The Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs.
Peru is one of the richest country in the great cultures and natural treasures in the world! We would like to invite you to explore this great ancient culture that has been still hidden from the eye of the public. This culture is the overwhelming and enigmatic Chachapoyas culture.
The word Chachapoyas comes probably from the Quechuan words “Sacha Puyus” that means cloud forest. The Chachapoyas were called the “Cloud People” (or also the “Warriors of the Clouds”) for that reason. This impressive culture developed about 750–800 AD in a highland cloud forest of the Amazonian Andes in the province of Amazonas.
The Chachapoyas Cloud people mastered fighting techniques, exceled in agriculture, especially in architecture and stone works. An example of Chachapoyan engineering and one of the best preserved and most famous monuments throughout the province of Amazonas is the fortified city of Kuelap. It’s called the “Machu Picchu of the Northern Peru” and is most likely to make fame comparable with Machu Picchu in future.
Unlike the history of other Peruvian cultures, for example, the desert empires of the Moche, the Nazca, the Chimu or even the famous Incan Empire, the Chachapoyas culture flourished almost since the beginning of AD to the Spanish conquest era. It’s sure that their resistance to the Incan occupation nearly to the second half of the 15th century is an indisputable evidence of their ingenious military tactics and shrewdness.
On tops of hills and rocky cliffs, rests of ancient cities can be found while ancient burial sites are situated on cliffs of river canyons, where the human feet haven’t stepped for centuries.
Group Size: Min 2 and Max. 8 persons
Sustainable Tourism: Tierras Vivas is very interested and happy to promote and practice sustainable tourism by being eco-friendly and supporting local communities.
Physical Activity: 3-Difficult – Some points are high
Service Level: All Inclusive & Excellence service
Age Requirement: 4+. Please note: all persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tour Operator: Tierras Vivas since 2007
Tierras Vivas Staff: Professional Tour Guide during your tours
Accommodation: in Hotel
Meals: 9x breakfast;
Transportation: by a private van during local transfers and by a tourist bus during tours.
Unlike history of other Peruvian cultures, for example, the desert empires of the Moche, the Nazca, the Chimu or even the famous Incan Empire, the Chachapoyas culture flourished almost since the beginning of AD to the Spanish conquest era. It is sure that their resistance to the Incan occupation nearly to the second half of the 15th century is an indisputable evidence of their ingenious military tactics and shrewdness.
On tops of hills and rocky cliffs, remains of ancient cities can be found while ancient burial sites are situated on cliffs of river canyons, where a human foot have not entered for centuries.
Day 01: Arrival to Lima
Day 02: Flight to Chiclayo/Sican Museum Tour
Day 03: Moche Tour
Day 04-05: Chachapoyas Tour
Day 06: Kuelap Tour & Leymebamba Tour
Day 07: Travel to Cajamarca
Day 08: Cajamarca City Tour + Baños del Inca Tour
Day 09: Cumbe de Mayo Tour
Day 10: Departure
Crew: Tierras Vivas Representatives in Lima and Chiclayo as well as professional bilingual tour guides.
Accomodation: 3 and 4* hotels (9 nights).
Meals: 9x breakfast (Please allow USD 100-150 for meals not included).
Transportation: 1x domestic flight, transportation by tourist vehicle.
The first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time. When you arrive to the airport at Lima, our Representative waits for you holding a sheet with your name and takes you to your hotel.
The capital of Lima is also known as the “City of the Kings” as it was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535! The Plaza de Armas (main square) is a heart of old Lima. There can be found the Cathedral, Governmental Palace and Archbishop’s Palace.
Today, we take you back to the Lima´s airport to take your flight (1.5 hour) to the north-Peruvian city of Chiclayo. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by our Representative and transfered to your hotel where you accommodate yourself and get ready for the following tour which is a visit to the National Museum of Sican placed in a nearby village of Ferreñafe. There you can admire golden and silver jewels found a nearby tomb situated in Huaca El Loro (the Parrot´s House) in the Bosque de Pomác (Pomac Forest) – Batan Grande.
Then, we return to the hotel in Chiclayo and the rest of the day is free.
The city of Chiclayo is situated 770 km north of Lima and 509 km south of the borders with Ecuador. The city is the capital of the Lambayeque Region and it is called the “City of Friendship”.
Among its main sightseeing belongs the Cathedral placed in the Principal Park (Parque principal) build in a neoclassic style in 1869. Other interesting monuments are the Municipal Palace (Palacio municipal) constructed in 1919 in a Republican style (to the north of the Principal Park), the Veronica´s Chapel (Capilla La Verónica) built in 19th century and proclaimed a national history monument, St Antony Basilica (Basílica San Antonio) representing a modern architecture (built in 1949), Elias Aguirre Square (Plazuela Elias Aguirre) situated in front of the old railway station of Eten built in 1924 and decorated by the Peruvian sculptor David Lozano. You can also visit the Model Market (Mercado modelo), a very busy trading place where you can even find a big number of medicinal plants used by local shamans, especially, during the “Healing Months”. You can find these shamans there as well!
In the morning, we travel southeast towards “Huaca Rajada” (or the village of Sipan) where the royal tomb of the Lord of Sipan was found. We visit this archaeological site and its museum there. Then, we continue to the village of Lambayeque to have lunch in a restaurant (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue towards the Tucume Pyramids to tour this archaeological complex as well as visit its site museum. Finally, we return to Lambayeque to explore the impressive “Lord of Sipan Museum” where you can admire golden and silver jewels found in the tomb of this Moche ruler. Around 6 pm, we return to Chiclayo.
A long way awaits us on the first day of the Chachapoyas Tour as we travel towards the mountain town of Chachapoyas. On the way, you enjoy majestic views of changing country as we start at the coastal desert and continue into Andean highlands via several semiarid valleys. Later on, we reach the lovely Utcubamba Valley, an exuberant valley of the same-named river. At sunset, we get to the picturesque town of Chachapoyas where we overnight in a lovely hotel.
The following day, we travel up the Utcubamba Valley towards Karajia (48 km northeast of the city of Chachapoyas), a burial site of the Chachapoyas civilization. There, seven 2.5 meter tall Chachapoyan mummies in sarcophagi are situated on an inaccessible cliffside above a river. The sarcophagi are done of clay, grass and sticks having accentuated jawlines. They are painted white and body details are decorated with red and ochre yellow colors. The sarcophagi are very particular for these people of ancient Peru as they have human skulls on the top of their heads. The mummies were originally eight, but one was destroyed by earthquake in 1928. The age of the sarcophagi were dated to the 15th century using radiocarbon method.
Afterwards, we continue to another burial site – Pueblo de los Muertos (the Town of the Dead). The site is placed on a mountain cliff where remains of these people of ancient Peru rest in sarcophagi of a conical, anthropomorphic form. We can also found cave paintings there representing zoomorphic figures. From there, the splendid Utcubamba Valley and the Gocta Waterfalls can be observed.
We return to the Chachapoyas Town in the late afternoon which gives us a bit of time to explore its historic centre.
After breakfast, we leave by a tourist vehicle towards the antique city of Peru Kuelap (about 3 hours). When we get to the archaeological zone of Malca Pampa, we start walking for about 20 minutes to reach the Kuelap City and receive a 3 hour guided tour from our experienced Tour Guide explaining us about historic process of the city as well as about its interior organization. We can view there ceremonial area, its main temple, circular houses, lower town and upper town. After the Kuelap Tour, we enjoy lunch (not included in the tour) to later continue to the locality of Leymebamba. There we visit the Mallqui Centre Museum that houses over 2,000 objects, 200 mummies and an interesting collection of “Quipus” recovered and brought from the mausoleums of the Lake of the Condors. In addition, the museum exhibits textiles, ceramics and arms of ancient Peruvian cultures. Then, we are given a quick city tour of Leymebamba before returning to our hotel in Chachapoyas.
The culture of Chachapoyas Cloud People (also called the Warriors of the Clouds) developed about 750–800 AD in a highland cloud forest of the Amazonian Andes. Peru Kuelap and other urban centers developed probably for a defensive purpose to protect the Chachapoyas Cloud People against the Wari culture covering most of the coast and highlands during the Peruvian period called Middle Horizon.
Kuelap is a huge fortress of the Chachapoyas people and it is called the “Machu Picchu of the Northen Peru”! The fortress involves over 400 buildings and massive stone fortification reaching up to 18 metres in height, 110 metres in width and 600 metres in lenght making it the largest stone structure of both Americas!! The fortification was probably built around 800 AD for a protection purpose against attacks of the Wari. The fortress is covered by orchids and bromeliads. Other interesting Chachapoyas monuments include the burial sites of Revash, the Gran Pajáten settlement, ruins of Cerro Olán, Gran Saposoa, the complex of Atumpucro, the Lake of the Condors (or the Lake of the Dead) and much more. It is estimated that only 5% of sites of the Chachapoyas have been excavated!!
In the morning, a travel to the city of Cajamarca awaits us. On the way, we stop at Balsas that pride with a museum housing a large collection of mummies. We can also see a garden of orchids there. Then we continue our travel observing tremendous sceneries passing two mountain ranges and the Marañon Canyon! We reach Cajamarca (2,650 m.a.s.l.) in early evening and overnight in a lovely hotel.
Cajamarca is the most important city of the northern Peru´s Andes and it is a capital of the same named department. It possesses an equatorial climate. The city was inhabited in pre-Incan times and even then, it was considered as an important centre. In 1532, it became famous for a capture of the last Inca´s ruler Atahualpa during the Peru´s conquest finishing the glory of the Incan Empire – Tawantinsuyo like that!
After breakfast, we climb up to the Santa Apolonia Hill to observe the Cajamarca City from a bird´s eye view. Then, we explore the old part of the city visiting its main square (Plaza de Armas), San Francisco Convent, Cuarto de Rescate (a house where the last Inca Atahualpa was captured by subterfuge of Spanish conquistadors), the Belen Monument Complex and some museums. Then, we continue to the 6 km far away spa – Baños del Inca, a favourite place of Inca rulers such as Pachacutec, Tupac Yupanqui, Huascar and Atahualpa. Its waters reach 79°C and have healing effects that are considered as the most significant of the continent!! You have a chance to enjoy these healing waters too!! In the end of the day, we return to Cajamarca to overnight.
Today we visit Cumbe de Mayo, an archaeological pre-Inca site located about 19 km southwest of Cajamarca at an altitude of around 3,500 meters above sea level. There can be found ruins of ancient aqueduct measuring about 8 km! The aqueduct gathered rainfall and transported it to the Pacific Ocean. It is believed that it was built around 1,500 BC which would make it the oldest structure of South America!! The name of Cumbe de Mayo has its roots in the Quechua phrase “Kumpi mayu” meaning “well build water channel”. There can be found petroglyphs on the aqueduct and nearby caves too! This remote highland zone is also a site of the so called “Stone Forest” formed by volcanic rocks carved by erosion. These formations are called Los Frailones (Friars) or Los Monjes de Roca (Rocky Monks) as well. Cumbe de Mayo was not only an irrigation aqueduct, but also a ceremonial centre of the water cult (similar to Qenko in Cusco or Saywite in Apurimac). During the day, we also trek on a part of the Inca Road. Finally, we return to our hotel at Cajamarca
Transfer to the airport or coach terminal of Cajamarca to take a flight either to Lima or a coach to Tarapoto to take a flight to Iquitos (Amazon).
End of service!
Please note: We can arrange your following flights upon request. We can arange an accommodation in Lima as well if you like.
Meals budget: Please allow USD 100-150 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the “Single Room” option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights.
Local flights: One local flight is included in the cost of your tour unless noted otherwise! It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process all air tickets! Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
Chachapoyas is the name that has both the province and the capital city of this, which are found in the Amazon region. The name of Chachapoyas has its origin in the culture that years ago was settled in the place and whose name meant “men of haze”.
At a historical level it is believed that the current territory of Chachapoyas was inhabited since 7,000 BC, it is known with certainty that in later years the most important culture that settled in the place was that of the Chachapoyas, men who have left for the current eyes his architectural legacies of circular shapes scattered throughout the territory and in areas of difficult access, according to his old custom.
At the tourist level, Chachapoyas presents different points for the practice of ecotourism, as well as important areas for the archaeological value that they represent and that are associated with the pre-Inca culture that gave them origin. Chachapoyas – Inca Trail Tour