Have you heard of the fortress of Kuelap? If not, continue reading.
Machu Picchu was recently voted as the number one place to visit before you die by the Huffington Post. It is a marvel for sure.
The Peru travel guide says:
Chachapoyas, which means “People of the Clouds” is the name of a civilization that fought from high forest strongholds in resistance to Inca expansion and Spanish invasion. One of the last kingdoms to succumb to the Inca, its legacy includes one of South America’s archaeological wonders – the defensive fortress of Kuelap. Perched on the shoulder of a 10,000-foot mountain, this 9th Century citadel comprises an urban complex of more than 400 stone edifices – homes, palaces and temples enclosed by a 70-foot-tall stone wall. Their architecture demonstrates decidedly non-Inca features, such as protruding geometric patterns, cornices, and friezes. Kuelap’s setting is unforgettably beautiful – a tropical cloud forest festooned with orchids and steeped in mystery.
The Revash Tombs, the Karajia Sarcophagi and the extensive network of Chachapoyas paved trails also serve as a reminder of the greatness of this vanished nation. Archaeologists just now are mapping and excavating many important Chachapoyas sites. The museum in Leymebamba, which displays 200 mummies recovered from the remote Lake of the Condors, describes the extraordinary embalming methods of the Chachapoya, their lifestyle and culture. The Museum also houses a collection of knotted Quipu, the record-keeping device of the Incas.
Kuelap is one of the best places to visit. Will it be the next macchu picchu? Time will tell. Till then marvel at this place.