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Chachapoyas

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Camarillo...
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Chachapoyas

Hello everyone, I hoping I can get some help and advise from you all.

I am in the preplanning stages of a trip to Peru for late Aug-early Sep. Thanks to this site and reading these through these forums for the most part I am pretty good. I know we are doing the Cusco area for a week and Iquitos for a week.

However I also would like to visit Chachapoyas. While reading about Peru, this place keeps catching my attention. It sounds lovely and amazing. I would love to see the waterfall and ruins/historical sites in that area. Sadly the info available for there is much more limited than say... Cusco.

If I am on a budget is that an area I can easily visit without a tour company? Also, how exactly do I even get there? By bus or plane, and how much am I looking to spend? Any info or links to info or anything would be great. I just need help on this leg of the trip. ::edit:: I would be travelling to there from Lima. Just to clarify in case that matters. :)

Thanks in advance.

Edited: 16 October 2012, 22:25
california
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1. Re: Chachapoyas

Yes, it is quite an interesting place, some tourism development but still not so overrun that the prices are jacked up to the crazy levels around Cusco.

You have a few options for getting there, but they will all involve a bus ride of at least 7 to 10 hours on a paved road (and at night most likely). You can take the bus all the way from Lima or break it up and leave from Trujillo or Chiclayo to see the nearby ruins. From Chiclayo the recommended bus is Movil Tours. You can buy tickets with them online or at the station.

I found a fairly inexpensive flight from Lima to Chiclayo on TACA so used that to cut down on the bus travel. You can also fly to Tarapoto and take a bus from there (or go in one way and out the other).

You can find a single room for 40 to 50 soles (or less) in Chachapoyas. I would recommend :La Casona Monsante (it was 50 soles but they provided a space heater which can be had to find). Do NOT stay at Hotel Revash. The taxi from the bus station is only a few soles, just take it to the Plaza and look around for hotels when you arrive.

There are a bunch of agencies clustered around the Plaza, that run pool tours every day to the "big 4", in popularity that is Kuelap, Gocta, Karijia and Revash. Price range from 40 to 80 soles per excursion (that doesn't include lunch which is usually 6 or 12 soles, or admissions fees). You can shop around. The Revash Hotel guide for Kuelap (Agosto) is very good, but their other guide isn't. So don't fee pressured into buying all of your tours at once from that agency.

The tours may not go every day if there are not at least 4 people, so be flexible if you want to do several trips. There will always be a trip to Kuelap. There is no longer a need to hike 4 hours to Kuelap, a road goes right up to the site and it's just a short walk. Very interesting, really as good as Machu Picchu.

The hike to Gocta Falls is pretty long, about 11 to 12 kilometers round trip, but not really difficult. However don't let them tell you it is flat. You go up and down over at least 3 ridges. They are improving the pathway right now although there are a few slippery spots and at the end there is a ledge you have to walk along. The package tours do not take you to the lower falls, only to the base of the upper falls. If you want to see the lower falls you may have to hire a taxi from Chachapoyas, or stay a night at the Gocta Lodge. Supposedly it is a more difficult hike.

I really enjoyed this area after finding my good hotel, and spent 6 nights there (maybe a few too many, but I was not in a hurry).

The one thing I was not crazy about was the hike to the cave (Giocta), if you have been in any other big caves such as Carlsbad Caverns you won't be impressed. They combine this with Karijia but I was told there is also an option to go to Pueblo de los Muertos.

Be aware that Chachapoyas gets the "temporales" ie the seasonal rains which were starting just when I was there. Hiking on that slippery mud isn't much fun.

There is also multi day Trekking to the Condor Lagoon which you should coordinate in advance as they will want to form a group.

Edited: 16 October 2012, 22:57
california
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2. Re: Chachapoyas

There is also another option for getting to Chacha, by private transfer. I know that InkaNatura does this when they run their tours. Possibly one if the hotels could set it up.

You might also look into a package based on staying at Gocta Lodge. We kept running into the same couple from Lima and they had quite a good guide.

Camarillo...
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3. Re: Chachapoyas

Thank you so much. I felt like I hit a brick wall when I started looking into travelling there. This gives me a lot to work with and a general idea of how I am going to manage it. Thank you again.

california
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4. Re: Chachapoyas

I found the same wall!

If you need good coffee the Panaderia San Jose has an espresso machine, and long hours. Also found Chachapoyas one of the best places for ice cream, 1 sole (40 cents) per scoop and at least 3 good shops.

Link for my hotel

http://www.lacasonamonsante.com/espanol.html

Edited: 16 October 2012, 23:12
Bruges, Belgium
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5. Re: Chachapoyas

If you want to go a bit out of the beaten track then head for Leymebamba.Visit Revash en cours de route and pay a visit to the small but wonderful Mallqui museum in Leymebamba. From here you can do some amazing hikes. I recommend Tajopampa and its wonderful clifftombs (La Petaca, Diablo Huasi) and fortalezas (La Joya) : easier and much more rewarding than the trek to the Laguna de los Condores. If you want a contact address in Leimebamba, let me know. Closer to the city of Chachapoyas and not to be missed are the Cañon del Sonche and Pueblo de los Muertos (a day trip if combined with a visit to the sarcophagi of Karajia). Buen viaje !

For pics of Chachapoyas and surroundings go to www.PBase.com/manco

Camarillo...
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6. Re: Chachapoyas

Oh wow. Thanks.

Also... Since this is off the beaten track. I speak some Spanish, but it isn't great. Can I manage this area with mangled and broken Spanish?

california
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7. Re: Chachapoyas

In the center of Chachapoyas at the Plaza there are lots of travel agencies with some English fluency to sell group tours to the more popular sites. You can find an English speaking guide especially for the trip to Kuelap.

There are also some agencies such as Vilaya Tours that have English language guides to more remote trekking. You would to better to arrange remote treks or unusual destinations in advance (ie other than Kuelap, Karijia, Gocta Falls, and Revash).

Enjoyed your photos mancoinca!

I would not want to do some of these treks during rainy season. The trails can be very slippery!

Edited: 05 December 2012, 19:50
new jersey
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8. Re: Chachapoyas

Hello everyone.

My fiance and I are planning a trip to chachapoyas in late March. We know it's rainy season on the mountains in Peru during that month, but we are still are taking our chances.

we already book the hotel-casa andina- and the flight tickets via lan.

but our biggest concern is the road trip we will have to do from chiclayo to chachapoyas by bus. we have heard of many bus accidents that happen on the roads of peru, not on this one particularly, and bc its rainy season, we are affraid of the mudslides that may interfer with our trip.

has anyone that traveled to Chacha did Chiclayo to Chachapoyas by bus? Can you guys share your experiences as per how safe are the roads, which bus agency would you recommend, etc? I will like to hear also as per the weather in Chachapoyas on MArch.

We will really appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

9. Re: Chachapoyas

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california
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10. Re: Chachapoyas

Movil tours is the recommended bus company. It is an overnight trip.

The road is paved, other than some areas that may be under construction (last September there was a bridge that they were working on).

I think you have already been informed that March is the rainy season. I was there at the start of the rains, they were downpours, very heavy but intermittent for hours at a times, then clearing. I think afternoons are riskier. But I don't know what March is like.

BTW the Casa Andina is outside of town and not especially convenient to enjoying the flavor of the town center.

I stayed at a nice small hotel (a restored colonial mansion) m, La Casona Monsante, a few blocks walk to the square.

http://www.lacasonamonsante.com/

Edited: 11 February 2013, 22:07