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CHACHAPOYAS - PERU

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CHACHAPOYAS, capital of the departmentCHACHAPOYAS PICTURES CHACHAPOYASof Amazonas, is one of Peru's oldest cities and one of the few that still maintains its noble air and Spanish influence. A land of orchids, sugar cane and coffee, cock fights and exquisite food, it is capable of enchanting anyone who visits it.

Chachapoyas is located in northeastern Peru, at an altitude of 2,335 mts. above sea level. Its name comes from the native word Chachapoyacuno, which means "forest or mountain of mist". Alonso De Alvarado founded the city on September 5, 1538, and in colonial times it was the capital of eastern Peru, due to its being the starting point for expeditions setting out to conquer and colonize the Amazon.

The large colonial mansions in the city, with their tiled roofs, ample patios and unique balconies; surrounded by orchards and gardens, provide evidence of the Spanish presence.

In the cities surrounding areas and in nearby provinces, there are many important archeological monuments built by the Sachapuyo (or chachapoyas). This civilization's imposing citadels were built on the summits of the mountains in order to make maximum use of the land for cultivation. Chachapoyas is the starting point for the trip to Kuelap, an excellent example of these citadels found near the village of Tingo, in Luya province.

Kuelap; like most other corners of Chachapoyas, is wrapped in an enigmatic and mysterious veil which is waiting to be pierced by those who visit it.
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