September 5 – Anniversary of the Founding of Chachapoya

Posted on September 5, 2015


Such a fun-sounding name, and the tourist sights you can see near this city in Peru include these guys – and with their upward-tilting chins, I can't help thinking that they were pretty happy people!

Actually, these six figures are sarcophagi, built to house the dead bodies of important citizens. We're talking about the Chachapoya people of about 600 years ago, of course! Two other sarcophagi were built but were destroyed by earthquakes.

Other sights to see in Chachapoya (which was founded by a Spanish conquistador on this date in 1538) are even older. The fortress of Kuelap had huge stone walls surrounding more than 400 buildings. The Chachapoyas began to build this structure way back in the 500s, and archeologists believe that it was in constant use for about a thousand years.

Check out this video about Kuelap – it will give you an idea of the size of the place! 

This painting shows what we think Kuelap
looked like, way back when!
Chachapoya doesn't just have ancient ruins to wow us – there are natural beauties to be seen as well. I love the Gocta Cataracts. The main waterfall has two drops – with a total height of more than 2,500 feet (more than 770 m). That makes it one of the tallest waterfalls in the world (various people say that it is the third tallest, the fifth tallest, or the sixteenth tallest in the world – I'm not sure why the disparity!)

Notice that there are other, smaller waterfalls nearby. It looks like an amazing place!

One of the things that makes this waterfall even more amazing is that, until a decade ago, almost nobody ever went to the waterfall—not even the local people who watched it from afar! To see why, watch this fascinating video

I always love visiting a limestone cave, and there is a nice limestone cave near Chachapoya. There you can see natural features, human-made artifacts, and even human skulls!

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