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Chachapoyas Peru
Amazonas Peru

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: 2,334 meters.

Climate: Average annual temperatures in Chachapoyas run at 15°(Maximum 24° and minimum 18° C). The rain season runs from December to March. Because of the state of the roads, it is best to visit the department of Amazonas outside the rain season.

Access: The best route is overland from Lima-Chiclayo-Chachapoyas (1,225 km), a 24-hour drive by car. Another overland route is that of Lima-Trujillo-Cajamarca-Celendín-Chachapoyas (1,199 km), a 26-hour trip. There are no direct commercial flights, but one can charter flights from Chiclayo.

The cradle of the ancient Chachapoya civilization, the city was overrun by the Incas in the fifteenth century, and decades later, after the Spanish Conquest, was founded once more by the Spaniards with the name of Chachapoyas.

The main square and the narrow pebbled streets that have been preserved until today date back to these times. Some 70 km west lies the Fortress of Kuelap , the bastion of the Chachapoya tribe, a citadel whose access is through narrow walled passages like sloping funnels which helped to keep out invaders.

Those same passageways today host tours led by experienced local guides. Other attractions include Laguna de las Momias (a region where archaeologists discovered more than 280 mummies), or the Karajia Burial Tombs , which stand 2 meters high and are made of hardened clay. Wedged into a mountain cliff, the sarcophagi appear to guard over their ancestral grounds.

Chachapoyas is known for its joyful dances and colorful festivals. The town of Jalca, which is held to be the capital of jungle folklore, holds a series of celebrations all year-long, blending the rituals of local tribes with Christianity. Tasty local dishes worth sampling include the Purtumute, Tacacho and Cecina. Principal attractions are:

Plaza de Armas: Built on a perfect square with a beautiful Colonial style bronze fountain, has a monument to Peruvian patriot, Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza, and is surrounded by the house where the patriot was born, the Cathedral, the Bishopric and the Chachapoyas Provincial Town Hall.

Iglesias del Señor de Burgos y de Santa Ana: The latter is the first of its kind built by the Spanish; the former, houses beautiful Colonial style images.

Pozo de Yanayacu: A well built by Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo which has become a legendary site and a fountain of love.

Grutas de Santa Lucía: a beautiful grotto near the local airport with an interesting orchid nursery.

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