Peruvian Cities
Chachapoyas, AMAZONAS
Location, extension and population | Brief historic overview | Principal attractions of Chachapoyas | Main attractions of the department of Amazonas | Typical dishes and beverages | Tourist calendar

Monumental Cuélap, edificación de los siglos VII u VIII.LOCATION, EXTENSION AND POPULATION
The department of Amazonas is located at the northeastern part of the country, in the High Jungle or Mountain rim. It limits to the north with Ecuador, to the south with San Martín and La Libertad, to the east with Loreto, and to the west with Cajamarca. Even if it is a predominantly hot area --up to 40°C (104° F°)--, there are places in the south of the department, in the mountain range regions, where the temperature goes down to 02°C (35 F°).

Amazonas has an extension of 41,297 km² (15,940 sq ml), and a population of more than 335,000 people.

The capital is Chachapoyas, a city, due to its Spanish influence, of spacious mansions, tile roofs, and big patios surrounded by orchards, gardens and beautiful balconies.


The department of Amazonas was the home of the Kuélap culture, also called Sachapuyos o Chachapoyas. This culture developed during the Inca empire, from 1475, with Inca Túpac Amaru, and its influence lasted until the beginning of the Spanish colonization.

Being strategically well-located, the Spanish captain Alonso de Alvarado founded the city of Chachapoyas on September 5, 1538, becoming since then the capital of the Peruvian orient. Its influence went from the right margin of the Marañón river up to the limits with the frontier countries.

On November 21, 1832, Congress approved a law turning Amazonas into a department.

Over the years, parts of this territory were taken to form the departments of Loreto and San Martín. Nevertheless, Chachapoyas remained as the operation center in the conquest of the jungle.


Plaza de Armas or Main Square. The plaza, built on a perfect square with a beautiful Colonial style bronze fountain, has a monument to Peruvian patriot, Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza, and is surrounded by the house where the patriot was born, the Cathedral, the Bishopric and the Provincial Town Hall.

Plazuela de Santa Ana.Iglesias del Señor de Burgos y de Santa Ana. The latter is the first of its kind built by the Spanish; the former, houses beautiful Colonial style images.

Pozo de Yanayacu. A well built by Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo which has become a legendary site and a fountain of love.

Pampas de Higos Urco. A historic site where the battle of the same name took place, before General San Martín proclaimed the Peruvian independence. There is also a pretty small square built as a memorial.

Grutas de Santa Lucía, a lovely grotto near the local airport with a beautiful orchid nursery.

Túneles de San Antonio. These tunnels are located on the Chachapoyas-Rodríguez de Mendoza road, with beautiful stone structures forming natural bridges over the San Antonio river.
The Ocol Palm Forest is another place to visit.


Archeological Complex of Yálape
. With buildings on stone mixed with mud, this was a four-hectares urban center of the Chachapoyas culture built in 1100 AD. Near Yálape there is another complex, San Pedro de Huallpa, located in the provinces of Chachapoyas, and with which it related directly.

Macro Quarter. Near the capital, it is located on the right margin of the Utcubamba river and dates from the twelfth century. Stone and mud were used in the construction of the quarter, ornaments and niches to decorate the walls.

Sarcófagos de Carajía.Luya. Province were the Kuélap monumental fortress is located, as well as other important archeological ruins, such as, Revach, Chipuric, San Antonio, Carajía, Pueblos de los Muertos, and Gran Vilaya, world known for its fardos funerarios or funerary packs.

Provincia de Bongará. The world's most original and beautiful orchids come from Bongará. Other places to visit include, the Pomacochas Lagoon and the Corontachaca and Chaquil thermo-medicinal fountains. It is also natural habitat of a unique and endangered monkey species, known as Choro de cola amarilla.

Rodríguez de Mendoza. A province located in the High Jungle, rich in natural sites, folkloric festivals, and a variety of dishes and typical beverages, such as, amor peruano ('Peruvian love'), an aguardiente or brandy.

Bagua, Condorcanqui y Utcubamba. Home of the Aguaruna and Huambisa tribes. Fascinating sites for their vast natural resources and for practicing adventure tourism


The Amazonas gastronomy is varied and tasty, especially El Boto, which is a banquet consisting of the attractive presentation of a variety of seasoned birds set on a large table with bread, guinea pigs, pumpkins, yuccas, sugar cane, live animals, and liquors, such as, aguardiente and guarapo.

Other typical dishes are the shirumbe, purtumute, shipasmute, picante de cuy or guinea pig with a spicy sauce, cuy or guinea pig with peanuts and potatoes, juanes de yuca, cesina de res y cerdo or dried and salted beef and pork, tamales, humitas and locro.

To drink, besides amor peruano, chicha de jora, chicha de pata, guarapo, chuchuhuasi, milk liquor, mistela and abejadito.


February and March. Carnivals are celebrated in every town according to the custom of the Jungle, that is, with much water to throw, dances and liquor.

Holy Week. In every church in Chachapoyas beautiful pageants are set and a spirit of meditation prevails. Processions and religious acts take place throughout the department.

May 3. Fiesta de las Cruces. Traditional festivity with celebrations in every city and town.

June 6. Anniversary of the Battle Higos Urco. This date commemorates the heroic deeds of Chachapoyas city in the struggle for independence in 1821.

July 29. Fiesta Patronal de la Virgen del Carmen in the district of Leymebamba, province of Chachapoyas.

August 15. Fiestas Patronales de la Virgen de Asunta, with the participation of the whole town. This festivity is part of the touristic season which includes, religious, cultural, recreative and social activities.

September 5. Anniversary of Chachapoyas. In Rodríguez de Mendoza, the town celebrates on this day the Fiesta Patronal de San Nicolás; in Lamud, the Fiesta Patronal del Señor de Gualamita.