Kuelap, Chachapoyas Has a New Cable Car

The new cable car service to the mountaintop Kuelap Fortress has officially opened. The 26-cabin cable car system began transporting travelers to the archaeological complex on March 2, 2017. Passengers board the cable car in the Amazon village of Tingo Nuevo for a 20-minute aerial journey to the site. The cost for a round-trip ticket is 20 soles, or about USD$6.

Previously, the only way to visit this ancient pre-Inca site was via a multi-day trek or a 2-hour bus journey along an unpaved road. The goal for this new cable car system is to provide travelers with easier access to the site and to boost tourism in northern Peru, where beaches and many other pre-Incan archeological sites can also be found.

Kuelap was built by the pre-Colombian Chachapoyas culture, a civilization that flourished between 900 and 1400 AD. The fortress sits atop a ridge overlooking the Utcubamba Valley in the Luya Province of Peru’s northern Amazonas region. Archeologists believe the complex was originally constructed in 500 AD as a fortress for the Chachapoyas to defend themselves.

Consisting of a 60-foot tall massive exterior stone wall and 400 exquisitely built round houses within, Kuelap is considered one of the largest ancient stone monuments of the New World. The original complex covered an area of 25,000 square miles. Today, what remains is the 600- by 110-meter fortified center.

In due time, it is projected that this new cable car access to Kuelap will transform the site into the “Machu Picchu of the north.” Expect the Chachapoyas region to also transform as private investment and tourism increase. For more information about Kuelap and the new cable car system, contact one our Kuoda Travel Designers.