Incredible 4-day hike exploring legacy of little-studied Chachapoya culture.
Includes sarcophagi at Karajia and many other lesser-known ruins that make up Gran Vilaya.
Scenic highlights include beautiful Huaylla Belen Valley.
Fully-supported trek, with guides and mule handlers; accommodation in basic guesthouses or tents.
Ends with visit to Kuelap, the 'Machu Picchu of the North'.
2018 prices from £227 / $299 per person, sharing a room/tent.
Day 1: CHACHAPOYAS - KARAJIA - BELEN VALLEY (L,D)
We drive from Chachapoyas city, through Luya, to the town of Cruz Pata. Here we start our walk, taking in the impressive and unique sarcophagi of Karajia.
After this visit, we continue to Huaylla Belen Valley, where we spend the night, at 2,335 m (7,661 ft).
Day 2: HUAYLLA BELEN VALLEY - CONGON (B,L,D)
We have breakfast in Huaylla Belen Valley, and then begin hiking along a pre-Hispanic trail, enjoying the dense vegetation, which is home to Andean toucans, the Marvellous Spatuletail Hummingbird, and many other bird species.
The name Gran Vilaya was given by US explorer, Gene Savoy, to an extensive area containing more than 30 archaeological sites, spread from the Utcubamba River west to the Marañon River; and covering a great range of ecological zones according on altitude and rainfall.
One of these archaeological sites is Pirquilla, which has more than 400 circular rooms made of stone. We have lunch here.
We then walk to the village of Congon (1,791 m / 5,876 ft), where we spend the night.
Day 3: CONGON – CHOCTAMAL KUELAP (B,L,D)
We have breakfast in Congon. From here we use horses to take us to Lanche archaeological site.
We have our picnic lunch and then continue to Yumal Pass, at 3,348 m (11,000 ft) above sea level. From here there is a stunning, panoramic view of Kuelap.
In the evening, we arrive at Choctamal, where we spend the night.
Day 4: CHOCTAMAL – KUELAP (B,L)
We have breakfast in Choctamal, and then have a short hike towards Kuelap.
We will spend some three hours visiting Kuelap, in the company of a guide who will talk about the archaeological site’s history, conservation, discoveries and stories.
We take the cable car from Kuelap down to the village of Nuevo Tingo, where we have lunch and then drive back to Chachapoyas.
We arrive in Chachapoyas at 5pm approx.
- All transfers mentioned in itinerary
- Entrance fees
- 3 nights' accommodation in hostels or tents (according to wishes)
- 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 3 dinners
- Baggage-carrying mules and mule-handler
- Official English-speaking Tour Guide
- First Aid Kit
- Cable-car ticket from Kuelap to Nuevo Tingo
- Services not specified in the programme
- Accommodation in Chachapoyas
- Domestic & International flight tickets
- Extras and tips
- Local and International airport taxes (where applicable)