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Northern Peruvian Andes

The Northern Peruvian Highlands are one of Peru’s least traveled areas, but not for lack of attractions. Here, the Andes climb up from the coast and descend into the Amazon; in the middle lay the Chachapoyas and Cajamarca regions of Peru. Chachapoyas is surrounded by recently discovered ruins while Cajamarca is dotted with classic colonial architecture. The beauty of the two areas of Peru is that they are much less visited than other colonial and ruin destinations in Peru. The lack of visitors is not the result of less-than-spectacular attractions, but almost entirely to do with the windy, bumpy and generally shoddy roads that lead into the region.


Hidden within the lush, virgin jungle surrounding Chachapoyas are a plethora of architectural treasures-many of which have been recently found. For ruin lovers there are several remote ruin sites that carry with them a more adventurous feeling than more touristy areas like Machu Picchu. The most popular site is Kuélap which is perched out on a limestone peak. Getting to many of the sites is not easy, but it certainly is fun-some require a mixture of 4x4 vehicle and horseback to get there.


The colonial history of Cajamarca is evident during a stroll through the town’s central area, where colonial buildings sit on cobble-stoned streets. While their beauty is easy to appreciate, they also represent the end of Incan rule in the area. Outside of Cajamarca, the Incan presence can be seen in the crumbling ruins in the countryside.









11 Jul 2012

Places to Stay in the Northern Peruvian Andes

Posada del Puruay

Set in the countryside just outside of Cajamarca, this quaint Spanish hacienda was originally built in 1822 and offers a wholly relaxing and charming getaway. Its owners renovated the hotel in the ...
Hotel
Cajamarca , Peru

Hotel Laguna Seca

Hotel Laguna Seca\'s main selling point is its location. Surrounded by lush green countryside, it is located so near to the Inca Baths that there are thermal pools on the property; the thermal waters ...
Hotel
Cajamarca , Peru

Casa Hospedaje Cucha Cuella

The courtyard is a working area for the family, with wash areas and, in one corner, a beehive adobe stove where the doña (the owner) bakes traditional bread. But step into one of the half-dozen ...
Hotel
Kuélap, Peru

Hostal Continental

A maze of hallways lead to the rooms of the Hostal Continental. The four stories echo with the comings and goings, the conversations and music of its guests. The rooms are a bit cramped, but have ...
Hotel
Chachapoyas, Peru

Hospedaje Laguna de los CĂłndores

This hostel, popular with tour groups, is a half-block from the Plaza de Armas. The common areas are homey. The entryway has a hand-laid stone floor with the design of a Chachapoyan sarcophagus. ...
Hotel
Leymebamba , Peru

La Casona de Leymebamba

Walk into this gem, located two blocks from the Plaza, and you are welcomed by an interior garden surrounded by a broad, second-story, wooden balconies. Between local treks, you can rest in the ...
Hotel
Leymebamba , Peru

Hotel Escobedo

The hand-painted sign greets you with promises of "modest prices," and that is just what you will receive here: A single is 8 soles /$2.60; a double, 12 soles /$4. This hotel of time-worn adobe ...
Hotel
Leymebamba , Peru

La Casona Monsante

La Casona Monsante is a quaint little hotel just one block from Chachapoyas’ Plaza de Armas. It is charmingly situated in a 19th century building, the restoration of which has received a national ...
Hotel
Chachapoyas, Peru

Spatuletail Lodge

The Spatuletail Lodge is located just outside the village of Choctamal and the Kuelap ruins. Interestingly, it is managed by the village and the income is split between the employees. The real ...
Hotel
Kuélap, Peru

Casa Vieja Peru

Casa Vieja Peru, while not quite from the Colonial Era, is a beautiful house that has served as both a dwelling for generations of families and as a monastery. As with many converted hotels, each ...
Hotel
Chachapoyas, Peru

El Portal Del Marques

El Portal Del Marques is located only a few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas: convenient if you want to be amid the action, but it can get noisy. All rooms have private bathrooms, cable TV, Wi-FI ...
Hotel
Cajamarca , Peru

The Highlights of the Northern Peruvian Andes

Cajamarca

102657Altitude: 2750m (9,022 ft) Population: 217,000 Phone Code: 76 The charming city of Cajamarca is located in the beautiful Andean countryside in a valley of the same name. Despite being the largest and ...
City
Cajamarca , Peru

Chachapoyas

Altitude: 2,334 meters (7,657 ft) Population: 20,279 Phone Code: 41Chachapoyas is a relaxed town that serves as an excellent base from which to explore nearby little-known archaeological sites, as ...
City
Chachapoyas, Peru

Lámud

Though Lámud is a small village, its surroundings provide days of exploration. Natural wonders abound-there\'s numerous waterfalls-as well as several archaeological sites, including Karajía and ...
City
Lámud, Peru

Leymebamba

Altitude: 2280 m (7,480 ft) Phone Code: 41Called \"The Land of the Millenium Gods,\" Leymebamba is a small, friendly town on the banks of the RĂ­o Utcubamba. It is a convenient stopping point between ...
City
Leymebamba , Peru

Yerbabuena

A 45-minute bus ride north of Leymebamba is the village of Yerbabuena. During the week it is a dusty backwater. But come Sunday, it bustles to life with its extensive market, attracting locals from ...
City
Yerbabuena, Peru

Jalca Grande

Also known as La Jalca, Jalca Grande is the most traditional village in the region. Women still wear the classic clothing from centuries ago, and spin wool and weave, selling their goods around the ...
City
Jalca Grande, Peru

Kuélap

The pre-Inca, ancient lost city of Kuélap is an astonishing rival to that rather more famous lost city, Machu Picchu. Only a tiny percentage of Peru\'s tourists visit Kuélap, however, and it ...
City
Kuélap, Peru

Northern Andes Cultural Tours

Huancas

Huancas, 5 kilometers north of Chachapoyas, derives its name from the Huancas nation. Originally from the Mantaro valley east of Lima, they were sent by Inca ruler Huayna Cápac as mitmaq, or ...
Cultural Tour
Chachapoyas, Peru
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