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Cloud People

Kuelap Fortress

Chachapoyas Travel

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Andes Mountains
Camping & Hiking
Chachapoyas Land of the "Cloud People"
Chachapoyas in the north central highlands of Peru is the doorway of adventure into a world of lost civilizations and ancient ruins. Snowcapped volcanoes and glacier mountain peaks barricade Chachapoyas to the south. River gorges cut the Andes Mountains parallel to Chachapoyas on the west. Amazon jungle lands push to the east and north boundaries of the Chachapoyas region. Even in our modern-day geographical boundaries isolate the Chachapoyas region.
Chachapoyas Peru
Chachapoyas, capital of the department of Amazonas, is one of Peru's oldest cities. It was founded in 1538, by Alonso de Alvarado and still maintains a majestic Spanish influence due in a large part because of its isolation from tourism. At an altitude of 2335 meters, Chachapoyas is a prosperous city with sugar cane and coffee, orchids and tile-roofed buildings.

Chachapoyas, Peru Forecast
Vast tracks of unexplored cloud forest surround the city of Chachapoyas. Within these highland forests covered over with ages of bromeliads lies an extensive system of archaeological ruins dating back to one of the least known, yet one of the most advanced Pre-Colombian cultures of South America: the Chachapoyas, "the Cloud People".

travel information: Chachapoyas, Kuelap, & the Gocta Waterfall

the Cloud People Chachapoyas Peru Top of Page

The Chachapoyas People excelled as an isolated agricultural society from 800 AD until their conquest by the Incas in the 1470's. The origin of the name Chachapoyas was possibly a variation of Sacha Poya, which means "Cloud People" in Quechua, the language of the Incas. In a possible effort to maximize the utilization of cultivatable lands, the Chachapoyas built their cities, monuments, and massive stone fortresses on the summits of mountains.

In concurance with the conquest of the Chachapoyas by the Incas, European diseases ravaged the native population. By the end of the 1500's the Chachapoyas Peoples were gone. Their lands, culture, cities, and fortresses once one of South America's most populative and progress civilizations, disappeared into the mountain mists. Only in the last 20 years has the grandeur of the Chachapoyas People begun to come to light with the archaeological excavation of Kuelap.

Kuelap Chachapoyas Peru Top of Page

Kuelap Fortess
Kuelap, at 3100 meters high in the Andes Mountains, dominates the landscape as an oval shaped fortress city 600 meters long with defensive stone walls.

(Cuelap), a mountaintop fortress city, rivals any ruins in the new world complete with living quarters for thousands of residents and a most impressive stone wall fortification reaching 60 feet high in circumference to the city. Surrounding Kuelap lies the mountainous and remote Vilaya Region.

Access to Chachapoyas and the Kuelap ruins is by way of two different routes. From Lima you can fly to either Chiclayo, near the north coast of Peru, or Tarapoto, in the northeastern Amazon Jungle.

From Chiclayo, a place itself known for archaeological adventures, there is bus transportation across the mountains to Chachapoyas, a trip of about 12-15 hours.

From Tarapoto, a place now coming up as a great jungle destination, the 10-hour overland passage through the cloud forest towns of Moyobamba and Rioja brings you to adventurous mountain roads to Chachapoyas.

   Related Info:

   ...Andes Mountains

   ...Camping & Hiking


andes mountains of Peru
Chachapoyas and the Kuelap Fortress. Chachapoyas, Kuelap, & the Gocta Waterfall

Travel Journal to Chachapoyas and Kuelap visit:
Expedition Photography's Expedition to Shubet Mountain

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