At the summit of the Amazonian Andes of northern Peru, 3,000 metres above sea level (9,843 feet), is the imposing Kuélap archaeological complex, built by the Chachapoyas, a pre-Inca civilisation that developed between 800 and 1470 A.D. Given its location and structure, the complex was designed to defend the Chachapoyas from other civilisations; nevertheless, the Chachapoyas were eventually conquered by the Incas.
Amidst the green mountains, visitors can view the great stone wall, 20 metres (66 feet) high, which protects the city and has only three entrances in the form of narrow, walled alleys. Inside Kuélap, visitors can admire up to 420 circular stone houses with zigzag and rhomboid decoration.
From above, the green landscape shows how nature favoured this site. Reaching the archaeological complex is in itself an adventure that is well worth undertaking.
Location: 72 km (45 miles) from Chachapoyas, in the Amazonas department, 3,000 metres above sea level (9,843 feet).
Average temperature: maximum of 23°C (73°F) and minimum of 13°C (55°F).
Season: from May to September, when the rain subsides.
Access by Air: there are flights from Lima to Chiclayo and Tarapoto.
Access by Land: Chiclayo route: Approximately 9 hours by bus.
Tarapoto route: Approximately 8 hours by bus.
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes.