Chachapoyas, Gocta & Kuélap Tours
Nestled in the high-altitude cloud forest of the remote Amazonas region in northern Peru, surrounded by abundant tropical nature, giant waterfalls and unsung archaeological gems, the Chachapoyas province is perhaps Peru’s best kept secret. Explore an ancient kingdom of the mysterious Chachapoya culture, the ‘Warriors of the Clouds’ famed for their mist-shrouded, mountain top fortress of Kuelap – the so-called ‘Machu Picchu of the North’ accessible by a hair-raising cable car ride – and their remarkable funerary settings, not least the larger-than-life, trophy-headed sarcophagi of Karajia and miniature adobe house mausoleums of Revash, all miraculously built into sheer limestone cliff faces.
Chachapoyas tours also take in the natural highlights of the province. Take a multi-day trek on horseback to the spectacular mirror-like Laguna de los Cóndores (Lake of the Condors) where over 200 mummies – now at rest in the nearby Leymebamba museum – were found, venture into the deathly dark of the Quiocta Caverns used by the Chachapoya as a burial site, or day hike to the astonishing Gocta Falls, one of the world’s tallest at 771 meters (2,530 ft), before retiring to the comforts of the boutique Gocta Lodge, whose rooms and infinity pool all have spectacular waterfall views. The region is also a birder’s paradise, with the chance to spot a multitude of rare species, from mountain toucans, quetzals and condors to the Marvelous Spatuletail, one of the world’s most spectacular hummingbirds, endemic to the nearby Utcabamba valley.