History of Chachapoya
Chachapoyas, Peru The Chachapoyas, also called the «Warriors of the Clouds», was a culture of Andes living in the cloud forests of the Amazonas Region of present-day Peru. The Inca Empire conquered their civilization shortly before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. At the time of the arrival of the conquistadors, the Chachapoyas were one of the many nations ruled by the Incas, although their incorporation had been difficult due to their constant resistance to Inca troops. Since the Incas and conquistadors were the principal sources of information on the Chachapoyas, there is little first-hand or contrasting knowledge of the Chachapoyas. Writings by the major chroniclers of the time, such as Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, were based on fragmentary second-hand accounts. Much of what we do know about the Chachapoyas culture is based on archaeological evidence from ruins, pottery, tombs and other artifacts. Spanish chronicler Pedro Cieza de León noted that, after their annexation to the Inca Empire, they adopted customs imposed by the Cusco-based Inca. By the 18th century, the Chachapoyas had been devastated; however, they remain a distinct strain within the indigenous peoples of modern Peru. The area of the Chachapoyas is sometimes referred to as the «Amazonian Andes» due to it being part of a mountain range covered by dense tropical forest. The Amazonian Andes constitute the eastern flank of the Andes, which were once covered by dense Amazon vegetation. The region extended from the cordillera spurs up to altitudes where primary forests still stand, usually above (11,500 ft). The cultural realm of the Amazonian Andes occupied land situated between (6,600–9,800 ft). According to the analysis of the Chachapoyas objects made by the Antisuyo expeditions of the Instituto de Arqueología Amazónica, the Chachapoyas do not exhibit Amazon cultural tradition but one more closely resembling an Andean one. Given that the terrain facilitates peripatric speciation, as evidenced by the high biodiversity of the Andean region, the physical attributes of the Chachapoyas are most likely reflecting founder effects, assortative mating, and/or related phenomena in an initially small population sharing a relatively recent common ancestor with other indigenous groups. The anthropomorphous sarcophagi resemble imitations of funeral bundles provided with wooden masks typical of the «Middle Horizon», a dominant culture on the coast and highlands, also known as the Tiwanaku–Wari culture. The «mausoleums» may be modified forms of the chullpa or pucullo, elements of funeral architecture observed throughout the Andes, especially in the Tiwanaku and Wari cultures.
Population expansion into the Amazonian Andes seems to have been driven by the desire to expand agrarian land, as evidenced by extensive terracing throughout the region. The agricultural environments of both the Andes and the coastal region, characterized by its extensive desert areas and limited soil suitable for farming, became insufficient for sustaining a population like the ancestral Peruvians, which had grown for 3000 years.
This theory has been described as «mountainization of the rain forest» for both geographical and cultural reasons: first, after the fall of the tropical forests, the scenery of the Amazonian Andes changed to resemble the barren mountains of the Andes; second, the people who settled there brought their Andean culture with them. This phenomenon, which still occurs today, was repeated in the southern Amazonian Andes during the Inca Empire, which projected into the mountainous zone of Vilcabamba, raising examples of Inca architecture such as Machu Picchu.
THINGS TO DO IN CHACHAPOYAS
Plaza de Armas of Chachapoyas
One of the places that you must visit and that serves as a starting point for any city tour you want to do. The Plaza de Armas of the city of Chachapoyas, which is located in the heart of the city and a few meters away from places of great interest such as the Plazuela de la Independencia, the commercial street, and the most important hotels.
Well of Yanayacu
The Pozo de Yanayacu, which translates to “black water” well, was built to protect a sacred source of water that, according to local legend, was unleashed from the barren rocks by a magical archbishop who would later become a saint.
Monument of the Battle of Higos Urco
The battle began on 6 June 1821. It was joined by small pro-independence and pro-Spanish forces. The battle was part of the campaign which led to the proclamation of Peruvian independence on 28 July 1821.
Kuelap Ancient Fortress Day Trip by Cable Car from Chachapoyas
Embraced by the dense forest of the Andean mountains, Kuelap fortress pays testament to a pre-Inca civilization lost to history. Ideal for lovers of history, this 9-hour tour takes you to the remote fortress by cable car and also includes to an optional horseback ride to the mountain summit. Absorb spectacular views of the Utcubamba Valley and walk amid more than 400 houses and ceremonial buildings with your guide.
Full-Day Karajia Sarcophagi and Caverns of Quiocta Tour from Chachapoyas
The Karajia Sarcophagi and Caverna de Quiocta are two of Peru’s most spectacular and overlooked attractions. Combine ancient history with adventure on this 10-hour excursion from Chachapoyas, which offers insight into pre-Inca culture. Marvel at the 600-year-old Karajia Sarcophagi, funeral tombs perched on the side of a limestone cliff, before discovering the stalagmites and stalactites of Cave de Quiocta by flashlight.
Chachapoyas Revash Mausoleums and Museum of Leymebamba Full-Day Tour
Calling all history enthusiasts, this 10-hour tour takes you to Revash, known as the ‘Village of the Dead’ because of its 14th-century mausoleums. Travel to the funerary complex on horseback and observe the funeral homes, characterized by their colored roofs and cross-shaped windows. Then, visit Museo Leimebamba’s 240-strong collection of mummies discovered at the Lagoon of the Condors.
Half-Day Tour: Chachapoyas City and Huanca
Gain local insight into Chachapoyas on this 4-hour sightseeing tour, which includes visits to three spectacular viewpoints. Alongside your guide, you’ll delve into local culture, admire the colonial houses of Chachapoyas’ main square, and browse expertly crafted pottery in the town of Huanca. Absorb magnificent views of the Huanca Urco Canyon, the Gocta Waterfalls, and the Amazonian Andes from a series of viewpoints, and participate in aceramic making workshop.
Average Weather in Chachapoyas Peru. The climate in Chachapoyas is comfortable and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 48°F to 74°F and is rarely below 44°F or above 78°F.