Kuelap Fortress

Kuelap Fortress, Chachapoyas

Kuelap Fortress
4.5
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
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8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
The area
Best nearby
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Attractions
1 within 6 miles
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,113 reviews
Excellent
845
Very good
237
Average
22
Poor
5
Terrible
4

CestLeVie
Penrith, Australia308 contributions
I booked this tour with Santa Marta tours on the main square in Chachapoyas. After looking around it appears that most agencies charge the same price with the same inclusions, so i went with the agency that always seemed to have people in the office.
The road to the teleferico (cable car) is scenic and windy through the mountains, following a river through a valley for a lot of the time.
The tickets for the teleferico are sold per time slots. In this location is a cafe to buy some snacks or sandwiches and a small souvenir shop with reasonably priced gifts including some books. At your time slot you are then shuttled from the ticket point to the boarding station in a courtesy minivan. (Keep your ticket for the return journey)
Each teleferico cabin holds about 9 people and you will be organised and helped to embark the cabins.
The cabins across the valley is also very scenic. The windows of the cabins are tinted so its a bit hard to get photos.
I wasn't able to find information about the possibility to walk to the entrance of the ruins. There is a well defined track but it looked uninteresting and i would think that the teleferico would save time best spent within the ruins complex.
Once at the entrance to the site there are bathrooms, some souvenir shops selling ponchos, and a small cafe.
The walk from this area to the ruins is about 20 minutes up a reasonable incline. Some people in my group had some difficulties with this walk but if you are reasonably fit (and acclimatised) it will be no problem. There are plenty of places to take photos of the valley.
Having booked through a tour agency we had a guide and i would recommend that you find a guide as there is very little information on the site.
As of March there were some significant restoration works taking place and we missed some of the interesting parts of the site - however it is a beautiful place with trees and plants.
The site is not completely over-run with tourists, and with patience it is possible to get photos without people in them (if that's what you like) or have your photo taken.
I would suggest 2-3 hours at the ruins site.
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paul F
Phoenix, AZ14 contributions
Perched on a mountain top, these pre inca ruins were built by the Chachapoya people beginning in the 5th century and it was only abandoned after the Spanish conquest. We purchased a tour through our hotel in Chachapoyas which included transport, cable car tickets, a two hour guided tour and lunch before return to Chachapoyas.

The recently constructed cable car makes access to Kuelap significantly easier than was previously possible, it takes hours of the journey to the ruins and provides a stunning scenic ride across the valley to the ruins.

The ruins encompsas the entire area of the ancient city which is located on a mountain peak and constructed from the stone available on site. Most buildings are only partially preserved, having suffered the ravages of overgrowth by trees and other vegetation, but what mremains is significant and gives a good view of how the city must have looked.

If you have visited the ubiquitous Inca ruins in other parts of Peru, this is a must see site that highlights one of the many other cultures that made Peru home throughout its long history.

Please note that after exiting the cable car, there is still an up-hill hike to get to the ruins. We opted to rent a horse at the visitors' center (40 soles round trip), and we were led along a separate path to the entrance to the ruins where the horse and handler waited for us to complete the tour and then led us back to the visitors' center for our return.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tony Mongrut
Lima, Peru18 contributions
Well, I have to say that I took a flight to Jaen, this place has an airport that permits you reduce the number of hours to a very special jungle place. After that I took a taxi that goes to Chachapoyas in 5 hours approximately. Then I went to the hotel I reserved, via web, I have to say that there are good travel agencies in the main square of chachapoyas, you can try prices, but for me both tours, with lunch, transportation, tickets and tour guide included - cost 50 american dollars. Kuelap includes a modern cable car service, and in the second tour, Gocta Falls, you can hire horses that reduce the climbing journey to 50%. (only if you want, I did it because I am a senior) I loved both trips, made nice friends, Oh, yes, the price might be higher, because my tour was in spanish. there are bilingual tours, but I don´t know the cost, but it has been one of my strongest and most incredible experiences, being Kuelap FANTASTIC! Especially if you like mountain climbing, hot real wild, tropical places and rainy weather.
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jay P
25 contributions
With the new cable car this is an awesome easy adventure for everyone. The hike after the cable car is pretty easy going and the walk around the ruins was able to do for all ages. A ride from chachapoyas with lunch included and everything was $25 a person. Just ask a tour company on the square in chachapoyas or ask your hotel. A great day. About a 10 hour tour included with drive there lunch and back
Written January 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DavidVignini
Miami Beach, Florida, United States35 contributions
This is an interesting tour that helps you understand the ancient culture of the Chachapoyas or cloud mountain people.

While this is nice and informative I don't think would justify an international flight. Comparing it to Machu Pichu is definitely a stretch.

If you happen to be in Peru I would recommend visiting. The biggest allure being the lower number of visitors.

But if anybody is expecting to have the place to herself or the illusion to have it just discovered (as some articles or reviews hint) you will be highly disappointed.

Despite the pandemic there were several groups touring simultaneously while the security guards were rushing everyone to move along the designated trail.
Written July 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ilka & Helge
69 contributions
Kuelap was built by the Chachapoyas a pre-inca culture. This place is called "The next Machu Picchu". It is still very natural and a hidden gem. Easy to go as they already installed a cable railway. The interesting thing about Kuelap is that archaeologists are not nearly finished with exploring the huge area!
Written December 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RichardBar
Lima, Peru77 contributions
Family
Kuelap Fortress is a spectacular pre-Inca walled city near the town of Chachapoyas. What is impressive about this site is that it was build high on top a mountain so the cliffs were covered into a might wall system. The city is carefully constructed on top the fortress wall. The city had 3 entrances, of which only one was real, the others where fakes to trick the enemy. The people here made their houses with stones in a circular form and with hay roofs. It is really an interesting site with an excellent view of the area.
Written March 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dr. Savage
56 contributions
Friends
Less well known than Macchu Pichu and discovered recently it is less crowded and has more building and stones than Macchu Pichu. This place is amazing great views great history and way cheaper than Macchu Pichu. I think this place will become a tourist hot spot in the future as more people here about it well worth the trip.
Written October 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CMM_NYNY
New York6 contributions
Couples
An amazing complex, especially if you're interested in Pre-Columbian history. I'd give a little background on the site, but a) previous reviews have done it and b) this link is better than I am anyway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuelap . The walls are incredible (up to 20m high), the sheer number of perfectly circular structures is fascinating, and the facts that you can walk basically everywhere (other than whatever spot happens to have ongoing restoration work) and that the site is overgrown (so it feels kind of like you're Indiana Jones) is awesome. There are also still some carvings of human faces and animals and deities left on the bricks. Last, the setting of the ruins, on a ridge at 3100m above sea level, surrounded by forested mountains draped in mist and clouds (Kuelap is in the northern cloud forest, where the Amazon comes up into the highlands) is stunning. It's an awesome site and well worth the long trip to the Chachapyas region alone (though there are many other reasons to visit Chachapoyas).
Written August 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jan-s-rev
Czech Republic48 contributions
This huge fortress is not so famous and so picture perfect as Machu Picchu but has own sharm and still much less crowds. Currently main dominant (entrance gate) is under reconstruction, but there is much more to see and views are great too. Limited time for visit due to strict time schedule for using return cable car. Dont forget to visit Gocta waterfall next day and discover nice small city of Chachapoyas itself.

We spent 20days around North Peru including Chiclayo, Chachapoyas, Cajamarca, Trujillo and then Huaraz with amazing Cordillera Blanca ending in Iquitos and Amazonas. I found on internet company FairTravel4U, which helped us with all tours and guys were very very professional, prior we travel as well as during our stay in Peru. They really did everyting to meet or even exceed our expectations, for very good price.
Written October 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Kuelap Fortress

Kuelap Fortress is open:
  • Sun - Sun 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Mon - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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