The capital of Amazonas, Chachapoyas is a remote jungle city in the mountains of northern Peru. It’s surrounded by some of the world’s highest waterfalls and is near the pre-Inca ruins at Kuelap.
Things to do in Chachapoyas
Visit the ancient stone city of Kuelap, accessed via a picturesque hike from the village of Tingo. Dating back to the 6th century, it boasts a magnificent setting overlooking the Utcubamba Valley and features beautifully carved stone reliefs and the remains of a solar observatory.
Discover the ancient history of Chachapoyas at the seven sarcophagi of Karajia that are carved into a narrow cliff ledge. They are believed to have been created by the Chachapoyas people in the 15th century, around the time of the Inca conquest, and are overlain with yellow, ochre and white pigments to depict bodily features.
Embark on the two-hour trek to the almost 900-metre-tall Yumbilla Falls within the Giant Waterfall Forest. Stop at the equally-impressive Gocta Waterfall, which comprises two individual cascades that can be viewed from afar or on horse excursions to the base.
Don’t miss the Cañon del Sonche, which can be viewed from a small lookout tower near the village of Huancas. Its exposed sandstone and limestone cliffs plunge to a depth of 962 metres, with several high waterfalls tumbling over the cliffs during the wet season.
Getting around Chachapoyas
Aeropuerto de Chachapoyas is a 15-minute drive away and has flights to Lima, while regular buses travel to Chiclayo and Trujillo. Chachapoyas is easily explored on foot.