazonas region. The town is a good jumping-off point for exploring some of Peru's most fascinating and least-visited pre-Inca ruins. The giant fortress at Kuélap, the Gocta waterfall, the Karajía sarcophagi, and the ruins of Purunllacta and Gran Vilaya are nearby. Despite the Amazonas moniker, there's nothing jungle-like about the area around Chachapoyas. The surrounding greenery constitutes what most people would call a highland cloud forest. Farther east, in the region of Loreto (won by Peru in the 1941 border dispute with Ecuador), you'll find true jungle.

Chachapoyas is a sleepy little town of 32,000. It has a well-preserved colonial center and one small archaeological museum outside town. Difficult to reach because of the poor roads through the mountains, it is most easily accessed from Chiclayo.

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