Found high up in the Andes, Chachapoyas is the relaxed little town regarded as the best base to explore the surrounding archaeological treasures that hark back to the ancient Peruvian civilisation of the Chachapoyas, or the ‘Warriors of the Clouds’ as they were once known. Living in high altitude cloud forests, this Andean society built the extensive and fascinating Kuelap fortress and were known for their unique circular architecture.
However, with the Incas conquering the territory not long before the Spanish arrived, the best way to gleam an insight into this civilisation is by seeing the true archaeological evidence from artifacts such as the Kuelap citadel complex, as well as lesser known marvels including Purunllacta and the amazing cliff-edge burial centres of Pueblo de los Muertos and Karajia.
The former colonial settlement, nicknamed Chachas, offers other attractions too with the impressive Gocta waterfalls not too far away, while huge swathes of untouched cloud forest provide a wonderful place to explore the flora of the region.
When to go
January to March is considered the rainy season, and is best avoided. The winter months deliver clear blue skies and wonderful views.
What to do
- Visit the vast Fortress of Kuelap to see numerous ruins
- See Gocta waterfall
- Visit sarcophagi of Karajía