I have been to South America many times but my recent visit to Northern Peru with Adventure World was an amazing experience. With my fellow adventurers I explored some of Peru’s less visited sites. We travelled 700 kilometres north from Lima to the spectacular Amazonian region of the north-eastern Andes.
Hidden in the remote cloud forest of this region are some of the most significant and impressive pre Columbian archaeological ruins in all of South America. Chachapoyas has been one of Peru’s best kept secrets for years. The High Andes conceal innumerable and priceless archaeological ruins and this is the region avid adventures head to when they wish to get off the well hiked trail.
The immense ruins of the fortified citadel of Kuelap was built by the mysterious ‘Cloud People of Chachapoyas’. This spectacular walled city is perched atop a towering mountain some 3100 metres above sea level. Massive stone walls and hundreds of ruins stand as a reminder of a formidable culture lost to history. Based on the archaeological evidence, Kuelap was built around the sixth century A.D., and continued to be in use until the 16th century A.D. until they were presumed to be conquered by the Incas in the 15th century. Although the ruins were discovered by the Europeans 60 years before Machu Picchu, they are still not well known to the outside world.
Early this year a cable car was installed to carry visitors to the base of Kuelap, it is then a two kilometre walk to the ruins and at altitude this can be a little difficult. But the hike is worthwhile to see the magnificent ruins and take in the stunning views.
Imagine exploring a beautifully preserved ancient fortress one day, hiking through a lush cloud forest to one of the world’s highest waterfalls the next day. Then the following day a white-knuckle drive through the mountains to the Revash mausoleums and a visit to a museum with 261 mummies – all part of another story of discovery!