If you are taking a Peru vacation, you should consider the less visited North of the country. Peru is not just about Machu Picchu; there is so much more!
Chachapoyas – The Spanish Stronghold
Included in the secrets of the North is Chachapoyas, one of Peru’s oldest cities with a long history and its colonial Spanish influence. This small town is located in beautiful northern Peru and its name is derived from the Chachapoyacuno, a native word meaning “mountain of mist or forest”. It was originally founded on September 5, 1538 by Alonso De Alvarado and was the capital of the whole of Eastern Peru during colonial times as it served as a staging post for expeditions intended for colonizing and conquering the Amazon Jungle.
The city has remained fairly isolated until relatively recently when better roads were built connecting it with major coastal cities such as Chiclayo, Trujillo and Piura. The climate and surrounding spectacular mountain ranges make Chachapoyas a unique and beautiful destination. The colonial Spanish influence is still evident by the existence of large colonial mansions with their red clay tiled roofs, patios and wooden balconies with their surrounding orchards and gardens, and fields of sugar cane and coffee.
There are many attractions for tourists in and around the city of Chachapoyas. The city has three plazas which are linked by Victory Street, named after the victorious Chachapoyanos who paraded through the city on this avenue after famous battles. The main square in the city is called Saint Anna’s square and is where the first church of the city was built. Historically eight days of bullfighting took place in this square during the San Juan de los Indios festivities. In the east of the city Independence Square is to be found where a monument stands to the Chachapoyan heroes from the battle of the Higos Urco that took place on June 6, 1821.