TOMBS AND CITADELS ADVENTURE
JAE-CHA-CAJ

This trek starts with three days seeing the best of the easily accessible archaeological sites of the Chachapoya culture. Later we head into the mountains for a three day trek. Tajopampa is a little known secret of the area. Lying to the south of Leymebamba it is surrounded by relics of the Chachapoya culture. Close to the lodge where we stay are cliff tomb sites of La Petaca and Diablo Huasi. The adventurer has the chance of spotting over one hundred and fifty tombs that cling to these huge cliffs.

Duration           7 Days / 6 Nights

Itinerary

You are met at Jaen airport and driven by private transport to Chachapoyas (4 hours). The beautiful journey takes us through the city of Jaen where we stop for lunch and then we descend to the Marañon River a major Amazon tributary and finally ascends to Chachapoyas via the fabulous Utcubamba Canyon. We arrive at Chachapoyas and the La Ensenada Hotel.

After breakfast we drive down to the Utcubamba and cross over to the neighbouring Province of Luya. From the village of Lamud we drive on to the village of Cruz Pata, where a short walk (45min) takes us down to Karajia. These striking sarcophagi, sculptured like humans have become an icon of the area. For 750 years they have looked towards the rising sun and undoubtedly are the resting place for some elite members of Chachapoya warriors. Returning to our transport we drive back to Chachapoyas La Ensenada Hotel.

Leaving your lodge we drive to the village of Tingo (20mins) and take the cable car across the valley to visit Kuelap -the largest ancient stone structure in South America. This citadel is perched on a ridge at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level. Your guide will show you around the site and explain the mysteries and past of this unforgettable testament to ancient city planning. Later we return to our private transport and drive further south to the village of Leymebamba, where we spend the night at La Casona de Leymebamba.

After breakfast we walk from the village of Leymebamba to the museum housing 219 mummies and artefacts from Laguna de los Condores – a mausoleum discovered in 1997 above a sacred lake. We follow a road as far as we can and carry on trekking to Tajopampa, a stunning farmstead that held great importance to the Chachapoyas and Inca cultures – evidenced by the surrounding ruins and mountain tombs. We cook over an open fire and stay in basic accommodation of the farmstead.

Close to Tajopampa are the mind-boggling cliff tombs of La Petaca and Diablo Huasi. The myriad constructions are situated high up on inaccessible cliffs. Sit and marvel at this tapestry of buildings and pictographs – it’s not unusual to identify a new construction every trip. We can only speculate how the ancient people placed their dead in such a place. We have plenty of time to visit the ancient city of Boveda – a beautiful small Chachapoyan site that overlooks Tajopampa. Return to Tajopampa for the night.

Returning along the road we trek back through the cloud forest gorge, spotting orchids and birds along the way. Night in La Casona del Leymebamba.

Today, drive along one of the most spectacular roads in Peru (6-hours). Start by driving up to a pass (3600m) overlooking the Marañon Canyon. The road heads down to the river through many different eco systems. Cross the bridge at the valley bottom at 850m, then drive up 2400m to the western side of the canyon. A little beyond is the market town of Celendin famous for its straw hats. Another 3 hours, crossing high rolling hills and agricultural land. Arrive in Cajamarca.

Gallery

  • Private transport for all transfers and excursions
  • 2 nights in La Ensenada Hotel, Chachapoyas
  • 2 nights in La Casona, Leymebamba
  • 2 nights in Tajopampa Lodge
  • Horses and support personnel
  • Food as the program
  • Guide
  • Entrance fees to Karajia, Kuelap and Museum of Leymebamba

Options: upgrade in Leymebamba to Kentitambo

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