T R E K K I N G P E R U
The northern highlands of Peru are full of natural beauty and archaeological riches, ideal for trekking. Nestled here amid sheer cliffs sprouting cloud forests and waterfalls is the quaint city of Chachapoyas or “Chacha,” as the locals call it. Chachapoyas is capital of the department of Amazonas and namesake of a large surrounding area. The city makes a pleasant base from which to explore these surroundings. It has most services and good road links to Chiclayo, Lima, Tarapoto, the jungle, and neighboring Ecuador. Light aircraft fly between Chachapoyas and Tarapoto. The closest options for flying from Lima, then taking a bus, are via Jaén, Tarapoto, or Chiclayo. The impressive valley of the Río Utcubamba, a tributary of the Río Marañón, which in turn flows to the Amazon, is at the heart of the Chachapoyas region.
Chachapoyas has some of Peru’s most fascinating and least exploited archaeological areas. It was once home to the pre-Inca Chachapoya people (ad 0–1500), and a number of their ancient cities and fortresses can be visited. Unique cliffside niches containing many sarcophagi, lost stone cities, and over two hundred Inca mummies found at Laguna de los Cóndores are just a few of the treasures hidden by the lush vegetation. Not to be missed is the superb Leymebamba Archaeology Museum, 75 km south of Chachapoyas, where many of the Inca mummies from Laguna de los Cóndores are displayed alongside a fine collection of textiles and other artifacts. The museum is along the route of Trek 2 ...
THE SECRET WATERFALL
SECRETS OF THIS SIZE are hard to keep, yet the residents of the district of Valera, northwest of Chachapoyas, did not reveal the existence of Gocta, a 771-meter waterfall, until the German Stefan Zimmendorff came across it in 2002. This spectacular waterfall, surrounded by cloud forest, ranks third in the world on the National Geographic Society’s list, after Angel Falls in Venezuela and Tugela Falls in South Africa. Gocta has two tiers: the upper waterfall is 231 m high, and the lower waterfall is 540 m high. Gocta is the source of the Río Cocahuayco, a tributary of the Utcubamba, and good trails on both sides of the Cocahuayco lead to the falls. Views along the way are magnificent, and the area is rich in flora and fauna, including 110 bird species and 41 species of orchids ...
RÍO ATUEN CIRCUIT
THIS IS THE MOST delightfully laid-back and flexible of our longer treks. You can end halfway at Cochabamba or Chuquibamba if you wish, or add several worthwhile side trips to the main route. (The total distance given above and the elevation profile are for the complete trek without side trips.) There is some steady climbing along the way, as well as cross-country sections where navigation skills are required, but the overall trek is not particularly difficult. Elevations and nighttime temperatures are moderate by Peruvian highland standards. The valleys are well watered and green all year, filled with hummingbirds, orchids, and other wildflowers in season (May is delightful). With a little luck you might see condors ...
|English • Español||www.trekkingperu.org||© Robert & Daisy Kunstaetter|