This tour visits a diverse range of archaeological sites in Northern Peru whilst staying at exclusive accommodation set amongst areas of distinct natural beauty.
The tour takes in cultural aspects dating back to 2000BC through to the Inca period and when the first months of the Spanish Conquest. You will see remains from the Moche, Lambayeque/Sican, Chachapoya and Inca Cultures.
Accommodation has been chosen based on quality and setting. Each place is set in quiet out of the way places, where you can appreciate the landscape of different ecological areas.
We start the tour in Chiclayo and visit one a temple complex which has the oldest murals in the Americas. We will visit the Royal Tombs Museum and Tucume before heading to see the natural wonder of Gocta Waterfall close to Chachapoyas.
Leaving the Chachapoyas area along the most spectacular road in Peru we drive to Cajamarca to enjoy the colonial city and see some of the archaeological remains there.
Vilaya Tours is proud to offer this exclusive tour. For more details please use our contact form.
Day 1 Chiclayo
You are met at either your hotel or the aiport and start your tour by vsiting the ancient religious site of Ventarron. This is one of the oldest constructions in the Americas with evidence that the first temple was built in 2000BC. Later we travel to Lambayeque and the Royal Tombs Museum to see the collection of Moche (0-700AD) artefacts found at Sipan. After lunch we carry on to Tucume to see the city of adobe pyramids. Tucume was built by the Lambayeque/Sican (800-1350 AD) and added to by the Chimú (1350–1450 AD) and Inca (1450–1532 AD). We carry on along the road for another hour to Salas where we spend the night in Los Faiques, an exclusive hostal set amongst dry forest and with well tended gardens. (L, D)
Day 2 Travel to Cocachimba
Leaving Salas we carry along the old Panamerican Highway to Olmos, where we start heading east and the road climbs in to the Andes. We cross the Continental Divide and drive down a twisting well made road through a dry valley. Crossing the Marañon River, a major tributary of the Amazon, we enter the department of Amazonas. Carrying on the Bagua, we will see rice fields and then enter the Utcubamba Canyon for a final magnicient drive up to Cocachimba where we spend the night at the Gocta Andes Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Gocta Waterfall
We start our trek to the waterfall of Gocta from the hotel door. The waterfall though known about for many years was only recently measured in 2006 and found to be the third highest in the world. The trek goes along the side of a valley through sugar cane fields and into forest that is home to the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, mountain sloth and the magnificent cock-of-the-rock. With glimpses of the waterfall along the way we arrive at the base of the highest fall after 3 hours. Those brave enough may want a dip a in the pool at the base. Later return to the village and our private transport will take you to Casa Andina near Chachapoyas for the night. (B, L)
Day 4 Huancas and Karajia
After breakfast we drive to the village of Huancas just north of Chachapoyas. This village is famous for its ceramics made by the women. Close to the village is 1000m deep Sonche Canyon. We return to Chachapoyas and visit the daily market and the see the ladies from Huancas selling their pots and then carry down to the Utcubamba and cross over to the neighbouring Province of Luya. From the town of Luya 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 on to our accommodation at La Casa de Doña Lola with regular stops along the way to observe other tomb sites along the way. The simple lodge is set on a private reserve with many typical trees of the Utcubamba Valley and some unique species including the Kuelap Cedro. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Kuelap
Leaving our lodge we drive 1.5 hours to the largest ancient stone structure in South America - Kuelap. This fortress is perched on a ridge at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level and is still mainly covered with vegetation typical of the cloud forest. 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 back to the Casa de Doña Lola for a second night. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Revash and Leymebamba
We drive to Yerbabuena (1 hour) and we walk for a steady 2 hours uphill for a close up view of a spectacularly colorful cliff tomb. This extremely photogenic site is perched on a yellow cliff and the tombs are like mini houses with red pictographs dating back to 1200 AD. We continue on to Leymebamba (45 mins) and visit the museum housing the 219 mummies found at a nearby lake in 1997. We stay the night in the Kentitambo, an exclusive lodge surrounded by gardens designed to attract hummingbirds (to date 17 different species). (B, L, D)
Option 2 (lighter):
We drive to Leymebamba and visit the museum that houses 219 mummies and many other objects recovered from tombs overlooking a nearby lake in 1997. Afterwards we head south into The Valley of the Condors. This forested valley as had nesting condors for more than 10 years. Also there are great chances of seeing grey breasted mountain toucans and golden-headed quetzals. There are numerous trails that can be taken through this mini cloud forest reserve. Later drive back to the museum and we stay the night in Kentitambo, an exclusive lodge surrounded by gardens designed to attract hummingbirds (to date 17 different species). (B, L, D)
Day 7 Leymebamba to Cajamarca
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 and we arrive in Cajamarca. We stay the night in the Posada Puruay, an old colonial mansion outside of the city. (B, L)
Day 8 Cajamarca
Half day City Tour of Cajamarca to Santa Apolonia, the Belen Complex and the Rescue Room. Tour ends in time for the afternoon flight to Lima. (B, L)