Chachapoyas, Peru and the ruins of Kuelap.
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Chachapoyas is located in the cloud forests of the Department of Amazonas
in northern Peru and was home to a culture that pre-dated the Incas and
was conquered by the Incas in the 1470´s leaving neither their language
or original name. The name Chachapoyas comes from the Quechua word the Incas
used to describe this culture "sachapuyos" or people of the cloud
covered mountains. Of the hundreds of significant archeological sites in
the area, the most impressive is the fortress of Kuelap. Kuelap sits on
a 3000 meter high mountain overlooking the region. Behind the massive walls
of Kuelap are dozens of structures built from stone, several have been reconstructed
or are currently under reconstruction, and many are still covered with trees
and bromeliads which give the ruins of Kuelap its mysterious atmosphere.
The ruins are easily accessible by a 3-4 hour drive from the city of Chachapoyas
or by traveling 1.5 hours to the village of Tingo at the foot of the mountain
and hiking 4-5 hours up to the ruins or renting horses.
One of the most interesting aspects of Chachapoyas culture was their use
of sarcophagi and mausoleums to bury their dead. These are found high in
clefts built into natural or man made caves where damage from humidity is
reduced and the possibility of destruction by tomb robbers is difficult.
Sites such as Karajia and Revash, can be visited by those interested in
the archeology of the Chachapoyas area to see these impressive clay figures
and structures that have survived almost 1,000 years.
For the visitor, many of the more popular archeological sites are relatively
easy to visit requiring hikes of 30 minutes to an hour from the nearest
village accessible by road. Many more sites can be visited by multi-day
hikes or horseback, especially in the Gran Vilaya area that lies between
the Utcubamba and Marañon rivers. This area is full of ancient fortresses
and cities that very few visitors have ever seen. A visit to Chachapoyas
to see the ruins of Kuelap and the ancient cemeteries of Karajia and Revash
is becoming a new attraction without being overrun by large numbers of tourists.
- At Chancas
Amazon Rainforest Adventure Expeditions, you'll discover an easy to
use, information packed web site with tours to Chachapoyas and the ruins
- Los Chancas Expeditions
- Jirón Rioja 357, Tarapoto,
- Telephone: 51-94-52-2616