Peru's Secret Fortress in the Amazon

Chacapoyas and the Kuelap Fortress is another spot in northern Peru that is fairly unknown among foreign tourists is Chacapoyas, the gateway to the Kuelap Fortress, a pre-Incan ruin. It is named after the Chacapoya people, or the "People of the Clouds" and is also in a strategic area along the Amazon rainforest. It is now a busy market town with its own airport and a number of activities. Aside from the fortress ruins, there are two waterfalls, the Yumbilla and Gocta, 896 and 771 meters respectively, that are some of the tallest in the world. If you like mummies there is a Museum of Mummies in the nearby town of Leymebamba, as well as burial centers with large sarcophagi in Karajia and Pueblo de los Muertes, "The Town of the Dead". This region also has a number of treks ranging from a few hours to a few days that will give you extraordinary views of the area.

While Machu Picchu and Lima are great places to add to your itinerary and are definite “must-sees,” the places mentioned above give you a different look into what Peru is like outside of these regions. From beaches to deserts and Amazon jungle, there is a lot to see in this incredible country.

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