Imposing architecture in the midst of lush vegetation

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A few weeks ago, I discovered that many roads lead to Chachapoyas. In addition to the most traveled route from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas via Pedro Ruiz, you can also reach Chachapoyas via Tarapoto. This time around we took a flight from Lima, and we arrived in Tarapoto an hour later. From there we headed to Moyobamba, located 4 hours away, and on our way we enjoyed the peaceful, unforgettable landscape.

We had to spend the night and regain strength in Moyobamba, since the trip to Chachapoyas would take seven hours. We hit the road again very early the next morning. Our visit to Chachapoyas could not have had a better start, as we were greeted by the Gocta Falls in a most imposing manner.  With its two drops, Gocta is known as the third highest falls in the world, and it is not possible to reach the base of the drop due to the strength of the water.

We spent the night at Gocta Lodge 3*, strategically located right in front of the falls, providing guests with a most impressive view. This hotel is undoubtedly one of the best options to spend the night. 
The next day we traveled to Kuelap, a masterpiece of Chachapoyan architecture. After a 3-hour drive from Gocta, we arrived at this impressive construction of different-sized stones on inhospitable territory. Many questions went through my mind as I tried to imagine how the ancient inhabitants were able to build these structures on a mountain summit, almost 3000 meters (9842 feet) above sea level.

The architectural remains, the rock carvings and other vestiges reveal the importance that this site once had. There are many theories and hypotheses as to what function this site had. Some authors agree that due to its structure, this was a military fort. Others assert that it was a center for worship as well as a food distribution center. Yet others believe that it was simply a fortified city.

Our trip lasted about 3 hours. The weather can vary, with lots of wind and sporadic bouts of rain at any time of year.
This was undoubtedly a very enriching experience. Being able to learn more about our past, enjoying nature in its pure state, and spending time with the locals all made this trip unforgettable. 

Related itinerary: Kuelap from Chiclayo to Cajamarca

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