Photos: From Chachapoyas to Kuelap Fortress

Rivaling Machu Picchu in beauty and grandeur, the stone fortress at Kuelap boasts mist enshrined turrets, sacrificial altars, and even sun-lazing llamas on the precipice.  Kuelap straddles both jungle and highlands, earning it the nickname: Eyebrow of the Amazon.  Built by the Chachapoyan people as a mountain top sanctuary, Kuelap is full of magic and mystery, beauty and history.  But unlike Machu Pichu, its more famous cousin in the south, there are no crowds or hordes of trekking backpackers jostling for their shot of the Inca’s great city. Let’s be honest.  Unless we’re in a nightclub, I don’t like mobs.  In Kuelap, you will actually hear birds in the trees and get close to livestock grazing on the grass.  You can sweep your hand across stonewalls, 20 feet high and over 600 years old.  While wandering the grounds, note the artistic craftsmanship of the granary and the chiseled designs in stone that are still employed on village houses below.  Lara Croft never had it so good.

Kuelap Fortress is the main northern attraction in Peru

Conical houses of Kuelap

Kuelap fortress walls

Fortress walls crown the high peak of the mountain










best views in Kuelap

Steep steps!




hike to kuelap

The walk along the cliffside







Kuelap buildings in Peru

You can still walk right up to the old buildings











kuelap religious altar

Religious Altar close to a burial site

kuelap day tour is easy

Path through the forest










About Melissa Ruttanai

Melissa is a social media coordinator, pro-blogger, and certified teacher. Her travel obsessions have brought her to 33 countries and 25 US States. Her work has been published by at DINK Life, International Living Magazine, Escape From America Magazine, Trazzler and On Holiday Magazine. Connect with Melissa on Google+ Twitter: @WorldWinder and