Chachapoyas in northern Peru is an ecologically diverse area of high mountains, cloud forests, deep canyons, raging rivers and jungle. The name Chachapoyas refers to the pre-Inca culture that dominated the region. The Chachapoya People lived in stone cities on mountain ridges and the remains are there to be seen by visitors to the area. In fact the ruins are so numerous, the area is described as the richest archaeological zone in South America and possibly the world.
For travellers, Chachapoyas boasts impressive heritage sites and scenery to rival anything in southern Peru. Day hikers, trekkers, cavers, botanists and birders will find time too short to explore all the possibilities.
Chachapoyas city, at 2336m (7662ft) is a typical Andean town with a central plaza. Chachapoyas was founded in 1538 and was the staging post for the start of the infamous El Dorado expeditions in the 16th century. Today Chachapoyas is the capital of the department of Amazonas and a cosmopolitan city of about 30,000 people. It is a center of commerce for the agricultural products grown in the area – potatoes, maize, beef etc.