“Anyone traveling to Peru puts Machu Picchu on his or her ‘must-see’ list--and so they should. But northern Peru holds some unique remains of a civilization that was pre-Incan, and equally amazing.”
So begins maral’s account of her trek to the Chachapoyan site of Kuelap; needless to say, we were hooked instantly. Machu Picchu without the crowds? At a site that’s survived since pre-Incan times? Sign us up!
High up, it turns out.
“It's not easy getting to the ancient fortress and settlement of Kuelap,” maral writes. “There are two routes and both are challenging!” On the morning of day two, in fact, “the sign reading ‘Kuelap 2.5km’ pointed UP!” Luckily, “white-knuckle” roads and trails are worth navigating, says maral, for the payoff of “awesome” 360-degree views with only alpacas jostling for space.
Will Kuelap stay this way? Our traveler predicts that “when more funding is available for infrastructure development, Kuelap will attract more tourists, which is both a good and a bad thing.” Whether or not Kuelap becomes, as maral says, “a ‘new’ Machu Picchu,” she looks forward to returning to the area to enjoy the “ongoing process” of “digging into Peru’s history.”
Has maral hooked you too? Dig into more Peru adventures with these recent trip journals:
Peru Part 1 and Peru Part 2 by Essexgirl09
Trying to Think Like a Local: Studying Spanish in Arequipa by Owen Lipsett
Snow, Stairs and Soroche; Heart of the Inca Empire by Niiko
Peru Travels by beckyX
Comment by ukdestination on May 26, 2010
my friend is peruvian and goes back every year,he's always on to me to go and visit and I always wanted to visit machu puchu, but kueklap sounds even better.Like machu puchu 25 years ago, i'll have to ask my friend about it
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