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“Kuelap- This is how the tour works”
Review of Kuelap Fortress

Kuelap Fortress
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US$ 80.64*
and up
Kuelap Ancient Fortress Day Trip by Cable Car...
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Chachapoyas
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 April 2018

The experience is superb and a “must do”. I couldn’t find the detail of how tours worked when we were researching/booking. So I describe it here.
Most importantly, tours don’t run on a Monday. The cable car is closed every Monday in 2018. So the tour operators don’t offer tours. My summation is that this means Tuesdays and perhaps Sundays are a bit busier than other days.
The cable car closes for a week in February for maintenance. Don’t know when that week will be scheduled in 2019.
Timetable as follows:

8:15 am pick up from hotel
9;00am All the people on the tour eventually picked up(15), bus full and we left for Nuevo Tingo.
10:00 Arrived Nuevo Tingo and visited restaurant to book lunch for later in the day. Included lunch is the 15 soles options which is most of the options on the menu.
10:30 - 11:30take small bus to cable car and then 20 minute cable car ride to Kuelap station.
11:30. Use the facilities at the Kuelap cable car station as there are none at Kuelap fortress !!!
11:30 - 12:00 Walk from cable car station to Kuelap fort. Its a rise of about 200 metres over 1.5(?) Kilometres of paved pathway with steps. There is a horse option that wasn’t available on the day of our visit as too wet. Air is thinner at 3000 metres. Slow and steady is the trick.
12:00-2:00. Walk around the fortress and through the fortress. Lots of stops and explanations from guide. Many reviews say no other visitors here. Visitor numbers have doubled in past two years. So we saw quite a number of groups.( we did go on a Tuesday though!!). The sites are the stars, there are no artefacts to view, no museum. And the sites are limestone walls with no adornment ( OK 3 tiny bits of adornment...don’t blink or you will miss it)
2:00 - 3:30 Back from fortress to restaurant at Nuevo Tingo. Lunch served at 3:30. For us that was late for lunch. We wish we had taken a bag of nuts and some fruit with us to keep us going. Lunch was two course and very good. We had one of the standard (included ) offers which was , pumpkin soup and then grilled trout with carbohydrates.
4:30- 5:30 drive back and dropped off in centre of Chachapoyas.
People of the clouds. Clouds certainly prevalent on our trip which makes fantastic photos. But brings rain. We each had a light raincoat and used them. You can buy plastic ponchos at the top of cable car station for 6 soles. Sun can be aggressive here. So sun block advisable even for the very few minutes we saw the sun. I wore T shirt, light jumper, light jacket and raincoat. Our trip was early April and it was cool. It rained a lot. We saw no mosquitos. We wished we had brought a snack with us. We did have hats. Wear sensible shoes as it is slippery and uneven.
Once bus gets underway we were asked to fill in our name age and passport number on a manifest. No one added their passport number and I cant recall if it was required for the booking. We did always carry a photocopy of our passports. We don’t want to be on the bus the one day the police decide to be annoyingly thorough.
We booked our tour with Via Kuelap. 100 soles per person included all transport, cable car, entrance fees, guide, lunch. All the tours we looked at seemed similar. We booked a more expensive one in hope there would be fewer people. That was our mistake. The agencies consolidate you onto one bus. We were two of four people given bottles of water when we got on the bus. So that told me we had paid too much!! But too much is minor and irrelevant in the scheme of things.Our guide was Daisy.I thought she was excellent. Her accent was nice and clear and she spoke slowly enough and her knowledge was good/ very good if less than excellent. I should say she was Spanish only.
100 soles for what you get here is incredible value. AUD 40 . The journey is spectacular and of course Kuelap is also spectacular. Wow !!!
Strongly recommend.

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank Mikexyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (994)
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"machu picchu"
in 58 reviews
"cable car"
in 38 reviews
"mountain top"
in 6 reviews
"takes hours"
in 6 reviews
"take your time"
in 4 reviews
"northern part"
in 4 reviews
"chachapoyas backpackers"
in 8 reviews
"main entrance"
in 3 reviews
"impressive ruins"
in 4 reviews
"great site"
in 5 reviews
"interesting place"
in 3 reviews
"hour bus ride"
in 4 reviews
"above sea level"
in 3 reviews
"tour operator"
in 5 reviews
"walk up"
in 3 reviews
"spectacular views"
in 3 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 3 reviews

33 - 37 of 994 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2018

What an experience! The Incas ruled Peru for a very short time and there are many other ruins that are pre-Inca. This is one of them and what a site it is! We rode the cable car across a deep valley to another mountain to start the walk to the Keulap fortress at the top of the mountain. There are horses and donkeys to hire for those who want the adventure or who may not be able to make the steep hike. They are led by the guides on a separate trail from the main hiking trail. The trail is well maintained and much updated from pictures I have looked at from the past. The hike was not too hard and you could take your time. Guides were available and we arranged one who explained all to us. Very good English and told us all about everything we passed. There is an excellent museum just where the hike starts - don't miss it. The architecture, engineering and views and incredible. It's not called the Machu Picchu of the north for nothing!

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Jan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018

The Kuelap Fortress is breath taking! When you look at the engineering that went into building it, how they maintained it, the daily city operation and its location, it is far superior than anything in Europe and I am guessing it at least rivals anything in Middle East and Asia. I was happy to see it before it becomes a big tourist attraction.

I was very fortunate to have booked with Amazon Expedition! They were great! While I was waiting in their office, they treat everybody the same, you matter to them! You have their full attention and not a number.

I was the only English speaking person on the tour, our guide Eogardo made sure that I did not miss anything. He is very passionate about their culture and is extremely knowledgeable. It is unbelievable how much information you are told.
Overall, this is a first rate tour.

A bonus, when booking this tour, you are not getting just one, but actually three if you keep your eyes open and cameras ready. The other two tours are your trip to get their and them coming back (yes back, you see the land from a different perspective).

The only advice I have to give, 1) have a good camera, it is worth the money for the views you will see, 2) make sure you have a rain gear, you are up in the clouds (over 3100m above sea level) and you may get some rain 3) footwear, wear something that will keep your feet dry (not rubber boots) and you do not mind getting dirty/muddy, and 4) bring and drink water (2L).

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Douglas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018

This shouldn't be missed - hire a reputable tour guide and you're on your way! As the "second" Manchu Picchu it was a beautiful experience. The cable car rid through the valley and up 10000 feet was spectacular. You can use horses to get to the fort. However, I strongly recommend just walking. Its worth it. The fortress is under construction/revitalization, so please be mindful of this. If you use your imagination you can clearly see and connect to this ancient city. What a gem. At the end, you can purchase some great gifts at the local price (at the exit point for the cable car). Take your time, relax and enjoy. NOTE: Please bring a poncho and wear waterproof shoes. It rains heavily and you want to remain dry.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank CSTMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 March 2018 via mobile

We did a guided tour thru our hotel. The guide tho was a local from Kuelap and hired there. He was very friendly and explained everything so good to us. We went early to beet the bigger tourist groups which was perfect. It’s an easy walk up to the ruins, oder people have possibilities to sit every few hundred meters underneath a sunroof.
We loved the ruins. They are so nice and have so much history!

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Jasminda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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