Is Chachapoyas in the Jungle?
If you’re arriving to Peru on that big adventure into the heart of the ancient Incan lands from Ecuador, it means that you’re crossing one of three borders. First, there’s Tumbes, the most highly-transited border crossing between the two countries, and then there’s the crossing that comes from Loja, Ecuador, which is slightly less popular. If you’ve really, really gone off the beaten path, ignoring travel agencies’ and hotels’ advice, then perhaps you’re arriving via the dirt road from Zumba. In any case, your first stop will have to be Chachapoyas
Read more: The Fortress of Kuelap – Chachapoyas
Yes, Chachapoyas is the capital city of a region called Amazonias, but no, it is not located in the jungle. In fact, you’ll arrive driving down a beautiful long low canyon road from the main highway at Bagua Grande to the north. The road skirts a raging river, and makes for some really great snapshot opportunities. This land is quite distinct from what you’ll find elsewhere, like in Cuzco or Trujillo.
Read more: The Northern Highlands; Kuelap & Chachapoyas
Chachapoyas sits way up above the canyon, and looking back you’ll notice that you can’t tell there was a canyon there at all! When you arrive to Chachapoyas, you’ll fall in love. The whitewashed houses of this quaint mountain town are wonderful. The plaza de armas is best part about the place, and you’ll find plenty of small, convenient hostels down the snaking alleyways.
The markets are authentic, and you’re going to want to savor all kinds of fresh breads and jungle fruits (after all, the jungle isn’t that far off). The average temperature hovers around 18 degrees Celsius, which makes the climate pleasant for strolling around. And you should stroll up the Cerro Luya Urco for some great views and a drink from the Cuyana Fountain, which legend has it will cause men to forever be tempted by the local ladies. Chachapoys is your jumping-off point for many local attractions, including the massive stone fortress of Kuelap, the waterfall Gocta, and many hikes and museums. But first, it’ll take a little effort on your part to pull yourself away from Chachapoyas!