North of Perú.
Area: 39 249 km2.
Capital: Chachapoyas (2334 masl).
Altitude: Minimum: 230 masl (Santa María de Nieva)
Maximum: 3952 masl (Chuquimbamba).
The department of
Amazonas, named after the Amazon River, provides an extraordinary view
of endless leafy forest for those flying over the region. Here and
there one can spot villages and towns, even large cities built with
great effort in the middle of the jungle. One of these cities is Chachapoyas,
capital of the department of Amazonas.
cradle of the ancient Chachapoya civilization, the city was overrun
by the Incas
in the fifteenth century,
and decades later, after the Spanish Conquest, was founded once more
by the Spaniards with the name of Chachapoyas. The main square and
the narrow pebbled streets that have been preserved until today date
to these times. Some 70 km west lies the fortress of Kuélap,
the bastion of the Chachapoya tribe, a citadel whose access is through
walled passages like sloping funnels which helped to keep out invaders.
same passageways today host tours led by experienced local guides.
Other attractions include
Laguna de las Momias (a region where archaeologists discovered more
than 280 mummies), or the Karajía burial tombs, which stand
2 meters high and are made of hardened clay. Wedged into a mountain
sarcophagi appear to guard over their ancestral grounds.
Amazonas is known for its joyful
dances and colorful festivals. The town of Jalca, which is held to be the
capital of jungle folklore, holds a series of celebrations all year-long,
blending the rituals of local tribes with Christianity. Tasty local dishes
worth sampling include the Purtumute, Tacacho and Cecina.