Kuelap Ruins, Second Only to Machu Picchu
Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
93Trip End May 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
When we met at the hostel, Logan and I decided we didn´t want to pay 45 soles per night for a double with a shared bathroom, so Logan went in search of a cheaper option while I stayed with our bags in the first hostel
Culinarily, we found a great product unique to Chachapoyas: Juanes. Juanes, the singular of which is Juane and not Juan (because that would be weird), are boiled yucca filled with vegetables and meat. We tried them at a few different places, and every time it was a little bit different. I liked how they tasted at the first place the best, as they reminded me of the dumplings in chicken and dumpling soup. Yum!
The next day (our first whole day in the Chachapoyas area), we went on a tour of the Kuelap ruins (with Roger). The tour was all in Spanish, but we were able to get the main gist of things. Not much is known about the history of this site yet, as excavations and research are still underway. The Chachapoyan people constructed this city way before the Incans came, and for an unknown reason, they all left at the same time, burning and destroying their city as they left. They had lived there for generations, which is apparent by the various layers of round houses that archaeologists have been able to dig up
Anyway, all in all, Kuelap was well worth the trip out to Chachapoyas and the 30 soles for the tour. As a funny little side note, one of the girls on our tour had a friend who had planned to hike up to the site (another cheaper option, but a very steep, tedious climb up) to meet her, who ended up being the guy who thought he knew me in the hostel in town.
The day after Kuelap, Logan and I stuck around in the city, while Roger and two German siblings from our tour (Natalie and Thomas) went on a tour of a waterfall that was just recently ¨discovered¨ as it was previously thought by the local indigenous people that it was inhabited by a man eating snake/angry gods. But when a random explorer returned unharmed from the waterfall five years ago, the waterfall was put on the Gringo Map.
That night, we met up with Roger, Natalie, Thomas, and two others who had gone on the tour, one of which, Juliana from France, was on vacation, but lived in Huaraz, where Logan and I planned on going to get some good climbing in. A few hours later, Roger, Natalie, Thomas, Logan and I all hopped on the same bus to Trujillo, a beach town with some more ruins.