Kuelap – Machu Picchu of the Amazonas

Kuelap Tours


Machu Picchu is on the top of the list of places to visit for most travellers coming to Peru – being one of the seven wonders of the world but how many of you know about Kuelap?

This fortress is the largest stone structure in South America. It contains more than 450 stone houses.  It is located on a mountain higher than Machu Picchu at 3,000m altitude.  It is much older than the Inca Empire built around 800AD, making it 600 years older than Machu Picchu; and bigger, with walls of 600 meters long and up to 19 meters high.

Kuelap Tours - Chachapoyas

In the thirteenth century AD the Chachapoyas culture developed in the region.  The Chachapoyas, also called the Warriors of the Clouds, were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonas region.  Much of what we do know about the Chachapoyas culture is based on archaeological evidence from ruins, pottery, tombs and other artefacts.

Kuelap Tours - Chachapoyas
Sarcophagi, Karajia Tombs

The Chachapoyas culture is characterized by the richness of its buildings, In general, the residential and monumental constructions are circular and of stone, their walls have reliefs of stone decorated, in several cases, with symbolic figures.

The entrance to the main platform must be done through narrow alleys, a characteristic that suggests that Kuélap was built for defensive purposes. This citadel had a sophisticated system of roads and drainage of rainwater through canals that ran throughout the complex.

Kuelap Tours | Chachapoyas

The site supported 3,000 people and was the home of ruling elites and shamans. A continuing theme of stone carvings on the walls of the circular structures is representational of 3 levels in which the community appears to be divided.   Symbolizing the three levels of the spirit world: below ‘underworld’, ‘middle world’ and ‘upper world’. Represented by animals: serpent, puma, and condor respectively.  The elites ‘Shamans’ lived on the upper-most level and the other people lived below.

Kuelap Tours | Chachapoyas

There is also a double diamond pattern which represented duality. These houses contained many obsidian artefacts as well as many llama bones, suggesting sacrificial activity; there were no human bones found in these areas. There is a stone structure on the site which is aligned with the cardinal directions.

Kuelap Tours - Chachapoyas

The new cable car system opened in March. While the trip used to take about an hour and a half, travellers can now reach the site in about 20 minutes. You can get a great view on the ride: The system is suspended as high as 200m in the air as it crosses over valleys.

Kuelap Tours - Chachapoyas


Package Tours –

All our package tours can be altered to suit your traveling needs.

6D 5N – Explore Kuelap – Machu Picchu of the Amazonas and Gocta.

  • Day 1 – Transfer from Tarapoto to Chachapoyas
  • Day 2 – Caves of Quiocta and sarcophagi (stone coffin) of Karajia.
  • Day 3 – Gocta Waterfall one of the highest in the world.
  • Day 4 – The Lagoon of Pomacochas
  • Day 5 – The Kuelap Fortress (Wonder of Peru).
  • Day 6 – Sunchi Canyon + Village of the Dead.

Kuelap Tours | Chachapoyas - Cuispes Yumbilla


4D 3N Chachapoyas Kingdom Of The Clouds – Karajia, Quiocta, Kuelap and Gocta.

  • Day 1 – Transfer from Tarapoto to Chachapoyas.
  • Day 2 – Caves of Quiocta and sarcophagi (stone coffin) of Karajia.
  • Day 3 – Gocta Waterfall one of the highest in the world.
  • Day 4 – The Kuelap Fortress (Wonder of Peru)



6D 5N Cultural Tours – Cuispes district, live within local communities – Kuelap

  • Transfer from Tarapoto to Cuispes district – journey by car 5 h 29 mins
  • In the community of Cuispes, your host family where you will stay the next few days will be waiting for you.
  • Cultural Trail: Cuispes – Activities in the community.  See how to grow guinea pig or you might want to participate in a bread workshop.
  • Eco-Tourism: Cuispes – Walking to Yumbilla, walk in the magnificent primary forest.

We can offer an initiation to Canyoning activity in one of the many waterfalls that sink in this valley. The members of the Cuispes association are in permanent training for this adventure activity.

Kuelap Tours | Chachapoyas - Cuispes Yumbilla

  • Kuelap – a cable car that lasts 20 minutes from 1,900 to almost 3,000 m of altitude, followed by a walk of 2 kilometres to reach the entrance of the site. 
  • Back to Tingo Nuevo, continue to Leymebamba, approximately 2 hours and welcome to your new host family where you will stay overnight.
  • Cultural Trail – Leymebamba – Activities in the community discover traditional activities such as weaving. The sheep are raised in the region, the wool of which will be used to make beautiful woollen objects. 
  • Visit the Leymebamba museum. The Leymebamba Museum is famous for hosting more than 200 mummies and their funerary offerings that were discovered in 1997 in the Laguna de Los Cóndores. 
  • Visit sculptor Miguel Huaman.  

Kuelap Chachapoyas - cultural routes