Tarapoto Travel and Tours Peru

Lima Tours, Travel and Adventures

Tourism in Peru


“Delight yourself and give free rein to your senses in this land of lagoons and dreamy waterfalls."

Tarapoto Tours,Places in Tarapoto, Tarapoto Transport, Tarapoto Weather, Tarapoto Map, tarapoto Peru

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They say that some places are just not fit for people who suffer from heart conditions, and this proverb must be taken seriously in the case of Tarapoto since its joy, tropical atmosphere and colorful charm will seep into the heart of the traveler and then definitely take root there, making him or her collapse out of pure enchantment. It’s a fact since a city like this one, flanked by green, fl owery and rough terrain and under an eternally kaleidoscopic sky, can do no less to its visitors.

Whoever first called this area “land of the waterfalls” was not mistaken since among its many attractions are some of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in the country. You can visit, for example, Aguashiyacu Falls, on symbolic Cerro Escalera; Huacamaíllo Falls, in the delicious grape growing district of San Antonio de Cumbaza, and Tununtunumba Falls, in Chazuta. It would be unthinkable to travel these routes without carrying a camera or to do so listlessly. In either case, if your heart is indifferent, then a side trip to Laguna Azul (blue), with its fascinating and still crystalline waters, to the impressive Gran Pajatén, an archeological complex, to the town of Lamas or to the city of Moyobamba, capital of the department of San Martin and home to 2,500 varieties of orchids, will end up lifting you out of the doldrums and make you feel that you can finally stop your endless searching.

Rather, it will become a well deserved respite for your senses and the restlessness of your soul.

Seeing that San Martín is a jungle region, we recommend you to take the precautions common to all tropical areas, such as wearing light clothing, preferable long sleeve shirts and shorts, and a hat. Also, bring a waterproof coat or poncho in case of rain and waterproof boots, preferably rubber up to the knees, which keep mosquito bites on your legs to a minimum. Insect repellent is also a must. Likewise, if you plan on getting a yellow fever vaccination, remember to get it 10 days before you travel so it takes affect; make the proper arrangements with your physician beforehand.
Try to refrain from touching the wildlife, especially vividly colored frogs that appear quite harmless. Also, Peruvian law prohibits and penalizes the extraction, transport, sale and export of any type of wild plant or animal species, whether live or dead.

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Places to visit in Tarapoto

• Cumbaza. The two rivers that supply water to the city of Tarapoto are the Cumbaza and the Shilcayo. Yet, the Cumbaza is not just used by the city for water since on its sandy river banks a lovely recreation area has been developed where locals go for relaxing. Whole families love to go to its beaches and enjoy the sun and river all year long.

• Lamas Street. This cobblestone street exudes a Bohemian air and is by far the center of the night life in Tarapoto. As night begins to fall, the restaurants, cafes and bars wake up and breathe life into this street. Dancing and eating as well as live music are offered in some of the establishments.

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Excursions Chacahpoyas:

From Tarapoto:

• Laguna Azul and Lago Lindo. 1.5 hours away from Tarapoto sits the lovely Laguna Azul (also called Lake of the Willow) and its reflective surface 8 miles in length. Getting there is an adventure in itself since you have to cross the Huallaga River in chatas, or flat bottomed boats. At one end of the lake is the charming town of Sauce, colonized by Lamista Indians at the beginning of the 20th century. The town’s main source of nourishment comes from the lake itself in the form of a fish called tilapia. If your desire is visiting a wildlife refuge, then you must check out Lago Lindo (30 minutes from Sauce). It is a private reserve on 1,400 hectares and in 2002 it was rated as one of the world’s top 55 eco-tourism spots.
All you need to do is look around at the surrounding forests, catch a glimpse of the monkeys jumping from tree top to tree top and listen to the raucous calls of the birds hidden among the vegetation to realize the truth of that distinction.

• Paucar Yacu Hot Springs. The site purports to have waters of therapeutic value within its 4 pools – 1 cold and the other 3 between 98.6º F and 104º F – that also possess the added attraction of being out in the open, in direct contact with nature: oropendolas and strident parrots fly overhead of people enjoying the water. The three bungalows there are at the disposal of visitors.

• Polish Petroglyphs. To come to this spot is to enter a mystery. The strange carvings on the rocks strewn about this 1 hectare area are veiled in an enigma. Plants and animals, predominately snakes, were engraved on these stones by unknown people, for unknown purposes and at a still unknown time period. The word “polish” means “cleared plain”, an allusion to the place where this artwork is found.

• Ahuashiyacu Falls. A large, 131- feet waterfall located along the route from Tarapoto to Yurimaguas.
The waters thunder down the steep sides of the Escalera Hill, producing a curtain of water that sprays mist over ferns and orchids, a vista not too often seen in the world.

• Tunun Tunumba Falls. As you hike along the Huallaga River, you will run into this lovely waterfall, located on the left bank of the river.
The Quechua name means “a fall within a fall”, aptly applied to this waterfall since there are three levels to this large cataract.

• Lamas. The community of Lamas is a clear example of how the Andean and the Amazonian cultures have merged together over the centuries. Antonio Raymondi called this place “the city of the three floors”. In the lowest section of Lamas, called El Huayco, the inhabitants speak Quechua and express themselves through colorful and joyful traditions, evidence of their Andean roots. Even their homes are built from adobe and roofed with flagstones, as is the custom in the Andes.
A visit to this community means shopping at any of the small shops for two things: regionally made handicrafts and charming traditional clothing. There are also stores selling other regional products, such as coffee liqueur, rosquitas de yuca, a type of wheel shaped cassava cookie, and chocolates. One peculiar aspect to Lamas is that it is one of the few important Amazonian cities not built next to a river.

From Moyobamba:

• Tingana–Avisado Forest. It is the last standing forest of aguaje palm trees and renaco trees left in the zone of Alto Mayo, once a vastly forested region. Its area, 5,757 hectares, follows the course of the lower Avisado River, from which we get the clever name Tingana, or “the forest that walks”. Another of its singularities is that its humid ecosystem lies 800 meters above sea level. Wildlife abounds there: river otters, squirrel monkeys, black capuchin monkeys and sloths, not to mention an attractive variety of birds, fish, reptiles and insects.

• Calzada headland. A rocky point covered with upper jungle forests. If you climb to its top, you will capture a fantastic vista of the Alto Mayo River Valley. Likewise, it shelters important plant and animal species, above all, orchids that bloom from September to October.

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Tarapoto celebration dates

Feast of Saint John the Baptist. June 24th. The entire Amazon region celebrates this feast day, chiefly because of its association with water, an allusion to the many rivers and importance of water to the populations there.
People pull out all the stops to celebrate this day: live bands play traditional music, groups dance in parades and regional food is prepared and sold.

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Tarapoto was founded August 20, 1782 by the Spanish bishop Baltazar Jaime Martínez de Compagnon y Bujanda. Its beginnings date back to the explorations of the Pocras and Chancas (old cultures of the Ayacucho region) who, when being conquered by the Inca Empire, headed a revolution led by the commander Ancohallo; a revolt that, when defeated, forced their tribal members to escape from terrible Inca vengeance. Eventually settling down in the valleys of the Mayo and Cumbaza rivers in what is now the San Martin department, they possibly formed the town of Lamas, before establishing a satellite in the valley of the rivers Cumbaza and Shilcayo, having as a central nucleus the Suchiche Lagoon (dried up in the colony). In this lagoon grew abundant Taraputus palms, a name that the Spanish bishop would later use when founding the city in this area of hunters and fishermen.

Founded September 14, 1906, Tarapoto is the main tourist and commercial hub of this part of northeastern Peru. The city is located in the valleys of the Cumbaza and Shilcayo rivers, and is the center of the terrestrial networks and areas between the mountains, the coast and eastern Peru.

Tarapoto, known as the "City of Palms", is a thriving commercial hub in northern Peru, an hour by plane from Lima, situated in the San Martín Province of the San Martín Region, located in the high jungle plateau to the east of what is known as the selva baja (low jungle). Although Moyobamba is the capital of the region, Tarapoto is the region's largest city, and is linked to the Upper Amazon and the historic city of Yurimaguas by a relatively well-maintained newly paved (2008–2009) transandean highway[1].

Tarapoto is at an altitude of approximately 356 meters above sea level on the high jungle plateau, also called the cloud forest[1]. Founded in 1782 by Baltazar Martínez Jiménez de Compagnon, Tarapoto has a population of 63,484 (downtown) and over 117,184 inhabitants with the outlying Morales and Banda de Shilcayo districts , according to the 2007 census.

Tarapoto is often used by tourists and local visitors as a "jumping off" point for excursions into the vast Amazon Rainforest. The region's main activities are tourism, commerce, agriculture and a thriving illicit "shadow economy" including the production of coca leaves, the extraction of lumber and the trade in land concessions.

Tarapoto is home to the Universidad Nacional de San Martin, an important center of higher education serving the professional and technical needs of the bio-diverse region. With its active night-life, Tarapoto offers a wide variety of hotels and restaurants in and around the city. Moreover, beautiful landscapes, amazing waterfalls, lagoons, and adventure tourism, such as river rafting and hiking in the tropical Andes, attracts numerous visitors to the "City of Palms".

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Recommended for Visit in Tarapoto

Archeology and popular tradition lovers, who will be thrilled by the visit to the Polish Petroglyphs, the town of Lamas and just by walking through the streets of Tarapoto.

Nature lovers and plant and animal watchers, who must hike around the areas of Laguna Azul and Lago Lindo as well as the Tingada-Avisado Forest.

Trekkers, who will be challenged by the thunderous waterfalls of Aguashiyacu and Tunun Tunumba, the Tingada - Avisado Forest and the Morro de Calzada.

Rafters and kayakers, who can bask in the natural surroundings of Laguna Azul and Lago Lindo.

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What to buy?

If you want to purchase high quality straw hats and baskets, then go to the village of Rioja, whose artisans are experts weavers. There is also the fine pottery and unique wood carvings in the towns of Chazuta and Lamas, and in the latter, you can also pick up lovely clothing.

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What to eat?

When it is about food in the department of San Martín, then it is about the typical jungle cuisine of Peru. Dishes like tacacho con cecina (mashed bananas, mixed with lard and dried beef, then baked) and ninajuane (mashed bananas, mixed with chicken, eggs and spices, then baked in banana leaves) are wonderful examples, not to mention the excellent tasting Burgundy wines made in the district of San Antonio de Cumbaza (the only San Martín village with vineyards) and another spirit called uvachado, San Martín’s liqueur of choice, made from wild grapes macerated in brandy.

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Chachapoyas Travel and Tours Peru

Chachapoyas Tours, Travel and Adventures

Tourism in Peru


“Delight yourself and give free rein to your senses in this land of lagoons and dreamy waterfalls."

Chachapoyas Tours,Places in Chachapoyas, Chachapoyas Transport, Chachapoyas Weather, Chachapoyas Map, Chachapoyas Peru

Chacahapoyas Tour: kuelap, Revash , Karajía sarcophagi, Gocta Falls, Huancas, Jalca Grande..Back to top

Once in the city of Chachapoyas, you will be bewitched, in a blink of an eye, by its magic. It is a city wrapped in a veil of mystery for it is not a frequented destination; a pity, really, since its narrow streets are absolutely lovely, its desserts and sweets are extremely tasty and the patios of its houses are decked with orchids. Even if Chachapoyas looks like any highland city, it heavy carries the scent of the jungle.
On par with the grandeur of Machu Picchu is 2,000 year old Kuélap, a fortress with 65-feet tall walls and fascinating stone friezes, a symbol of the Chachapoyas culture. Yet, this is just the scratching of the surface when it comes to tourist destinations.
There are literally hundreds of archeological vestiges strewn along the Utcubamba River Valley, history that rivals that of Cusco. The best example of this is the Karajía sarcophagi, standing 6.5- feet tall and embedded in a cliff wall that falls straight down; these monuments are reminders of some ancient cult of the dead.

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Iquitos Travel and Tours Peru

Iquitos Tours, Travel and Adventures

Tourism in Peru


“Delight yourself and give free rein to your senses in this land of lagoons and dreamy waterfalls."

Iquitos and Amazon River Travel Guide with details of the main tourist places and directory of Amazon Lodges

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Cusco - Peru

Machu Picchu (literally, "old peak") is a ruined ancient Incan town high on a mountain ridge in Peru. One of the most atmospheric and mystical sites in the world, it is located among spectacular mountain scenery about 6,750 feet above the Urubamba Valley. Machu Picchu has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the end point of the most popular hike in South America: the Inca Trail.

Machu Picchu, Cusco - Peru

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Machu Picchu History

It is generally thought that the city of Machu Picchu was built by the Sapa Inca Pachacuti starting in about 1440 and was inhabited until the Spanish conquest of Peru in 1532.

Archeological evidence combined with recent work on early colonial documents indicates that Machu Picchu was not a conventional city, but rather a country retreat town for Incan nobility (similar to the Roman villas). It is estimated that a maximum of only about 750 people resided in Machu Picchu at any one time, and probably only a small fraction of that number lived in the town during the rainy season and when no nobility were visiting.

It is still unknown exactly what role the site played in Incan life. But it was clearly a remarkably well hidden place, and well protected. Located far up in the mountains of Peru, visitors had to travel up long valleys littered with Incan check points and watch towers.

Remarkably, the Spanish conquistadors missed the site, and the Inca city remained hidden until the 20th century. On a wet day in 1911, Yale scholar Hiram Bingham travelled up the slopes with a few companions from an expedition. He met some local peasants, who told him about ancient ruins that covered the area. He went to see them, and found the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu.

In 1913, the site received a significant amount of publicity after the National Geographic Society devoted their entire April 1913 issue to Machu Picchu. Bingham made several more trips and conducted excavations on the site through 1915. He wrote a number of books and articles about Machu Picchu; his account, Lost City of the Incas, became a bestseller.

In 2003, some 400,000 people visited Machu Picchu, and UNESCO has expressed concern about the damage this volume of tourism is causing to the site. Peruvian authorities insist that there is no problem, and that the remoteness of the site will impose natural limits on tourism. Periodically, proposals are made to install a cable car to the site, but such proposals have so far always been rejected.
What to See

The site was probably chosen for its unique location and geological features. It is said that the silhouette of the mountain range behind Machu Picchu represents the face of the Inca looking upward towards the sky, with the largest peak, Waynapicchu, representing his nose.

The Inca believed that the solid rock of the Earth should not be cut, so they built this city from rock quarried from loose boulders found in the area. Some of the stone architecture uses no mortar, but rather relied on extremely precise cutting of blocks. Some of the spaces between the stones are so tight that not even a credit card will pass through them.

The ruins on Machu Picchu consist of a large palace and temples to Incan deities around a courtyard, with residential buildings for support staff. Entrance is at the southern end of the site, where there is a ticket office. From there, visitors are free to wander through the ruins at leisure, beginning with the agricultural precinct on the southern terraces.

There are no signs on any of the structures, which contributes to the atmosphere of antiquity, personal discovery, and harmony with the natural environment for which Machu Picchu is so beloved. To help identify the ruins, guidebooks and maps are available at the entrance. The names of the structures are the English names given by Bingham, which in many cases do not correspond with the actual uses of the buildings.

A 20-minute walk uphill to the left inside the entrance leads to the House of the Terrace Caretaker and Funeral Rock, which provides the famous and very photogenic view over the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Near the south end of the city is the magnificent Temple of the Sun, whose walls are fine examples of precise Inca masonry. The temple is astronomically aligned. On the winter solstice (June 22 in the southern hemisphere), sunlight streams in a small trapezoidal window and illuminates a flat granite stone that was probably an Inca calendar. At night, the same window provides a view of the constellation Pleiades, an Inca symbol of crop fertility.

The Principal Temple has perhaps the best masonry on Machu Picchu. The stones of its three walls are precisely cut and fitted together without mortar. A small building next to the temple, dubbed the Sacristy, may be where priests prepared themselves for ceremonies.

The Temple of Three Windows is a three-walled building reached via a stone staircase. Its east wall is cut from a single piece of rock and pierced with three trapezoidal windows.

Further on is Intihuatana, the "hitching post of the sun" whose exact purpose remains a mystery. This sacred stone column was a common feature in Inca cities, but the Spanish destroyed most of them as objects of idol worship. This is therefore one of few to survive, since the conquistadors never made it to Machu Picchu. Nearby is a sacred rock that echos the shape of the mountain range behind it.

At the north end of the site, the Temple of the Condor is built in the shape of a condor, the Inca symbol of heaven.

Spectacular views from the north side of Machu Picchu can be had from Wayna Picchu (also spelled Huayna Picchu), a mountain peak that overlooks the ruins. The climb takes 90 minutes and is dangerous after wet weather. Even in good conditions, it is not for the faint of heart when it comes to heights. The path is open 7am-1pm daily and only 400 visitors are allowed to climb each day.

Machu Picchu, PERU

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Getting There

Many buses leave Cuzco for Machu Picchu and there are frequent trains from Cuzco to Aquas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. Buses from Aquas Calientes bring tourists to the ruins. It is also possible to take a helicopter from Cuzco.

One of the many advantages of hiking the scenic Inca Trail is that you can enjoy Machu Picchu in relative solitude before the busloads of tourists show up around 10am.

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