In northern Peru, there is an area where adventurers can still lose themselves in the old-fashioned traditions of travel.
The Amazons of Peru have everything a modern adventurer might require.
Impenetrable rainforest, rugged mountain ranges, vast valleys with gorges ripped out of the earth and rivers urgently carrying their ancient secrets. Cloud forests, paramo and unique microclimates with Andean bears and cocks-of-the-rock. The mysterious tombs and sarcophagi of the Incan and pre-Incan remnants make the famous Macchu Picchu seem a little like a Disney dream. With the perfect guide, you will never run out of folklore and culture, will always have more birds and orchids and waterfalls to explore.
For a nature lover, the endless possibilities of the Peruvian Amazonas are as close to perfection as the earth has to offer.
Gateway to the culture and architecture the capital of Amazonas is a picturesque town. It remains fairly isolated from other regions of Peru.
The Enigma of Kuelap
An ancient, walled citadel built between the Andes and the Jungle in the southernmost part of the region. It was built by the Chachapoyas contemporaries of the Incas in the 6th Century CE. Home to the Cloud Warriors it is surrounded by deep cloud forests and is older than Machu Picchu.
Make an appointment with a mermaid by taking a two and a half hour horseback ride from Chachapoyas to one of the tallest cataracts in the world. Forever shrouded in mists due to its high altitude the locals believe mermaid-like spirits protect the Gocta waterfall which leaps from a height of 2529 feet (771 m).
The fifth tallest waterfall in the world it has only been widely known since 2007.
Inside the natural caves near the small town of Lamud you will encounter stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations.
The very curious archaeological site of Carajia, or Karijia, of the Utcubamba Valley in Amazonas is home to eight Chachapoyan mummies or sarcophagi made of clay, sticks, and grasses.
The mummies, which are carbon-dated to the 15th century, are unique in design and very different from Egyptian mummies.
Laguna of the Condors
The Laguna of the Condors is also known as the Laguna de las Momias (Lagoon of the Mummies) in the Leimebamba district, is full of natural cave mausoleums of the Chachapoyan culture containing more mummies wrapped in textiles and seated in a peculiar position. The cave walls are also painted with symbols or pictographs.
Museum of Leimebamba
Visit the small museum a few hours from Chachapoyas while you are in Leimebamba. Built through collaboration between the local communities, various experts, and international funding agencies it stores the mummies and other treasures of the Inca-Chachapoya period. The museum proudly boasts its collection of 200 mummies and archaeological remains from the Laguna of the Condors.