Lesser known places in Peru: Chachapoyas – a natural paradise to explore.Few days ago, one of my reader on Instagram wrote me: “There are places you always take in your heart … In fact you really have a huge heart to keep them all.”
I do not conceal that some of the experiences I have experienced need to be “absorbed” first by my mind and body.
It’s a bit like when you eat too fast, then you need to metabolize.
The Adventure in Peru was the biggest challenge I have faced in the last amazing months and I’m infinitely grateful to Minube App (the famous travel advice app) and the Peru Tourism Board to pick me up as the only Italian representative of this experience.
I sincerely needed to mentally order everything that my heart had experienced. So overwhelming and intense.
It was the journey of the first times, expressed wishes, tremendous difficulties and the greatest amazement.
I left in May when temperatures in Peru are mild. We have actually moved from Lima, which is at sea level, to some of the highest peaks in the country at 5000 meters. The perfect way to dress is, therefore, “onion”.
I meet the rest of the group in Madrid, I’m the only Italian and the only “solitary” in the team. My personal challenge begins.
After about 12 hours of flight, I’m in Lima (the capital of the country), but just to rest for a few hours … the next day it’s waiting for us a new flight to Jaen to discover one of the most unexplored touristic areas in the country.
The first stage of the tour is the Chachapoyas region (literally “People of the Clouds”), in the Amazonian area in the north of the country. Amongst the wildest and the least frequented by classic tourist itineraries, it’s so authentic and rich of beauty.
I believe that the moment when I actually realized that I was in Peru is this:
at the airport, in Jaen, made with bamboo canes … outdoors, but simply perfect in its size and use. We used the local Latam airline, brand new, but really thoughtful luggage handling.
Around me I only see green, here the temperatures are higher, I’m hot, the air is damp, but I’m happy and I smile alone. I realized that I was on the other end of the world and in the green forest I was expecting great beauties.
After many hours of transfer on the notes of local songs that will always remain indelible in my mind, we come to our super typical hotel: Casa Hacienda Achamaqui. Do you know that sensation of feeling in the middle of total nothingness?
Here’s just a deafening chant song, a never-seen vegetation, flowers, flowers, hibiscus flowers and hummingbirds. A wooden patio with a rocking chair to admire the green river flowing boldly behind the hotel. We are at the edge of one of the most amazing and fascinating places on earth.
Our guide told us that there are sarcophagi left by the Warriors of the Clouds (Chachapoyas), in the rock along the waterway, a pre-inca people who pervade these lands with their own spirit. You really feel that you are at their home.
But what are the main attraction points in Chachapoyas area?
The archaeological site of Kuelap
A real fortress created by the pre Inca people I mentioned just before, we are at 3000 meters above sea level and vegetation is an intense green explosion.
You can see the remains of 420 circular shaped houses decorated with zig zag motifs. This is also the place where for the first time I saw llamas. Orchids that descend from the trees to create natural frames, the clouds that surround the green mountains. Here the weather is unpredictable, an anti-raincoat is always to be held in the backpack in these areas. A new generation of cable car in 20 minutes will take you through the clouds, where pre-inca warriors have created their ancient engineering masterpiece.
Gocta Waterfall – “La Chorrera”
I think this was one of the most limiting and incredible experiences of my life.
I’ll tell you why. First of all, to prepare ourselves to the height, we stop in a small village to try Coca tea. The leaves are used directly, not the active ingredient. The feeling is that of a tea, but a little more powerful.
We start our path from the small village of San Pablo de Valera, everyones were so courious and attracted by us. An explosion of colors in the only paved square of the city. From here we start our tour of about 2 hours by horseback riding to one of the highest waterfalls in the world (the third one with its 914 meters high). The nature that slowly begins to manifest after the last houses of the village is lush, this is the habitat of monkeys, tucsons, mountain lions etc
During the ascent, the storm begins, there are no repairs, so the only way is to continue. The gentle lady who “carried” my horse gave me his cloak, there is Minnie on it. The maternal instinct that does not know the boundaries and the goodness of a people always with the smile. She opts for black waterproof bags. The rain becomes more intense and the flowers close. The group is dispersed due to the intense rain tropical.
My horse at times slips on slippery rock, it’s all so incredible that I knew from that moment that I’d never forgot what I was experiencing.
One lifetime moment of incredible awareness where you feel alive with every cell of the body.
After two hours, the rain has a bit of austerity to let us admire the great waterfall in all its grandeur.
On the more serene days it is possible to get to its slopes, we have been able to approach only half a height. We embraced the waterfall (what does not do for the perfect shot, which nevertheless failed: D) finding us totally head-to-head soups.
Another two hours of horseback to beat the teeth and arrive at a typical local restaurant, never yuca (a kind of potato) was better!
In the evening we expect a bonfire under the stars in our hotel, we cooked marsh mellow under the stars …. I wanted to do it from a lifetime !!
But the alarm clock is early the next morning, two more flights are waiting for us and the white city of Arequipa.
Keep scrolling for a surprise …
Waiting for the next diary page of my trip to Peru I will leave you at the beautiful Minube vlog created during our travel experience: