Chachapoyas/Kuelap without guide. Trekking partners needed!
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jun 9, 2012 4:48 PM Last Post By: tomnixon
May 17, 2012 7:03 PM
Chachapoyas/Kuelap without guide. Trekking partners needed!Hey guys, anyone else in Chachapoyas at the moment or heading here soon? I'm trying to work out the best way to see Kuelap and the other cool stuff around here without going on a tour. Anyone else up for joining me? Or any advice from people who have explored this area without going on an organised tour?
Looks like it's possible but quite difficult and I am up for the challenge. This guy managed it and had a great time by the looks of it:
May 17, 2012 7:30 PM
1This is encouraging. Looks like Kuelap and Gocta are both do-able without a tour agency. Just need to hire a local guide for part of the way to Gocta.
May 18, 2012 9:36 AM
May 18, 2012 9:47 AM
3Think I'm talking to myself at the moment but what the hell, it's all useful for future travellers :)
There's a really helpful tourist info place right on the main plaza in Chachapoyas called iPeru with a red sign. They have free maps and info. From what I could gather there aren't any hiking maps available, just town maps and high level maps of the whole region. These are still helpful but not much good for going on a big trek without a guide.
However you can explore the region over a few days without going on an organised tour, and hire local guides as you go for the bits that you need them.
I'm heading off early tomorrow morning for about 4 days. If anyone wants to join me, send me a message any time before 10:00pm tonight. Rough plan is:
Day 1: 7AM collectivo to Luya then on to Cruzpata. Walk to Karajia to see the Sarcofagi, return to Cohechan and spend the night in a Hospedaje.
Day 2: Collectivo to Valle Huaylla Belen and walk in the valley (looks stunning from the photos.) Hire a local guide to walk to the ruins at Pirquilla then Congon for the night.
Day 3: Use local guide to walk to Lanche then on to Choctamel for the night via more ruins at Yumal.
Day 4: Get transport to Maria then walk up to Kuelap, should get there before all of the tourists arrive from Chachas so should be really quiet. Try to get a lift back to Chachas with another group or get the guards at Kuelap to advise on transport. Worst case scenario spend another night in the nearby town of Tingo and then back to Chachas the following day.
After this trip I'll probably chill out in Chachapoyas for a night or two then leave Chachapoyas with all of my stuff and go to Pedro Luis, stay one night, then early the next day get transport to San Pablo and then hike to the spectacular Gocta waterfall and then on to Cocachimbo and then back to Pedro Luis. Or might stay a night in Cocachimbo, will see how it goes.
Then after all of that, overland to Iquitos for jungle adventure :)
So, yeah, drop me a line today if you wanna join me on the first bit, or any time in the next few days if you just want to come with me to the Gocta waterfall.
May 18, 2012 10:05 AM
Jun 8, 2012 12:46 PM
Just wondering if you could do an update on how it all went, as we are considering checking out the sites of the area without a guide too.
Was it easy to see the local sites? any hiccups? Anything you would do differently? How did it compare to other parts in Peru, great, or just OK?
Jun 9, 2012 4:48 PM
6Hey! I have been meaning to update this thread so thanks for the nudge :)
It was a really good trip and I wrote it up here:
Very quick summary:
First day to Karajia was straightforward to do independently but I would recommend getting a guide for at least the second 2 days. I was lucky and ran into some hikers who'd hired a guide. I think I would have been a bit stuck without one. The 3rd day is a very tough up-hill hike. Most people do it on a donkey. I did it on foot and it nearly killed me and I'm reasonably fit. I would recommend getting to Kuelap as early as you can (I think it opens at 8:00AM) so you can beat the tour groups and walk round in complete peace - this is one of the big advantages of Kuelap over Machu Picchu. You can do this bit independently.
This was my first real destination in Peru so can't really compare it with other parts of the country but it's certainly well worth visiting.
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