Trekking to the numerous impressive sights and ruins around Chachapoyas is becoming increasingly popular and is easy to arrange in town. The most popular outing is the four- or five-day Gran Vilaya trek, from Choctámal to the Marañón canyon, through pristine cloud forest and past several ruins and the heavenly Valle de Belén. Another popular adventure heads out to the Laguna de los Cóndores, a three-day trip on foot and horseback from Leimebamba.

Potential DIY day hikes include the Gocta waterfall, the Inca trail to or from Levanto (and Yalape), the old Camino Herradura up to Kuélap, and the long hike from Yerbabuena to Revash.


The intrepid sport of rappelling down rivers and waterfalls has found a natural home in northern Peru, which has an impressive collection of spectacular water flumes, including some of the highest in South America. Canyoning (or barranquismo as it’s known in Spanish) is still in its infancy in these parts but has recently sprouted a professional operator, Canyoning Explorer. Under the enthusiastic tutelage of Andalucian Juan Pérez you can arrange trips to up to five local waterfalls in the vicinity of Cuispes, 60km north of Chachapoyas, including 896m-tall Catarata Yumbilla, considered the fifth-tallest waterfall in the world.