Discover the Gocta Falls and lost Chachapoyas on this Andes adventure.

Unlock the secrets of the Andes on this adventure, discovering lost cultures and landscapes in the process. Embark to the towering Gocta Falls, a place undiscovered by the first world right up until 2005. Track down the remnants of the Chachapoyas, stumbling upon towering fortresses and halls of the dead – then wind it all down in the streets of Lima over drinks with friends. From civilisation into the wild unknown, explore a land that time almost forgot.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Lima, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Original
Code
GGSX
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Until 2005, the Gocta Falls sat hidden in the Andes, known only to the locals. These secret waters flow to create one of the tallest falls in the world, setting a magical scene of mist, water and flourishing rainforest

  • Spend a full day exploring the ruined Chachapoya fortress of Kuélap, one of the most important archaeological site of the Andes

  • Understand the cultural importance of Chachapoya afterlife on an excursion to visit the rock-face mausoleums of Revash and the mummies of Leymebamba

  • The breathtaking cascade of the Gocta Falls has to be seen to be believed – witness it from the comfort of the Gocta Lodge while sipping cocktails by the pool

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites and the Gocta Falls hike on day 3. The trip is recommended for those with a reasonable level of fitness.

Itinerary

Welcome to Lima, capital of Peru. This adventure begins with a 2 pm meeting at your hotel – please ask the hotel reception for more information regarding this meeting or keep an eye out for a note left on the noticeboard. Your leader will be collecting your next of kin and insurance details, so please have these ready to provide upon your arrival.

Begin your adventures through Lima with an orientation walk through the Miraflores and Barranco districts, taking in splendid views of the colourful streets, lush green landscapes, quaint bridges and unhindered ocean views. Keep a camera ready for snaps of the phenomenal buildings, created with influences of authentic Peruvian republican and traditional gothic architectural styles as you wander through the flower-covered parks.
Included Activities
  • Lima - Leader Led orientation walk of Miraflores
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After enjoying a late morning to explore the city further, depart by plane to the high jungle city of Jaen. Touch down, then embark on a 3-hour drive to Cocachimba. Yor lodge sits comfortably in the Andes and was created for the sole purpose to enjoy the views of the stunning Gocta Falls. Every bedroom is oriented towards the falls, not to mention the gardens, pools and surrounding terraces all bask under their towering glory while offering views of the rolling green canyons and roaming llamas below.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the day hiking through the Amazonian Andes on a hunt for the Gocta Falls. In May 2005, a German economist by the name of Stefan Ziemendorff stumbled upon the falls while hunting for pre-Inca ruins. The following March, Ziemendorff announced his "discovery" of the third largest waterfall in the world – the locals had already known of the falls, but due to a combination of social isolation and a somewhat more humble view of the location, they never told anyone.

Conditions on the hike can vary; some times of year see the mountains cloaked in mist and rain, resulting in a cascading force emanating from the falls, whereas other times of the year result in sunshine breaking over the canyon peaks and a more wispy flow. Regardless, the sheer green from the forest surrounds combined with the height of the falls results in a memorable hiking experience, full of great photo opportunities. After returning to the lodge around midday, enjoy a free afternoon. Perhaps take some time to kick back by the pool with a beer.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cocachimba - Gocta Waterfalls Hike (Half day)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Kuelap is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Amazonian Andes. It forms an architectural group of stone characterized by its monumentality, boasting a great artificial platform that sits on the crest of rock in the top of the Hill Barreta. The platform extends for a massive 600 metres (1970 feet) and has as perimeter a wall that in some points reaches 19 metres (62 feet) in height.

It’s been estimated that construction on Kuelap began around the 6th-century, coinciding with the rising Chachapoyas culture before occupation of the site crumbled in the face of the Spanish Conquest in 1532. Its colossal walls and complex interior architecture are evidence of a well-organized population, which includes administrative, religious, ceremonial and permanent residences. Canals that tap into mountain springs, artistic stone carvings and towering walls all point towards a culture who had an understanding of architecture, art and military/protective interests.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cocachimba - Guided tour of Kuelap (Full Day)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend a full day delving further into Chachapoya culture, plumbing through the depths of mausoleums and uncovering mummies of an age passed.

Begin by exploring the Revash Mausoleums, a necropolis for Chachapoya’s dead. Serving as collective tombs in natural caves or excavated holes in the rocky walls, the carved faces of the Mausoleums sit high within the rock formation of Cerro Carbon. It’s been argued that these structures are replicas of ancient houses in the region, and strangely share similarities to cliff-houses of Colorado – although these are coincidental at best.

Afterwards, take some time to explore the Leymebamba Museum, home to many mummies uncovered at the Laguna de los Condores site. With plenty of funerary offerings and record collecting quipus residing inside, small hints of Chachapoya history becomes more and more obvious as the day goes by.

Take some time afterwards to explore the Sunday markets of Yerbabuena. Considered to be the largest market in the entire region, Yerbabuena attracts buyers and sellers from all over to sell produce and animals. On the other side of the coin, the markets hardly attract tourists meaning much of its authenticity is retained.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cocachimba - Revash Funeral Buildings & Leymebamba Mummy museum (Full day)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge, then drive back to the airport to take a lunchtime flight back to Lima. After arriving at around 3 pm, the rest of the day is yours to explore. Perhaps discover the historic handcrafts, gold and jewels of the Museo Larco, or maybe just head out for a final dinner with the group and toast a pisco sour together.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This trip comes to a close after breakfast and you're free to do what you wish.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Plane, Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Lodge (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Lima - Leader Led orientation walk of Miraflores
  • Cocachimba - Gocta Waterfalls Hike (Half day)
  • Cocachimba - Guided tour of Kuelap (Full Day)
  • Cocachimba - Revash Funeral Buildings & Leymebamba Mummy museum (Full day)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS:
Domestic airlines require passengers' passport numbers to issue their tickets. It is then very important that you provide this information at the time of booking. Delays to provide this information may result in third party booking fees.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single supplement only applies for first and last night in Lima. Unfortunately Gocta Lodge does not offer single supplements.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.