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Explore one of the cradles of civilization: ancient Peru! On this 5-day extravaganza you head to Peru’s northern region to explore lush rainforest and a vibrant pre-Incan world. You’ll visit the third-tallest waterfall on the planet at Gocta Falls, explore the Chachapoyas citadel fortress of Kuelap, and visit the Leymebamba Museum to see mummies and other artifacts of the region’s pre-Columbian era.
If you’re itching to get off the “Gringo Trail” of southern Peru, just take a one-hour flight from Lima to Jaen in the north of the country and head on incredible rainforest excursions to archaeological sites predating the Incan Empire and Spanish conquistadors.
GOCTA FALLS TREK: First stop is Gocta Falls, the third-tallest waterfall system in the world at 771 metres. You embark on an 11-kilometre hike (return included) through the Andean cloud forest to reach the falls: the moment you break through the forest and are met with a blast of cool air at the base of the falls is magical. At 5.5 km each way the distance is doable, but being in the Andean cloud forest at approx. 1,200 meters (3,937 feet), the temperature is surprisingly humid and that, combined with some extreme up and down tracks, makes the trek achievable but challenging. Trail hiking in Peruvian forest is one of the world’s great adventures, and this spot does not disappoint!
KUELAP FORTRESS: From there you head to Kuelap Fortress, one of the oldest stone monuments in the Americas. Sitting on the top of a mountain plateau, Kuelap was built by the Chachapoyas, but disappeared from history in the Middle Ages, only to be rediscovered in 1843. You will hike up the mountain or ride the newly-built cable car to ascend its massive stone walls and enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding jungle. As you survey this citadel fortress, you’ll marvel at the remarkable preservation of the ruins and learn about the legends that surround the fortress.
RUINS AT REVASH: You continue an exploration of ruins at Revash, a cemetery town near Santo Tomas. Revash is remarkable for how its tombs appear to be red and white buildings decorating the cliff side. Explore the town and make a circuit of its tomb villages before heading to Leymebamba Museum, where you can see 200 mummies and burial offerings from the nearby region. Although these mummies used to be fodder for tomb robbers and desecration, the museum now preserves them and lets you learn more about pre-Incan societies like the Chachapoyas, as well as the modern peoples who inhabit the rainforest areas in Peru’s north.
This Peru tour exploring the country’s north’s pre-Incan /pre-Columbian past is an ideal add-on to longer explorations of Lima and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Phone: 800.557.2841
- Length: 5 days
- Departs: Daily (call/chat/DM for details)
- Accommodation: Gocta Andes Lodge (Chachapoyas), La Xalca Hotel ( Chachapoyas)
- Price: $3,359 CDN
- Difficulty: Easy
Trip Pricing Details
- 4 nights’ accommodation
- Airport transfers
- All transport
- All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 5 (lunches are boxed lunches)
- Entrances to Gocta, Kuelap, Leymebamba Museum and Revash
- Cable car to Kuelap Fortress
- Guide and driver
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Visa fees if applicable
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Items of a personal nature