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This pleasant little town of 20,000 inhabitants stands on the eastern slopes of the Andes at 2,335 m.

The Chachapoyan culture was conquered but not completely subdued by the Incas before the Spanish arrived. When the Spanish showed up, local chief Curaca Huaman supposedly aided them toward their conquest. The modern city was founded on 5 September 1538 by the Spanish captain Alonso de Alvarado, who considered its location strategically important.

KuelapChachapoyas is now the capital of the Amazonas Department, which, despite its name, is a mountainous area. The department used to include the lowland regions east to the Brazilian border but, after the 1942 war with Ecuador, these low-lying sections became a new department of Loreto.

The town is now a quiet, friendly town. It provides an excellent base for visiting the nearby ruins of Kuelap and has been called "the archaeological capital of Peru". The traditional evening pastime of strolling around the Plaza de Armas is a favourite way of relaxing and socialising.

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Map of Chachapoyas

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Chachapoyas

    Accommodation choices for Chachapoyas

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Chachapoyas. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Chachapoyas

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Chachapoyas, and which use the best local guides.

    • Kuelap Excursion

      Kuelap Excursion

      Kuelap Excursion

      Situated 9,843 feet above sea level, three miles from Tingo and approximately one hour from Chachapoyas, Kuelap is made up of hundreds of round stone houses and was not discovered until 1843.

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    • Revash and the Leymebamba Museum
      Revash ruins

      Revash and the Leymebamba Museum

      Revash and the Leymebamba Museum

      Near the town of Santo Tomas de Quillay are located a group of burial buildings in the mountains. The walls are composed of small stones set in mud mortar, plastered and painted in shades of cream and red.

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