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Searching for the lost Kingdom of the Chachapoya

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  • 7 Days, 6 Nights
  • Group Size: 2 and up
  • from April to October

While inmersed in nature, you will discover the incredible landscapes of this region, and you will understand why the Chachapoyas are called the people of the clouds.

You will witness one of the funerary customs of our culture, the mausoleums of the Laguna de los Condores, during an expedition that will involve: hiking, horse and boat rides, fishing for lunch or dinner.

You will climb to the top of a mountain to visit the most important archaeological center in the Peruvian North East, Kuelap.

You will fall in love with the landscape that leads to the Gocta waterfall, you will feel the spray of water on your face and you will be captivated by the song of the birds.

You will enjoy a healthy and original gastronomy and rest in accommodations surrounded by nature.

Before leaving our region, you will have planted a native tree, thus contributing to the reforestation of one of the most important ecosystems in our Amazon region.

Price Includes

  • English speaking guide (except during transfer from and to the airport)
  • Private transportation during the 7 days of the tour
  • Tickets and admission fees for all activities and attractions
  • Water refills during the whole tour
  • Day 1
  • Private transfer from the airport to the lodge
  • Accomodation at La Casa de Doña Lola in Milpuj - La Heredad
  • Day 2
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Accomodation at Casa Rural Mallqui in Leymebamba
  • Day 3
  • Horses, local guide, and muleteer
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Accomodation at Casa Ullilen
  • Day 4
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Accomodation at Casa Ullilen
  • Day 5
  • Horses, local guide, and muleteer
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Accomodation at Gocta Natura in Cocachimba
  • Day 6
  • Breakfast, box lunch and dinner
  • Accomodation at Gocta Natura in Cocachimba
  • Day 7
  • Breakfast
  • Private transfer from the lodge to the airport

Price Excludes

  • Flight tickets
  • Meals not mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Additional expenses, souvenirs, tips and similar
  • Travel insurance

What to Bring

  • The essentials:Sun block, bug repelent, comfortable and warm outdoor gear, hiking shoes, sun glasses, hat, rain jacket, day pack, necessary medicines.
  • For Laguna de los Cóndores:Towel and necessary toiletries.
  • For Gocta:Changing clothes.

What makes this experience RESPONSible?

By booking this trip, you will adopt and plant yourself a native tree in the Milpuj-La Heredad Conservation Area, for which you will receive a certificate with the information of said tree.

By doing the two falls route of the Gocta Waterfall, you will economically contribute to the two communities near the waterfall: San Pablo de Valera and Cocachimba.

We recommend you bring your reusable bottle so that you can refill water during your trip, in this way you avoid the purchase of single-use plastics.

Day by Day

Day 1: Jaén - Milpuj La Heredad

In the morning, arrival at Jaén airport and transfer to Milpuj – La Heredad (accompanied only by the driver).
Mrs. Lola and Perico will welcome you and guide you throughout their home “La Casa de Doña Lola” located in the Milpuj – La Heredad Private Conservation Area, a responsible tourist endeavour that contributes to generating economic income that helps them with their objectives of preservation, recovery and sustainability of one particular ecosystem, the seasonal dry forest.

Day 2: Milpuj – Kuelap - Leymebamba

In the morning, we will walk along the interpretive path of ACP Milpuj, where Pedro Alias “Perico” will explain to you the objective of conserving this particular ecosystem, the seasonal dry forest. In the reserve, the route of the interpretive trail is full of nature, history and culture. It has a total of 2km, it takes 2 hours (it can by shortened by request), and the level of difficulty is easy. At the beginning of the trail there will be two convivial experiences such as visiting the native plant nursery that Mrs. Lola uses for cooking and the farm where she raises her chickens in a conscious and environmentally friendly way. We will also participate in the planting of a native tree, thus contributing to the recovery of the forest,  perpetuating a good refuge for the wildlife.

Break for lunch (not included).

We will depart to Kuelap by taking the first cable car system in Peru, which leads us to Malca, where the walk to the archaeological site begins. After overlooking the valley with bird’s eyes and contemplating the steep cliffs in the area, we cannot help wondering why something so high and so far had to be built by the ancient inhabitants of these lands. The question continues to be answered little by little to this day, honoring the sacrifice and risks that this meant for its creators.
Kuelap, the most important archaeological center in the Peruvian Northeast, was built by the Chachapoya culture around 800 AD. and it is characterized by the monumental structures of huge stones that cover an area of ​​6 hectares, at the top of Cerro Barreta, over 3,000 meters above sea level. From here it is possible to observe its relationship with a natural environment characterized by the montane forest or cloud forest.

Day 3: Leymebamba – Laguna de los Cóndores

Early in the morning, we will start the walk and / or horseback ride, to the mummies lagoon or Laguna de los Cóndores, the place where hundreds of Chachapoya mummies were discovered in perfect conditions despite the adverse environmental conditions. To reach the lagoon, we will cross the Atuen River Valley, and ascend to the Abra de La Fila (3800 meters above sea level). From here, we will observe the Amazonian Andes range, the most oriental mountains of the region before giving way to the Amazonian flatlands. Then, we will descend through the Cóndores canyon, surrounded by the cloud forest, until we reach the our accomodation for the following two nights (2700 masl).

Day 4: Laguna de los Cóndores

To explore the Laguna de los Cóndores, we go by boat, and after a walk to the mausoleums, we will be at the place where more than 200 mummies belonging to the Chachapoya, Chachapoya-Inca, and even mummies of the Early Colonial age were found. Each structure measures 3 meters high and is divided into two levels, plastered and painted with white pigment and reddish and yellow ocher, adorned with zigzag friezes and deer antlers.

After witnessing this we will return to the lagoon, have a boxlunch, and enjoy some more boat trips, while fishing trout, and doing some flora and fauna observation.

Day 5: Laguna de los Cóndores - Leymebamba - Cocachimba

This is the day when we return over our own steps back to Leymebamba, and then we keep moving by car to Cocachimba, where more surprises await.

Day 6: Cocachimba

After a good rest at Cocachimba’s lodge, we will depart to the neighboring community of San Pablo to start the walk towards the Gocta waterfall.

The distance between the town of San Pablo to the first fall (the upper one of 220 m) is 6 Km, almost 2 and a half hours of walking. When at 1.8 Km from the first fall, there is a detour to a viewpoint where you can see the two falls and from where the descent to the second fall begins.

This descent is very steep but we will take it carefully, and this is why it takes almost 2 more hours. At the end we reach a suspension bridge to cross over the river. Then, you start to climb for about 10 minutes until you find the path that connects Cocachimba with the second fall (the lower one of 550 m). From that point towards the base of the second fall it is approx. 30 min.

This excursion seems to be very physical and time demanding (8 h), but we can assure you it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!

To hike back to the town of Cocachimba is 5.2 km and it takes almost 2 and a half hours. 

Day 7: Cocachimba - Jaén

Today is departing day, your flight from Jaen to your desired destination is at 13:00.


Your Travel Designer

Marilyn Velásquez

She was born in Leymebamba and studied tourism. Marilyn is our greatest partner in the Amazonas region, knowing every corner of its geography (not to say little) and its people, and understanding our way of doing things with responsibility, because she believes that the benefits of tourism should be distributed in a fair way, recuperating the rainforests and ancestral wisdom.

Our relationship has many years in the count since she was selling trips around Chachapoyas from the headquarters she founded herself, Café Fusiones, the best coffee place in the city and the best example of a fairtrade shop. Now she lives in Spain, but frequently visiting her birthplace in Peru to always innovate in the creation of tourism products that are transformative, regenerative, and sustainable.