Northern Peru Discovery
Duration : 13 Days 12 Nights
Please ‘contact us’ to book this tour
Trip OverviewOur Northern Peru Discovery 13-day excursion has it all! Well off any tourist circuit, we begin at the thriving northern jungle town, Tarapato, land of the waterfalls. Venture to Chachapoyas, situated in the heart of Peru’s Amazon Cloud Forest. Trek to the recently discovered tropical waterfall of Gocta at Cocachimba and and conquer the distant ruins of Kuelap. See coastal Peru with a stop in Chiclayo, nicknamed “The City of Friendship” and soak up the rays at the trendy fishing village and surfer’s haven of Mancora. Then, a ½ day boating excursion takes us through the ‘Mangroves of Tumbes’ national sanctuary before returning to the capital.
*As on all Adventures to Peru tours, you’re taken care of from beginning to end: airport transfers are included!
*Seasonal Note: Recommended departure dates (April-November)
Prices are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Prices are subject to change. Prices based on 3.5% cash discount. Prices based on a group minimum of 4 adult travelers. Deposit is 50% of total. Remaining balance becomes due 60 days prior to tour departure.
See Booking Terms and Conditions
2-3 star hotels (11 nts), camping (1 nt)
Minimum 4, Maximum 12
All breakfasts are included, (B,L,D) on Kuelap trek
Private bus/van, public bus, domestic flight, motorboat
1. Trip will run year round, however recommended departure dates are between April-November.
Day 1 Lima
Day 2 Tarapoto
Day 3 Chachapoyas
Day 4 Karajia / Gocta / Cocachimba
Day 5 Cocachimba / Tingo
Day 6 Kuelap / Chachapoyoas
Days 7-8 Chiclayo
Days 9-11 Mancora
Day 12 Puerto Pizzaro / Lima
Day 13 Lima Departure Day
Day 1 Lima
Arrive in Lima at any time. A representative from Adventures to Peru will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.
Day 2 Lima / Tarapoto (B)
We’ll have the morning free day to explore Lima, the City of Kings. Optional activities in Lima such as a city tour, museum visits or shopping can be arranged by your tour host. An afternoon flight will take us from the metropolis of Lima to one of Peru’s thriving northern jungle towns, Tarapato. Tarapoto is located in the province of San Martín, nestled in a valley between two mountain ranges. At an elevation of approximately 350 meters above sea level, Tarapoto enjoys a hot, tropical climate and has abundant and interesting flora and fauna. This small city has been dubbed the “Land of Waterfalls” due to the incredible waterfalls found in the area. This afternoon, time permitting, we’ll visit Lamas, a nearby indigenous Quechua speaking village seemingly lost in time.
Day 3 Tarapoto / Chachapoyas (B)
The morning is dedicated to visiting one of the famous attractions in area the Ahuashiyacu waterfall, plunging 35 meters and forming a beautiful lagoon at the bottom. Close by is a bird sanctuary housing species of birds and animal species endemic to the region.
An afternoon bus departure takes us from Tarapoto, climbing through the beautiful eastern Andean foothills to the calm town of Pedro Ruiz, then 1 hour further to Chachapoyas. Chachapoyas is a quiet, friendly town nestled in a huge area of cloud forest between the Maranon and Huallaga Rivers. Check into the hotel and we have a briefing to prepare for the coming days in Karajia, Gocta and Kuelap.
Day 4 Chachapoyas / Karajia (B, L, D)
We set out from Chachapoyas on a 2-hour drive over breathtaking roads and incredible scenery of the Northern Andes. We stop in the village of Luya for supplies and continue 30 minutes, where we’ll begin our hike. After approximately 2 hours of moderate hiking we arrive at the ancient burial site of Karajia. We encounter 3-meter tall anthropomorphic plaster coffins re-enforced with wood frames located high under a cliff. Learn about the history of this region and the burial site. After lunch we set off for the 2-hour hike to our vehicle on the opposite side of the valley and travel to our campsite for the night. Along the way we pass again through the village of Luya where we can make a brief stop at the local market held every Thursday. Once at our campsite, enjoy an evening of good food, good company, and a good night’s sleep!
*Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
*Today’s walking distance approximately 6 km
Day 5 Cocachimba / Gocta Waterfall (B, L, D)
Our day starts early with a hearty breakfast before embarking on a full day (5-6 hours) of moderate / semi-difficult hiking. We will enjoy the enchanting waterfalls and with some luck spot toucans, hummingbirds, monkeys, and much more as we hike through the dense jungle. Our final destination is the base of the recently discovered Gocta Waterfall, verified to be the third largest waterfall on the planet (measured to be a height of 772m (2,532ft). This waterfall, with 2 drops, has been known by locals for centuries and was only brought to the world’s attention in 2002 following an expedition by German explorers to the region. You can go for a swim but it is chilly. Otherwise, relax, have your box lunch and absorb the magic. Then it’s back to Cocachimba and on to our next campsite. We may stop along the way for viewing distant ruins and other sites of interest by telescope, time and weather permitting.
*Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
*Today’s walking distance approximately 10 km
Day 6 Tingo / Kuelap (B,L)
Following breakfast this morning, we begin our 6-7 hour hike to the Chachapoyan archaeological site of Kuelap. Little is known about this pre-Incan site and the Chachapoyan people themselves (also known as the Cloud Forest people). Kuelap is a massive fortress built on the top of a mountain and is sometimes referred to as the “Machu Picchu of Northern Peru”. This site is surrounded by a 30m high wall and measures 584m by 100m in size. Construction of the site is estimated to have taken approximately 200 years to complete and taken millions of cubic feet of stone. Kuelap is comprised of three levels containing over 400 circular buildings. Who the Chachapoyan people could have been protecting themselves from remains a mystery. We have a few hours to explore the site and learn about the history from our local guide. Standing at the outer wall’s edge of this site you can enjoy the incredible view of the valley below, spreading out approximately 1,200m below. Also impressive is the thin ribbon of road that hugs the near and far walls of the treed canyon. A short walk of about ten minutes will bring us to our waiting vehicle for the 4-hour return trip to Chachapoyas. Take advantage of a hot shower, enjoy a local dinner and sleep well!
*Included: Breakfast, Lunch
*Today’s walking distance approximately 12 km
Day 7 Chachapoyas / Chiclayo (B)
No activities are planned for the morning following breakfast, enjoy time to relax and enjoy what the town of Chachapoyas has to offer. At 1:00pm we depart by bus and travel down from 1,700m to sea level to the coastal city of Chiclayo. Chiclayo acts as a central hub for commercial and tourist activities in Northern Peru. Nicknamed “The City of Friendship”, Chiclayo certainly lives up to its name, as you will find the locals to be welcoming and friendly. Take time to enjoy what the city has to offer. We arrive in the late evening in time for dinner and a chance to rest for the following full day.
Day 8 Chiclayo (B)
We spend the full day today in Chiclayo. We’ll take you to visit the coveted Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum. Opened in 2003, this museum showcases the most important archaeological remains from the Mochica Culture, including the contents of the tomb of a Mochica leader called “El Señor de Sipán”, found in 1987. Other things to do around Chiclayo are a visit to Mercado Modelo’s “witch doctor’s market”, with a large selection of herbs and tools used by shamans. If you prefer a visit to the ocean, travel 14 kms to nearby Pimentel Beach. This fishing town is well known for seafood and surfing. Watch the fishermen in the totora reed boats paddling out through the waves as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years. Enjoy one last evening in Chiclayo before departing north the following morning.
Day 9 Máncora (B)
This morning we leave for the beach town of Máncora. Famous for it’s surf, this small fishing town of 15,000 people has a relaxed bohemian feel. Enjoy a few leisurely days taking optional surf lessons, enjoying the abundant fresh seafood and year-round sunshine. Try your hand at one of the newest extreme sports, as Mancora is the new Mecca for kite surfing in Peru. Máncora also has handicraft stores, a low-key nightlife with local bars and a range of restaurant options.
Day 10 Mancora (B)
Today is yours to soak up the rays. Long walks on the beach, visit the local mud baths or grab a kayak. But If you are feeling lazy then simply relax with your favorite book, a seaside hammock and a cold beer.
Day 11 Mancora (B,L)
This afternoon Adventures to Peru prepares a succulent seafood barbeque on the beach, all you can eat of course.
Day 12 Mancora / Tubes / Lima (B)
The morning to enjoy breakfast and prepare our things, we say goodbye to Máncora. A short 2-hour bus ride take us to Tumbes close to the Ecuadorian border to catch a return flight to Lima and transfer to our hotel. Enjoy one last Pisco Sour and your last ‘hurrah’ in the Peruvian capital.
Day 13 Depart Lima (B)
Adios amigos! Adventures to Peru will collect you from the hotel and private transfer to the airport.
Adventures to Peru local destination hosts
Excursion to Ahuashiyacu waterfalls in Tarapoto
Private guides and staff on treks around Chachapoyas
Guided trek to Karajia burial grounds
Guided trek to Gocta Waterfall
Guided trek to Kuelap
Visit to Señor de Sipan Museum in Chiclayo
Beach barbeque in Mancora
Excursion to ‘Mangroves of Tumbes’ Sanctuary
Airport arrival AND departure transfers
All accommodations, camping
All land transport along the route
2 domestic flights
Domestic airport taxes
Guide service throughout as per itinerary
Entrance fees for included excursions
Meals on Chachapoyas trek
Reconfirmation of ongoing flights out of Peru
Visa and passport fees
All meals (see above)
International departure taxes and excess baggage fees