The Chachapoyas region, tucked away in Peru’s northern interior, is a treasure trove of natural and archeological attractions. The fortress of Kuelap takes pride of place, its extensive ruins rivaling those of Machu Picchu in terms of scale and mystery. Better still, the tourist hordes that descend upon Machu Picchu are nowhere to be seen at Kuelap, leaving you to explore at your leisure.
When I first went to Kuelap in May 2010, I was eagerly eyeing every hilltop for a glimpse of the ruins. From a distance, however, the ruins of Kuelap look no different from other rocky outcrops atop the surrounding hills. The site’s true scale only becomes apparent as you near its towering walls.