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Kuelap & Chachapoyas

Twice as old as the Inca Empire, Kuelap's stonework remains in remarkably good condition. It was mostly likely built by the Chachapoyan Cloud People to stop the invasion of the Andes’ most spectacular Tiahunaco and Huari Empire advancing from Bolivia. The Huari Empire was known as “the Golden City Building Era of Peru”, whereas the Chachapoyans were a small regional confederation who built all their citadels on defensive peaks in the clouds. The Chachapoyans origin is unknown and later reported by the Inca Chronicles to be tall, “fair” warriors.

Kuelap contains many surprises such as a mysterious tinador (ink well) structure defying gravity. Many believe this to be a mystic oracle where shaman gathered under its lens at special times to forecast events. Another object is a symmetric eight pointed star with its longer alternating points pointing exactly to the north, south, east, and west. Then at the north end of the fortress is a high stone tower mitador (lookout). From here, signals could be sent to the Choctomal Citadel that would in turn relay the signal around the valley’s curve to the Abra Yumal Pass, then relayed down to Gran Vilaya.

Kuelap has gigantic open doorways through the five walls that range from one to two telephone poles in height. Its main 2nd level walls have 3 doors opening to wide passageways going steeply uphill inside. Since the walls are too high to scale or raise ladders to access, these doors would seem the logical way for an enemy to storm inside. However, once inside, the defenders on top of this passageway would rain down death to the attackers. They would discover too late that this passageway narrowed down at the top end to where only one person at a time could squeeze inside the citadel.

Tour Name Days Price From
Highlights of the Chachapoyan Culture 4 $739
Levanto, Kuelap, & Chachapoyas 5 $1169
Chachapoyas, Kuelap, and Chiclayo 8 $1339



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