Category Archives: chachapoyas

gocta falls.

gocta falls is the third largest waterfall in the world and was only discovered a little more than ten years ago. pause and ponder about how incredible that is…considering how small the world we live in today and that so much of it is only now being discovered…wow…

anyways, it was quite the adventure out there. it was a 30 minute drive to a town. once you get to the town, you must take a local guide with you, and you proceed to begin your 4.5 mile hike each way (taking 2 ½ – 3 hours each way), where you hike up and down 2 ½ mountain sides to get to the base of the falls. you do have the option to take a horse for 25 soles…which i highly recommend….in fact, you are crazy, like me, not to. the hike back was probably one of the more challenging hikes i have even done, but every bit of it was worth it. to put it into the perspective, there were probably 25 people in our group. only one started on a horse…the pregnant lady. half-way through the hike to the falls, there was a chance to request a horse for the way back for 20 soles…at that point 20 people were requesting horses…

on the hike you will see plenty of toucans, and if you are lucky you will get to see some monkeys…and if you are not lucky, you will see a puma. i only saw toucans, which was more than what most other people saw. and even though i just about died while hiking, i can easily say that this place was one of the most beautiful, majestic places i have ever seen.

the view on the drive out to the falls

the view on the drive out to the falls.

view of the falls from the town where we started the hike.

view of the falls from the town where we started the hike.

view while hiking....there are going to be a lot of pictures of waterfalls in this post....not apologizing...

view while hiking….there are going to be a lot of pictures of waterfalls in this post….not apologizing…

white orchid.

white orchid.

our first uphill hike of the day...this uphill lasted a good 25 minutes...

our first uphill hike of the day…this uphill lasted a good 25 minutes…

the view of the town where we started from...

the view of the town where we started from…

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i was there.

i was there.

sunburned from the day before, and my legs still itch from the mosquito bites...

sunburned from the day before, and my legs still itch from the mosquito bites…

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a really awesome-looking mushroom.

a really awesome-looking mushroom.

when we finally were able to see the base, but no longer the top half of the falls.

when we finally were able to see the base, but no longer the top half of the falls.

i did what any normal person would do after hiking in hot, hot heat for 3 hours to the waterfall: i rushed to climb and swim underneath it...duh...

i did what any normal person would do after hiking in hot, hot heat for 3 hours to the waterfall: i rushed to climb and swim underneath it…duh…

don't worry mom, i was being careful...ish...carefulish...

don’t worry mom, i was being careful…ish…carefulish…

way off in the distance, you can see two pale-people spots directly underneath the waterfall...the one on the left is me...the power of the water was incredible.

way off in the distance, you can see two pale-people spots directly underneath the waterfall…the one on the left is me…the power of the water was incredible.

i could not get over the folds.

i could not get over the folds.

the green was absolutely breathtaking.

the green was absolutely breathtaking.

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some awesome-looking beetles.

some awesome-looking beetles.

what i should have taken...no regrets...

what i should have taken…no regrets…

right before i hiked 1 hour straight uphill...nbd...(i obviously had no idea what i was about to encounter...).

right before i hiked 1 hour straight uphill…nbd…(i obviously had no idea what i was about to encounter…).

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kuelap.

warning: there are a ridiculous amount of pictures in this post…it was just too hard to not share all of these…also, i live in the flat, brown desert, so the green mountainside just captivated me.

for our first day in chacha, we took a tour to kuelap, which is an ancient incan fortress about 2 hours outside of chachapoyas.

view from the car ride.

view from the car ride.

behind me are some more ruins where people had created homes inside of the mountain.

behind me are some more ruins where people had created homes inside of the mountain.

more scenery.

more scenery.

the fortress from below, before we started our hike. historians have concluded that if the incans had made kuelap their center capital, then the spaniards would not have been able to conquer them and history would have been forever changed...

the fortress from below, before we started our hike. historians have concluded that if the incans had made kuelap their center capital, then the spaniards would not have been able to conquer them and history would have been forever changed…

entering the park...

entering the park…

zack, robert and i right outside of the ruins.

zack, robert and i right outside of the ruins.

more of the incredible view.

more of the incredible view.

one of the three entrances into the three-level fortress.

one of the three entrances into the three-level fortress.

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you can see where it's raining.

you can see where it’s raining.

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hiking up the entrance to the first level. i am convinced that the incans had to have incredible legs....

hiking up the entrance to the first level. i am convinced that the incans had to have incredible legs….

the crew with some of the ruins and the incredible view.

the crew with some of the ruins and the incredible view.

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robert's dream pose.

robert’s dream pose.

pretending to lose my balance and fall...or that is exactly what is happening...that is up to you to decide....

pretending to lose my balance and fall…or that is exactly what is happening…that is up to you to decide….

a tiny cottage LITERALLY in the middle of nowhere.

a tiny cottage LITERALLY in the middle of nowhere.

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this picture seems pretty accurate.

this picture seems pretty accurate.

i was there.

i was there.

the incans buried themselves in the walls there. not creepy or anything...

the incans buried themselves in the walls there. not creepy or anything…

the three lines mean: god of the heavens, god of the earth, god of the underworld.

the three lines mean: god of the heavens, god of the earth, god of the underworld.

one of the kitchens...the line of the rocks on the right are thought to be where they stored their cuys (guina pigs).

one of the kitchens…the line of the rocks on the right are thought to be where they stored their cuys (guinea pigs).

 

eye of the puma.

eye of the puma.

sepent and eye of the crocodile.

sepent and eye of the crocodile.

it was said that more than 3,000 people lived in this fortress. also, loved that there were llamas EVERYWHERE.

it was said that more than 3,000 people lived in this fortress. also, loved that there were llamas EVERYWHERE.

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a mochika face.

a mochika face.

some pato (duck).

some pato (duck).

the crew with the the bottle-shaped "great temple."

the crew with the the bottle-shaped “great temple.”

the exit...nbd...

the exit…nbd…

robert making the hike down.

robert making the hike down.

the most breath-taking exit i have ever encountered.

the most breath-taking exit i have ever encountered.

the hike back.

the hike back.

 

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chachapoyas.

during thanksgiving, i was able to FINALLY take my first vacation since being in peru. it was nice to have a few days to finally be a tourist and see a new part of the country after being here for 5 ½ months. also, it was a great distraction from missing time with my family in the states.

the plaza in chacha.

the plaza in chacha.

for my first vacation, i went to chachapoyas, which is located in the department of las amazonas. i took a 35 soles bus ride there on a 10 hour overnight bus. when i got on, the bus attendant handed out plastic bags, i didn’t understand what this was for until the middle of the night. i awoke to people rustling their bags so they had some where to put their waste as they were car sick since the road to there is 80% curving around and going up-and-down mountains. needless to say i turned the music up on my ipod.

a view of the town center.

a view of the town center.

once i arrived, i found a hostel on the town square to stay at and my friends and i took off on our first tour. if you are ever to visit peru, i highly recommend chachapoyas. i plan to return as i could have spent 5 more days there without having repeated a thing. the town itself is pristine and surrounded by beautiful green mountainsides. it also has consistently made some of the top up-and-coming travel destinations in the world.

i was sad i only had 2 short days there, and reluctantly boarded my 24-hour bus ride to lima for eist. at least i had the very front seat of my bus…which made for an incredible view.

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