Kuélap: from Chiclayo to Cajamarca (4n/5d)

Kuélap, the magnificent architectural wonder of the Chachapoyas

Kuélap, the magnificent architectural wonder of the Chachapoyas

Day 1: Chiclayo – Cocachimba
Journey across Peru’s mountains, coasts, and highland as you travel along the Trans-Andean Highway in a comfortable private vehicle. After crossing the Marañón River Valley, you will arrive in Cocachimba, located 30 kilometers from Chachapoyas. You will have the rest of the day free to settle in at the hotel and enjoy its amenities. *The suggested hotels may be subject to change per the program’s requirements.

Day 2: Gocta Cataracts
Early in the morning, make your way to the town of Cocachimba, where you will take a hike of about five hours to reach the Gocta Cataracts: an impressive waterfall which at 2,332 feet (771 m) is among the tallest in the world. Set in the middle of an extraordinary natural landscape, the falls are home to *yellow-tailed monkeys, sloths, and the magnificent Andean Cock-of-the-rock. You will have lunch in the midst of this landscape, enjoying a marvelous view of the falls. Return to the hotel. *Please kindly note that animals live on their natural habitat, therefore we can not asure you can see any of them during the excursion.

Day 3: Kuelap
After breakfast, you will visit the Kuélap, the magnificent architectural wonder of the Chachapoyas. Kuelap is surrounded by a colossal wall almost 2,000 feet (600 m) long and 65 feet (20 m) tall. Inside, you will find a variety of rooms and public and private buildings, the majority of which have circular designs and decorative friezes. Locked away in a cloud forest, Kuélap was strategically built on the peak of a large mountain whose steep slopes leave the fortress’s main entrance as the only possible point of access. This entrance was built in the form of a gradually narrowing alleyway, acting as a sort of funnel whose end leaves only enough space for the passage of a single person.  Discover the mysteries held within the walls of this amazing architectural complex, and marvel at the beauty of the views seen from this mountaintop fortress. Once you finish your visit at the fortress, you will have lunch at a local restaurant and then move on to the selected hotel in Leimebamba, where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Leimebamba – Cajamarca
Leimebamba was a town established by the Incas during their conquest of the region; it became a city during Spanish rule and still retains its colonial charm. You will visit the Leimebamba Museum, which holds a valuable collection of more than 200 mummies and their funerary offerings, recovered around Lake of the Condors in 1997 by the Centro Mallqui, the Bioanthropology Foundation of Peru. This discovery has resulted in the recovery of priceless artifacts as well as a wealth of vital information. At the scheduled time, you will leave Leimebamba and head toward the city of Cajamarca. The journey will last around nine hours. On the way, you will stop to enjoy a pleasant box lunch. Once you arrive in Cajamarca, transfer to the selected hotel.

Day 5: Cajamarca – Lima
In the morning, you will visit this charming Andean city characterized by its colonial architecture, most of all its 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century churches. Must-see buildings include the Cathedral, the Convento de San Francisco (Convent of St. Francis) and the Complejo Monumental de Belén (Monumental Complex of Belén). The city of Cajamarca was site to the fall of the Inca Empire at the hands of the Spanish in 1532. In the center of the city, you can still visit the Cuarto del Rescate (Ransom Room), the place where the Incan emperor Atahualpa was held prisoner, and the place that represents the moment when the Spanish and Incan cultures collided and forever changed the history of Peru. At the scheduled time, you will be transported to the airport for your return flight to Lima.

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