September 01, 2017
Discover a fascinating – and unexpected – side of Peru: the Amazonas region, near the northern border of Ecuador, offers visitors the chance to enjoy nearly unknown, colorful cultures and landscapes in peace and tranquility they deserve, before the world arrives on their doorstep. Many compare the history and beauty of Kuélap’s fortified city to an “as yet undiscovered Machu Picchu,” according to SouthAmerica.travel’ CEO Juergen Keller. While it’s no surprise that Peru holds its fair share of Incan archaeological sites, Kuélap, the biggest fortress of the Chachapoyas culture, is beginning to capture significant attention.
SouthAmerica.travel’s tailor-made tour lures history buffs away from the hustle of Machu Picchu to the Kuélap Fortress, one of the largest ancient stone monuments in the “New World.” Explore the mountainous limestone terrain and walk in the footsteps of the elite “Cloud Warriors,” as the Chachapoyas were known. Learn about the precious Chachapoya culture that once filled the land and its efforts in aiding the demise of the Incas.
Then, for seekers of natural beauty, hike through the winding trails of the cloud forest until you reach the 771-meter high Gocta Waterfall. The trails leading up to this spectacular site are infused with unique flora and fauna, creating an experience with the subtropical forest travelers will not forget.
Why visit Kuélap now? Until now, Kuélap has been a difficult place to visit. It required winding roads and a long hike to reach the ruins, as the antiquated city remained well hidden. Over the last year, however, the local government has built a cutting-edge cable car which transports visitors from El Tingo to the entrance of the fortress in just 20 minutes, crossing the deep gorge before climbing the steep mountain.
Before the convenience of the cable car was established, archaeologists from around the world visited Kuélap for its captivating structures. Built by the Chachapoyas during the 6th century AD, the monumental city reaches a striking elevation of 3000 meters. Though construction began in the 6th century, most of the structures were built between 900 and 1100 AD,…