Chan Chan, Huaca de la Luna, Banos del Inca, Kuelap, Sipan. These are mystical places! They deserve respect both for their
magnificence and their heritage. Above you the cliff face is dotted
with caves, each containing the remains of the local’s ancestors,
people who have inhabited this valley since the beginnings of time.
Like so many of the experiences on this holiday, human drama and
history is mixed with spectacular scenery. A heady combination!
We start in Lima, the capital and then head north to Trujillo, a
desert oasis between sea and mountains. We will see the Spanish
colonial city, one of the few Hispanic sites we visit on this holiday.
We also the ruined city at Chan Chan, little imagination is required
to see what it would have been like in its heyday. A day’s drive into
the mountains includes stops along the way to Cajamarca. Here we
can enjoy mountain walks and Incan ruins in the cooler air.
Then to Leymebamba for more stunning mountain scenery and
indigenous culture and on to Chachapoyas. The name means ‘Cloud
People’ in Aymara language, still widely spoken in the area. It is here
we see the mystical tombs built into cliffs at Revash. It is also from
here we visit Kuelap, a ruined city as spectacular as Machu Picchu but without the crowds. We should be able to use the new built
cable car to visit the city, it is due to open early 2017. We also visit
Gocta waterfall, considered the third highest in the world.
Next head west to Jaen and on to Chiclayo back on the
coastal plains. We are here to visit the temple of Sipan, perhaps
the most important archaeological site in Peru and a fitting way to
end our tour.
Only recently has it been possible to enjoy these spectacular
and little known sites. Everything you will see here is every bit
as engaging as the honey pot highlights in the south of Peru but
without anything like the same numbers of tourists. Be one of the
first to discover the area.